Implementing new software doesn’t have to turn your agency upside-down. you need a plan and a little dose of reality.
Respect change and everything it entails.
Unfortunately, I’ve been offline a lot lately. But now it’s time to get back to it. I shouldn’t have been away so long because the way we work is changing so quickly.
I’ve been away, working with clients, reviewing software, putting out fires, allaying fears and spending a little time at home preparing for the HOT season in Vegas.
With Q1 over, I’m sure many who have implemented new systems to manage the agency or in-house department are moving right along swimmingly. Everything is perfect.
It isn't? What now?!
There’s more to adding to your toolkit than adopting another free app or yet a new, new space in Google docs.
Over the next two weeks I’ll be going over the steps to evaluate your current systems (you did that first, right?), evaluate new systems (and grill ‘em on the details), plan for implementation, and finally – go live with less trauma.
Oh, and I’ll be including some software reviews.
Change is never easy, but neither are operations with multiple, redundant, disconnected pieces.
Let's make better use of our time with a sensible toolkit - and a sensible implementation.
Think of agency management software as having an amazing toolkit, and experts who know how to use them - and apply them to how you work. When you collaborate with the people who have been down that path, you'll get the most out of that investment.
Evaluate your situation. What’s working, what’s not, what do you want?
Evaluate options. Is it time to invest in new systems, or maybe rework the old ones?
Evaluate tools. What’s best for your agency depends on a range of issues that are seldom considered in addition to accounting and project management.
Create a plan. What are realistic expectations for setup [data entry/imports], implementation, and change management? Who’s going to do the work?
Create a schedule. It takes time to get everything in place, tested, and a roll-out that is successful. Setting expectations with your colleagues will turn it from rumor to reality. Everyone likes to know what’s going on. Especially if it affects them.
Roll-out and re-boot. I can almost guarantee that you will rework a few areas after you launch. How people use the tools available will amaze you.
Therapy corner. I always provide this as a service to my clients. Vent, cry, or blame the software – then we dig in and fix issues.