Did you know that you’ve got an often-untapped resource in your organisation, ready to give your bespoke software development the competitive edge? For many business owners and managers, employees fly under the radar during the building and implementation of new bespoke systems, especially now that in 2020 the cloud software market is forever growing. Inviting their input could strengthen the end product more than you realise which is beneficial to not only your business, but also the client and your employees.
Kaleida has been working with clients on their IT and bespoke software solutions for over twenty years and we’ve become well-versed at helping clients to navigate the processes involved with introducing new bespoke software, both in the cloud and in-house.
What many are not initially aware of, however, is that their employees often hold the key to making any new software a success and that what their teams can contribute is invaluable to the end product’s usefulness.
Why Should I Involve Employees in the Implementation of New Software?
Drawing from Kaleida’s experience in bespoke software development, here are four reasons for why employee contributions are key to successful software development and implementation – as well as how they can be involved.
1. Keeping Employees on Side
For management, welcoming new bespoke software to the business is an exciting prospect. It can help the company grow, better service clients and tackle industry issues; putting them ahead of competitors.
Looking further down the chain, it’s not always a similar story. For employees, new software or systems inevitably means change and understandably; not everybody is comfortable with this.
If employees are resisting change then managers have an additional challenge to contend with, so it needs to be addressed before any work begins. By briefing employees at all levels with the development of the new bespoke software, you’re offering individuals a chance to understand what’s happening and providing them with time to adjust.
What’s more, you’ll also be cementing support from all corners, making for a much smoother transition once the software is implemented.
2. A Wider View
As they build bespoke software for clients, our developers return frequently for feedback. For us, it helps to clarify ideas and ensure we’re on the right track; for the client, there’s an opportunity to make changes or provide additional information.
A more valuable means of gathering these insights would be 360-degree feedback across the organisation. By gathering opinions and suggestions from a number of different sources in different positions and at different levels, the feedback process becomes far more valuable.
Part of this value comes from a much more in-depth look at day-to-day processes undertaken by teams, which helps developers to understand the client and their challenges in greater detail – pre-empting issues and making bespoke software live up to its name.
In addition, the software is opened up to fresh new ideas and insights which have the potential to make finished product even more useful to the organisation. This approach ensures that the software will improve and enhance productivity saving your business time and money in the process.
3. Align Culture with Software Goals
To draw from employees’ feelings, knowledge and insight is to draw from the business’ culture itself. As culture becomes an increasingly essential asset, it makes sense to ensure any bespoke software is compatible.
In this sense, the employees who live by the company culture are in a unique position to highlight where the software does and doesn’t fit into what has already been established. Ignoring this insight could have disastrous effects.
Eventually, the discrepancies between culture and software will force employees to question the company’s established values, causing confusion and unhappiness. Contemplating this challenge early on, however, promises a more cohesive relationship between employees, culture and software – all to the benefit of the business.
4. Built to Succeed
Bespoke software carries in its name the promise that the product has been built to address challenges and operations specific to the organisation and its industry – it’s unique when compared to off-the-shelf software.
Ensuring this is the case requires employees to be included in the process from day one. With their input, fewer additional features will need to be added as work continues, and the software’s priorities can be put in place early on leaving the development team to work confidently.
Meanwhile, the business can enjoy a more trusting relationship between management and employees, with individuals feeling both listened to and taken care of. The end result is a product – and a relationship – that’s built to succeed.
5. Earlier Buy In
When implementing software through the help and consultation of your employees, it enables them to ensure that they full understand and accept the changes long before they would have if this was something that was just suddenly sprung on them. To allow employees to participate in the process, it means that they get hands on experience in building the solution for themselves – as a result when the bespoke software has been developed and implemented they are already expecting it – reducing slow adoption and uptake.
How Can Kaleida Help?
To keep our bespoke software development on track and successful, Kaleida have been using the “agile” methodology for some time now, easily proving its worth. One of the benefits of agile is that it allows our clients to invite employee feedback without slowing down the development process.
Before working begins, consulting with employees means that clients can come to the planning stage with priorities that reflect challenges at every level. From here, we use a sprint-cycle format that provides ample opportunity for feedback, changes, and reflection. This is made easier with agile’s key objective: to continuously provide (and build upon) a working model, which can be tested at different stages.
Combining this methodology with our extensive bespoke software development experience has enabled us to make the entire process a collaborative one and if you’re considering introducing bespoke software into your organisation, I recommend following the same format.
After all, in your employees you have an invaluable and untapped resource unique to you that your competitors don’t have. So invite their input into the process and watch what happens – you’ll be pleasantly surprised.