Last updated on February 3rd, 2020 at 02:00 am
Humans are not wired to love change. Our minds and bodies view change as a possible threat. When change happens in the way we do our jobs, it’s even more stressful.
One of the most disruptive changes for a company to weather is the implementation of a new contract management software system.
Your job as a manager is to help your team transition through change. Here are several tactics that will help you and your team successfully make the change and get the most out of the new contract management software.
Explain the Reasons Change is Needed
Don’t surprise your team with a new software system when they come into work. You need to take the time to explain that a change is coming and explain why the change is necessary.
Often when people hear words like software and automation, they immediately expect they are going to be replaced by a computer.
Let your team know that contract management software will help them be even better at their jobs. It automates tedious, repetitive tasks like filing and document control so they can focus on actually managing contracts.
Include the Right People in the Onboarding Process
Contract management software isn’t something everyone can use right out of the box. Your vendor will have an onboarding process. You want to make sure that the right people are involved in the onboarding process.
In larger organizations, not everyone who will use the software can be in on the onboarding process. You will want to make sure you have the leader of your contract management team, one or two key members of the contract management team, and one or two IT team members involved in the onboarding process.
Sometimes companies leave onboarding up to IT, but this is a mistake. The more involved the people who will be using the software every day are with the onboarding process, the smoother the transition will be.
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Provide Adequate Training
One common reason new software roll-outs fail in organizations is that the lower-level employees never get adequate training.
The training received by management in the onboarding process is not enough. You cannot assume that the managers will teach everyone else.
You need a formal training system for everyone who will be using the contract management software.
This will show all of your employees that you value them enough to train them, and it reinforces how critical the new software is to the company.
Disable Old Systems
Once everyone is competent in the new contract management software, you need to disable the old system. Many people will always take the path of least resistance. If they can get by using a system they are familiar with instead of a new software system—they will use the old, comfortable system.
Once everyone is trained, using the new software must be mandatory, or else your contract management department will devolve into chaos.
Report on Progress and Results
You started the process by explaining why the company needed a new contract management software system. You need to close the loop by reporting back after the new system is up and running.
Compliment the team on a smooth transition. Report on the improvements and results during the first few months of using the new system. This will help boost confidence and smooth acceptance of the new software.