There are many factors that will determine whether the implementation of your small business workflow software is a success. Obviously, a well-planned selection process and adequate training prior to launch are integral to a successful roll out. However, one important step that often gets overlooked in the implementation process is nominating a champion for the software.
So what do I mean by ‘champion’?
The champion gets behind the approval workflow software and encourages other stakeholders to see its benefits. While the project owner and champion might well be the same person, this doesn’t have to be the case. Here’s the difference: while the project owner is responsible for selecting, delivering and implementing the approval workflow software, the champion genuinely believes the solution will significantly improve operations. When it comes to tips for creating effective workflow software, a strong champion is possibly one of the best, giving your software a chance to be adopted and thrive.
What makes a good champion?
A good champion is an open and vocal communicator who will make sure that, in the preliminary stages, stakeholders are brought into the selection process. A perfect example of this was demonstrated by Jo Giles, the Production Manager at Archibald / Williams. Giles was tasked with selecting and implementing approval workflow software across the ad agency over a year ago. In the selection process, Giles invited all stakeholders to provide input on the software requirements. In doing so, she ascertained that studio really wanted a DAM feature while Account Management wanted easy access to briefs and the ability to share project documents with clients. These were critical requirements that might have otherwise been missed if Giles had not included other departments in the decision making process.
But Giles didn’t stop there. A true champion sees the selection and implementation process all the way through. When training was completed and the approval workflow software was rolled out, Giles made time to sit with any individuals who were struggling to get their heads around the solution and guided them. By doing so, she made sure that the uptake of the software was 100%. Remember, you invest time and money into implementing approval workflow software, so you don’t want people reverting to their old ways.
How do you know you have the right champion?
A best champion for your management software is vocal and keen to get the message out there about how this new change is going to improve your work life. The right champion isn’t going to be put out by answering questions. In fact, like Giles, she or he will approach people to see if they are experiencing any problems with the software and try to help. In the case of Archibald / Williams, the approval workflow software was successfully rolled out across the whole agency in just six weeks. TThis kind of success is telling that you have not only selected the right approval workflow software for your small business but that you have also chosen the right champion.
Who should you nominate as the champion for your approval workflow software?
Remember, a champion is the person who cares most about the outcomes of implementing the approval workflow software. So while the product owner might be someone in studio, if the software has been mandated by a client then maybe the champion is someone in Account Management. Who is pushing for change? Who is motivated to be that change and see it through? Listen and observe, and I suspect you’ll have your champion in no time at all.
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