Selecting the right software – Part 1/10 – People, Process, then Technology

November 03 , 2017

Let’s face it, selecting software for your business may not be sexy.  It is, however, important.  Software can really unlock some efficiencies, reduce costs and allow you to visualize what is going well and what is not.  We’re going to try to have some fun tackling this topic in our next 10 blog entries to help you pick the best software/apps for your organization.  While we at Plaidypus build custom-crafted software and mobile apps out in the wild, we’re going to put that aside for now and simply have a holistic discussion about how to select software; keeping the good and discarding the bad & ugly.

For the first foray into the topic, I want talk about what we believe to be one of the core foundations of selecting software: the people. When I first started my first business, providing short-term, furnished housing for medical students, I had to find software to help me with my book keeping, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and scheduling/managing tenants.  I bought the accounting software off-the-shelf, the CRM was an open source tool that I downloaded and I had the scheduling software custom-made.  I wish I could tell you it all went well.

Selecting Software - People, Process then Technology

What was the main thing I did wrong?  I bought technology, developed my processes around it and then introduced it to myself and employees for use.  What’s wrong with that?  Well, its 100% exactly backwards.

Here is what I should have done instead:

  • Spoken with my employees regarding wanting to select software for the areas I needed it for
  • Determined my employees’ willingness to adopt technology to do their job
  • Engage my employees in developing the process that best suited the business and their position
  • Find and trial software that fits our culture and our process

There is rarely a rush to go out and select a piece of software for your business.  Give your team some ownership in that endeavor.   I think as business owners, we overlook the fact that software is only as good as the data that we enter into it.  If you want your employees to enter that data, make sure they are fully invested in the process and ultimately the software itself.