Skip to main content

You Gain by Using Software, Not Just Owning It

January is the time for New Years resolutions and for planning new initiatives.  The gym is getting crowded with new members who have vowed to exercise more.  Others are trying out new treadmills, stationary bikes, and elliptical trainers at home. Unfortunately, many of them will not stick with their plans more than a few weeks, as they become bored or other priorities take over.

This reminds me that business software requires long term commitment, and hard work to drive adoption in order to gain the benefits of automation.  Here are five tips from my company's clients who are most successful in using the software that they buy:

  1. Start at the top. Executive sponsorship and use by the appropriate leadership goes a long way toward driving software adoption.
  2. Keep training after your system goes live. It is hard to absorb too much training at one time, and users can hone their skills if provided training weeks and months after initial training sessions. New employees will also need training, so plan for how you can help them become proficient.
  3. Adapt based on user feedback. Users are likely to find new ways to make the system more effective after they have a chance to use it in production.  Help these suggestions make their way into the product so it can improve over time. 
  4. Learn from your best users. Every organization has users that go further and learn tricks and shortcuts that make them more productive.  Find a way for these users to share their techniques with others.  Lunch and learn sessions can be helpful.
  5. Establish governance over the system and your data. You need processes and people who can maintain the quality of your data and allow your system to improve over time.  A change control board or similar group should be created before you go live.
Business software often brings new approaches and workflows which can make your organization more efficient and effective.  Mindfulness is essential in order to make the most of these benefits, to avoid making your software end up like the treadmill in the basement which is used to hang laundry. 


Popular posts from this blog

The DATA Act Driving Grant Management Automation

The Digital Accountability and Transparency Act enacted in May 2014 calls for making spending data available in open, standardized formats to be published online.  It is a continuation of transparency initiatives and lessons learned with experiences such as grants.gov, the 2009 economic stimulus under the Recovery Act and the spending site USASpending.gov.

Government grantees will have significant new administrative responsibilities.  Many organizations that were tracking grants in spreadsheets or documents will have to adopt more sophisticated automated grant management systems such as Microsoft Grants Manager to keep up with reporting rules.

For profit companies will lose some privacy as a result of this law.  Grant recipients will be required to disclose information including officer salaries.

Continued improvements to publishing grant opportunities such as grants.gov may make it easier to find grants. These reforms together are designed to improve the effectiveness of grant prog…

Dynamics 365 for Government Contractors (GovCon) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

One of InfoStrat's most popular solutions is Dynamics 365 for Government Contractors (GovCon).



Here are some answers to frequently asked question on this solution:
Can I add new fields to the solution?  -- Yes, the solution is fully customizable and you can add your own new fields to any form, view or report.Does Dynamics 365 for GovCon work on mobile devices?  -- Yes, Microsoft offers mobile apps for all the most popular platforms including iPhone, iPad, and Android phone and tablets.Does Dynamics 365 connect with bid data systems such as Deltek and Onvia?  -- Some information services, such as Onvia, offer integration with Dynamics 365.  Others require third party solutions such as the InfoStrat integration with Deltek GovWin IQ.What do customers typically customize for their unique requirements? -- Not all contractors follow the same steps in the capture process.  Most clients will tailor the business process to add or remove steps in order to match their sales methodology.  Of…

Understanding Microsoft AppSource and Dynamics 365

On July 6, 2016, Microsoft announced the introduction of Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft AppSource. Scheduled to be available in the fall of 2016, Microsoft Dynamics 365 will allow new ways for customers to consume Microsoft's current CRM and ERP cloud offerings based on business functions such as financials, field service, sales, operations, marketing, project management and customer service.

Microsoft AppSource will be an online store for cloud services from Microsoft and third party providers such as InfoStrat and other Microsoft partners.  Microsoft expects to offer more than 200 business SaaS apps, add-ins and content packs when AppSource launches.



The announcement garnered quite a bit of response in the press, including the Wall Street Journal and Forbes
Although all the details of Dynamics 365 have not been announced, the essence is bundling and un-bundling of products and features from Microsoft's extensive Dynamics catalog.  Microsoft is enhancing the integrat…