These days, it seems like every week we run across some new and trendy app that will revolutionize our MSP business and take us to the promised land. If you’re like most, there is no shortage of great ideas and opportunities out there, but the problem always comes down to execution.
Too often we end up with poorly executed implementations of these new tools which end up costing us valuable time out of our businesses. For this reason, it’s important to consider how you roll out these apps before deciding to adopt that shiny new technology. Here are our top 5 strategies.
1. Make sure the app delivers value
First things first, stop and ask the question, “What is the value provided by the app, and does it make sense to implement this now, later, or never?”
The app or tool in question may be incredibly cutting-edge, but is it solving:
- A business requirement
- A brand requirement
- A culture requirement
One of the best tools you can use to help determine this is a Value Graph or Value Complexity Matrix. Commonly used in lean business management, the idea is that you simply plot the amount of effort to implement against the impact it will provide. In essence, we are looking for the “gems” or “low hanging fruit” which are high value, low effort initiatives.
Until you’ve exhausted these “gems”, avoid other projects which can completely derail your efforts.
Think: picking up the paper clip versus moving a mountain. Entrepreneurs, in particular, are renowned for purchasing tools which never get used or adopted completely. We affectionately refer to this as “Shiny Object Syndrome”.
2. Get your management team excited about the app
So, you found the perfect app and it’s going to change your world. Congratulations! Before we get too excited though, keep in mind that the number one reason software implementations fail is lack of buy-in. You need to address the human aspect of change, specifically, that it stresses most people out.
A great way to tackle this is to engage a few members of your team in a short private demo, with the caveat that while this is an exciting tool, you really want to engage their feedback before committing to it. If the app is as good as you say it is, the only objection you may get is around finding the right time to implement. If you can’t get the management team to buy into the vision then perhaps it’s not the right tool for the business.
3. Announce the app and generate buzz
Once you have committed to the implementation of the app, make a special announcement to the entire organization around this tool. If you can, delivering the message to the people in-person during an “all hands” meeting (or similar) is a great way to ensure that you cover off:
- Why you’re implementing the app
- The value you hope the app will bring to the business
- Gather any feedback from the team
- Answer any questions surrounding the tool
4. Develop a roll-out plan for the new app
Depending on the complexity of the app, your training and documentation requirements may vary. Be realistic about the roll-out schedule and milestones, and ensure that the entire team has the necessary information on how to access and use the core functions of the app.
Keep in mind that it will take some time for everyone to be familiar with the app and make it part of their daily workflow. Communicate this plan, and build the documentation before launching the app.
5. Train your app Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) prior to launch
Never underestimate the power of having SMEs on your app inside of the business. Consider building a small “SWAT” team of application experts who will be able to show the others in the business how to execute the most common tasks. This doesn’t have to be management-level staff, it can be anyone who expresses the most interest.
Following these steps should help ease the transition of a new app into your MSP. Always be on the lookout for new apps, they could be the future gold mines of business success.
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