What is the Best Way to Introduce New Software?
When introducing new tools into the workplace, it is common to face reluctance and resistance. People naturally want to stick with what they know, oftentimes out of complacency, but sometimes out of fear.
As the decision-maker, you know that purchasing a robust new construction estimating software—like our flagship DESTINI Estimator—will be beneficial in the long run. It will streamline your process, make your estimates more accurate, and improve your internal and external relationships. Overall, it will make your team more efficient and increase everyone’s productivity and positive engagement in their work.
New software is a good thing!
However, you do need buy-in from those who will be using it. Before introducing the new software, follow these six steps for it to go smoothly:
- Be transparent about your decision to purchase the new estimating system and give the precon team a high-level overview of the software’s features.
- Highlight the positive benefits of these features. For example, not having to spend countless hours searching down information, i.e. you get to leave work at 5!
- Provide training on the new platform. Carve out time and space for your team to learn and feel comfortable with using the software.
- Clearly define expectations of when everyone will be fully transitioned to the new platform and will stop using the old way of estimating.
- Develop a system to gather estimators’ feedback and issues with the new software. Beck Technology updates and develops new features and products based on users’ needs.
- Encourage employees to continue their training by registering for the software vendor’s webinars and subscribe to their blog.
When you choose to partner with Beck Technology as your preconstruction software vendor, you will get a detailed and customized implementation plan; however, you will probably have questions after the set-up is complete. Don’t worry we won’t abandon you. In fact, you’ll have a team dedicated to providing support when and where you need it.
Many of our customers handle their own implementation, taking on burdensome tasks like admin rights, installation, and training. At Beck Tech, though, we believe that estimators have enough on their plate as it is. For software the size and scope of DESTINI Estimator, self-led implementation often ends up translating to no implementation as other projects take priority.
After 25 years in business, we’ve learned a thing or two, not just implementing new software for our own needs, but through maintaining close relationships with our customers and learning from what’s worked and what hasn’t once they’ve been fully implemented. If you are considering new construction estimating software and worried about rolling it out once you’ve negotiated a deal and made your final purchase, the following articles will help guide you in the best practices when introducing new software.
Consider a Pilot Project
In this webinar, Doug Maiden, Manager of Professional Services at Beck Technology, shares his top six tips for a smooth implementation of new software.
We highly encourage clients to perform what we call a pilot project before introducing the software companywide. Draft a few tech-savvy teammates who will be working in the new software to work on an existing project or create a new one to learn how the system works. After learning the new software, they will be able to help you create a positive rollout, by championing the new system and will be able to help others. The pilot project will also reveal if adjustments need to be made for rolling it out to everyone.
Don’t Skip Training Sessions
Getting a bid out the door takes priority; however, Beck Technology’s Services team will schedule training sessions each month, allow for everyone to sign up for and take training classes. In these sessions you will be able to give critical feedback, the progress the team is making in using the software, the setbacks, and issues you are having, and ask questions. Training sessions are a good way for people who aren’t as vocal to get hands-on with the software and get answers to issues.
Designate an Implementation Lead
When Haselden Construction decided to purchase DESTINI Estimator construction estimating software, a chief estimator recruited a few internal people to be implementation leads. Learn how internal implementation leads kept rolling out new software at Haselden pain-free in this webinar.
Because Estimator is innovative and unlike Excel or outdated software used for estimating, it will take a learning curve. Your implementation leads will help set a firm foundation in the new software that will fit the needs of the entire team. Haselden found success by having honest discussions with the Estimator user group, field team, management, IT, and accounting.
Create a Rollout Plan and Follow Through
This article details the importance of a rollout plan and how you can get started.
If new software just sits on the shelf, you’ll never see your return on investment, which can be dramatic when your estimates are created accurately, efficiently, cohesively, and on time. Once implementation is complete, it can be a disaster to pull the trigger too quickly and require everyone to ditch Excel and start working in the new platform the day it's installed.
Support Your Team
In How to Support Your Team and Maintain Productivity During a Software Rollout, you’ll learn four ways to be successful at keeping your employees stress-free and productive during new software implementation.
Learning new software. Working in archaic systems on old projects to meet deadlines. Chasing down new projects. Transitioning data from one old system to a new one. It’s a lot. Employees need to know their work won’t suffer during this time. Management needs to understand the difficulty the team faces during periods of transition.
Track Your Team’s Performance
We developed a five-step change management structure based on Harold Leavitt’s 1964 paper “Applied Organization Change in Industry” to help you embrace change.
After your preconstruction team has had a chance to use DESTINI Estimator, it is important to show them how well the software works. Track bid wins, time and process efficiencies, and utilization will demonstrate the positive impact the software has on your team. Being able to recognize improvements will lead to additional gains for the business as well as the estimating process.
Acknowledge the Need for Change
Published in Design Cost Data (DCD) Magazine and on Beck Technology’s blog, President Stewart Carroll writes about four ways to get technology to work for you.
Technology isn’t just about software—it’s also about the people behind it. We fully believe our products are revolutionizing the construction industry. From the top down to the bottom up, you need buy-in from junior estimators to C-Suite. Stewart writes, “…alignment between the team and the team’s leadership is vital. Change that will truly last requires buy-in from both parties, and you need champions who understand the day-to-day challenges as well as leaders who will support the change and hold everyone accountable.”
If you are ready to take the leap to help increase your team’s productivity, efficiency, and happiness and win more bids, click the button below.