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Four steps for successful software as a service (SaaS) implementation – Step 2

Step 2 – Motivation to change

You’re clear on the return on investment for purchasing a SaaS product licence. However, with so much else going on at work, it’s difficult to see how you’ll find the time and headspace to implement it successfully. Even though you know implementing it will help create that space in the future. Juggling the day job and change can be tough. Sound familiar?

We have this conversation regularly with new clients who are thinking through the implementation process to bring insightQ into their organisations, to underpin their quality assurance and improvement processes. There’s never a right time to bring in new ways working. There’ll always be day to day pressures that keep us rooted in the status quo.

Combining our years of change management consultancy with the experiences of our clients, here is a series of short blogs covering the steps that will help you to plan for success and make that ROI a reality.

In our last post, we focused on Step 1: Raising Awareness.

This week we’ll focus on Step 2: Motivating people to support the change.

If you’re an insightQ client you can access the templates in the Store and Share modules. If anyone else would like them to use for other SaaS implementation projects, please email hello@mesma.co.uk and we’ll send them to you.

The melting pot of motivation

We started to lean towards this second step in our last post by considering the ‘what’s in for me?’ for each of our stakeholder groups. The personal ‘why’? Now, let’s put some thought into how we motivate people to move forward with the software implementation in this second step.

There are many things that go into the melting pot of our motivation to try something new. For example, our reference point of how the organisation has previously implemented software, what’s going on for us personally at any given time, how we feel about our job, our boss and many other factors. As a manager, you certainly can’t control all of these factors, but you can be mindful of them, recognising what you aim to achieve this time, isn’t being done in a vacuum. Your messaging and approach need to adjust.

I like Dan Pink’s simple but effective position on motivation. The model he puts forward (built on many other theories) suggests that our motivation, once the hygiene factors are dealt with, comes from being given the autonomy to act, the ability to master what we do and a clear link – that golden thread – of having a clear purpose, connecting us to the wider organisation.

So far so theory.

Creating a leading group to put this into practice

In order to think through how we support people to see how the software implementation can help their autonomy – give me space to do my job – and mastery – help me to be at my best – we need the right people leading the implementation.

Who are the right people to be part of this leading group? A senior sponsor is wise. They help outline the purpose of the software implementation and make decisions where needed. I rarely find change efforts work without that guiding role in place from the outset.

Equally importantly are the user champions who can work operationally with the main group of stakeholders. This might be one person or many depending on the size and shape of your organisation. They are critical to help to really get under the skin of the ‘what’s in it for me?’, supporting people to think through the practical ways in which they can move to the new way of working and providing guidance where needed. Implementing any change – software or not – is a human pursuit.

Consistency and commitment

Lastly, your wider group of team members play a crucial role in any software implementation. Change relies on people not technology for it to be successful. It’s less likely to be successful with a quick email and a bit of button-pressing training.

There are lots of ways you can involve people from the outset; testing, developing training for others, planning the administrative side of the change, regular feedback suggestions with you and the supplier. It’s easier but riskier to only engage the early adopters when doing this; those people who always put their hand up to embrace change. Think about the ways you can involve those who may be more reticent but are equally important to achieving the return on your investment from the purchase.

The final point for this post. Be consistent in your communication and deliver what you commit to deliver for example responding to questions or concerns raised in a timely way.

Equally, think about how you can gain commitment from team members to the new way of working as you progress. Nudging people towards a change is far more effective than trying to do too much in one go.

Step 2 Actions

Consider the following:

How does the software support people to achieve autonomy or mastery in their role? How best can we position this in our communication effort?

Who is our senior sponsor for the implementation? What role do we need them to play to help the roll-out be successful?

Who is/ are our user champion(s)? What role do we want them to play? Who will we oversee it?

What other ways can we involve the team in the roll-out? Who will oversee this?

Who else needs to be in our leading

What ideas do we have for gradually building up people’s commitment to the change?

And finally, the simple but important stuff; identify the risks and issues with the implementation and keep them under review with the sponsor, taking action where needed.

If you’re an insightQ client you can access the templates in the Store and Share modules. If anyone else would like them to use for other SaaS implementation projects, please email hello@mesma.co.uk and we’ll send them to you.


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