Collaboration software is revolutionising the way businesses capture, analyse, and share information, improving efficiencies and saving costs across departments. Effective use of collaboration software has helped businesses to improve employee engagement and produce more innovative solutions to business challenges. Implementing collaboration software throughout your business is a huge undertaking and one that requires planning, testing and a strategy for roll out execution. Whilst the benefits of utilising collaboration software make it highly attractive for businesses, getting it wrong can have huge consequences for the investment you’ve made in both time and money. Below we’ve highlighted some common mistakes people make with collaboration software, so you can be sure you get it right first time, and reap the full benefits of the software in your business.
Clarify your needs
Expecting your collaboration software to improve every aspect of your business, or relying on it to replace tried and tested procedures already positively impacting your business, is totally counterproductive. Your new software should help to continually improve communication throughout your business, increasing the efficiencies of working practices. From project management software to task management tools and the creation of an internal social network, your collaboration software should help you and your team find better ways of sharing and utilising information. Your software should not be a blanket solution to all challenges your business faces, nor should it be used to improve every business process.
Before implementing your collaboration software, you should set out some clear goals and objectives that you want to achieve and a realistic timeframe in which you are going to do so. Measure the success of your software against realistic objectives relevant to your business, not an expectation that your collaboration software will solve all business challenges.
Failing to plan for the future
Your collaboration software will go through a period of implementation, initial training for the team, then development as it’s embedded into your business. Utilising your software simply to solve business challenges you and your team currently face is another common mistake people make when implementing collaboration software. You need to consider the goals of the business over the next 12 months, and the demands your team will place on your software over that period. Are you planning to grow your team? Open offices in new markets? Take on new clients? Or work in new sectors? All successful businesses should be working on a 3-5 year plan geared towards the growth of the company. Clarify exactly how your software can help you to get there, taking into consideration the evolving requirements you will have as your business grows.
Consider how to use your software to integrate the goals of your different departments, so that your business as a whole is working collaboratively to utilise your software. You should be thinking of the big picture, strategic objectives that over the next 12 months and 3-5 years your software could help you to achieve before you go anywhere near implementation.
Forgetting to consult the users
Whilst you are probably looking to implement your collaboration software to help improve your business efficiencies, and so want to drive the process forward quickly, you should take the time to gather all the relevant information before you start. This means consulting the people the software is ultimately meant to benefit: your employees. Listen to the challenges and frustrations your teams face on a daily basis, then ask your software provider how their product can help the teams to overcome them. Before you get carried away with all the capabilities of the software, you need to understand how the programme will work for the people using it. It needs to help to streamline their workloads and quickly become a positive part of their day. If your employees find your software difficult to use, it could not only negatively impact productivity but actually have a detrimental impact on the efficiencies and operation of your business.
Focus first on usability, taking into account the amount of training time required for employees to competently use the system. Secondly, you need to look at opportunities for accessibility, especially with the growing move towards a remote digital workspace – can your employees access the software off-site? Is this a requirement of their job role? Can they effectively utilise the software on several different devices and what does it mean for your team if they can? Lastly, you need to take feedback from the day-to-day users of your systems, so you maximise the return on your investment, as you continually develop it to better perform for your business.
If you’re considering implementing intranet software into your business, speak to Claromentis today to understand how we can help you to achieve your business goals. From initial planning to support throughout implementation, we’ll ensure your team is supported to become competent users of our software, driving forward your business initiatives. For more information about our intranet software, call 0800 409 6101 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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