7 Steps to Finding Software that Suits Your Needs
Over the years, our team at Scoro has advised thousands of users during their new software implementation process. And what we’ve discovered is that there are many recurring questions and problems that typically arise in the process of looking for the best software.
To make the process easier, we’ve outlined 7 steps to guide you in finding software that suits your work and business needs. Take time to go through all of these aspects – the right software solution will have a long-term benefit and accelerate your company’s growth.
1. Define the problem
You’re not looking for new software just because it might be necessary. There must be an issue you’re looking to solve, information you need to manage, or a process you’d like to automate. To find the best software, you have to start by mapping out your current problems.
Wherever the problem lies, try to define it in as much detail as possible. Look for the reasons behind the issues and think about possible solutions.
2. Map your current workflow
Every software search process starts with a complete understanding of what tools and features you need in the first place. Sounds like a no-brainer, right? Sadly, not many businesses think about this before buying and implementing new software, leading to disappointment and misunderstanding. Or worse… Research has found that 70% of digital transformations fall short of their objectives.
To avoid any negative (and costly) consequences, think about your daily workflow and make a list of all of the activities and information you have. Start by answering the following questions:
- How do you manage all your business information?
- What kind of information do you collect and store?
- Who has access to this information?
- What are your daily activities, and how do you track them?
- Are there any bottlenecks in your daily work?
- What is causing these bottlenecks?
Ask the same questions from each person or team lead in your company, scrutinizing their workflow in-depth. Ask about problematic tasks and seek their opinion on how their current workflow could be improved.
Now that you’ve mapped out your company’s current workflow make a list of all the activities you, your colleagues, and team members have. This is a surefire way to guarantee you’ve analyzed each and every important aspect of your business.
3. Find the source of and solution to your problems
Work and business software providers usually design their products around a business process or a problem. The idea of connecting your company’s issues with the current workflow is finding out which parts of your work and business need to be remedied or facilitated with new software.
To determine the initial source of and a solution to your problems, follow these steps:
- Complement the activities’ list with previously defined problems to connect your company’s current issues with daily activities. This will enable you to see what solutions you need from your new software.
- See which aspects of your work or business need to be managed with the new software and make a list of problems that the solution will need to solve.
- When looking for the best software, search for a product that addresses your business departments’ problems.
Looking for a quick time-saving fix? See these 12 Productivity Tools That Save Time.
4. Do you actually need new software?
A growing business is likely to use software for:
The reality is that you can’t expect to manage all parts of your business with one niche software solution. But you can integrate tools to automate your workflow and limit the number of different tools you use.
Depending on the type of software, one tool could also solve multiple problems. For example, project management software has features for time management as well as scheduling and automated invoicing.
When looking for the best software, evaluate your existing tools first.
There’s a high chance you’re not using your current software to its maximum capacity, meaning that the problems you need the new solution to solve could actually be solved with your current tools. Having said that, it may as well be the other way round – some activities and tasks could easily be moved to the new software and you may end up realizing that you no longer need some of your current tools.
Managing several work and business processes in one solution will make your workflow more effective as you’ll get accustomed to using one software and learn to navigate quicker instead of shuffling between different ones.
Another reason for using a minimal number of different software solutions is to enhance the way you manage important business information. Moving data between different software is time-consuming and can leave you with scattered information. Instead, focus on finding a comprehensive solution that will cover more than one aspect of your business and everyday work.
Should you decide to use multiple tools for managing different parts of your company, make sure these tools can be integrated and enable you to synchronize the information. You can ask about integrations during your new software search process by contacting the software provider.
5. Do you have any further requirements?
It’s crucial to cover every detail before buying software. Once you’ve analyzed your business’s problems, workflow, and the best solutions, think about further requirements.
Create a list of additional prerequisites, including design, user experience, integrations with other software, collaboration options, price, etc. It’s the best way to ensure that your expectations regarding the new software’s capacities are realistic and the user experience will be positive.
By now, you should have a comprehensive list of all the issues your new software should address.
6. Are you aligned with your team?
While a fancy-looking software solution may be pleasing to the eye, there’s so much more to consider when buying new tools. It’s important to maintain the support of your team throughout the decision-making and software implementation process and ensure that they benefit from the new solution.
The problem with comprehensive software providers is that often, their all-in-one product is too difficult to use. This leads to resistance to using the new software, and your team might end up using the old tools and spreadsheets for organizing their workflow and data, leaving you with an expensive solution that nobody uses.
To avoid that, have a meeting with all managers and team leads in the company and ask them about their team’s main concerns about implementing new software. Also, introduce them to the list of problems you’ve mapped out and ask their opinion on finding the right software.
Asking for everyone’s opinion will help you spearhead the problem of employees feeling like key decisions were made by senior management without considering each department’s actual needs. Furthermore, it’ll ensure that you find software that responds to everyone’s expectations.
7. How much are you willing to spend?
Just like there are no free lunches, no quality software solution is offered for a marginal fee. Before looking for new software, establish a clear budget. Think about the problems it will solve – how much is this benefit worth to your company?
Plan your software-related expenses in a monthly budget as business solution providers frequently charge monthly. Also, consider onboarding fees and other expenses related to the implementation process, including training costs and time spent on getting used to the new software.
As you can see, there will be heaps of questions to answer before choosing the right software solution for your company. But answering those questions, making time to analyze your current workflows, and mapping out your requirements – although time-consuming and demanding – is bound to benefit you, your employees, and your business in the long run.
Worried you might miss something when choosing new software? We’ve put together this handy work management software checklist to make your decision-making process easier.