Here’s a scary number: Approximately 80% of software deployments are considered failures. Either they aren’t adopted properly, or fail to return on their investment.
There are many reasons. Oftentimes, a company will deploy a new operating system without training. The users don't know how to use the new applications. Help Desk calls can skyrocket and eventually, costs can start creeping up.
But it’s not just the unprepared company that can be thrown into chaos by a new software deployment. Sometimes, companies who diligently prepare for and plan out their deployments can fall victim.
Despite good intentions, here are a few reasons why an organization’s deployment might fail – and what you can do to fix it:
Reason #1: A disconnect between IT and Training. Sometimes IT lingo can be confusing to trainers and downright baffling to users. If IT is in charge of training for a software deployment, training can be too technical. Conversely, if the Training Department is in charge of training for a software deployment, training can be too vague and not technical enough.
The key is cooperation and collaboration between the two to combine departmental know-how and develop effective strategies for all users – no matter what their technology skill level.
Reason #2: Relying exclusively on static, instructor-based training. While instructor-led training can provide valuable tips and tricks, it’s most likely that users are going to retain only a tiny fraction of what they’ve learned. To get the full value from a software deployment, learning needs to be an adaptable and ongoing process.
Because learning new software is primarily task-based, it is essential that users can rely on on-demand resources such as Quick Reference Guides, online training, and experiential learning – that is, working through training challenges through employee collaboration.
Reason #3: Assuming that Productivity means that people are using the software like they always have. Your organization probably migrated in the first place so that you could become more up-to-date and productive.
The unfortunate truth is that if your users aren’t using an application’s new features, then you aren’t getting a good return on your investment. Your users are going to be using the new version the same way as the old version - if they don’t learn how to use it better.
Reason #4: You regard training as an afterthought. Yes, training is absolutely part of your overall plan, but for a lot of organizations resolving bugs related to a deployment are the primary hurdle for the IT team.
If this is the case, you are in the same situation as many organizations because an estimated 80% of the cost of any new technology initiative is associated with fixing technical problems. While the technical aspects of your deployment are extremely important, it critical to develop a training plan that works for your users -- so you optimize your productivity and reap a return on your software investment.