Sometimes it can feel like climbing a mountain to get new software approved. Maybe you have a boss that is famously old school or co-workers that like the software they have now, but you know that you can improve things.
Objects at rest stay at rest.
Inertia is a powerful force. When you introduce the idea of new software, you might hear things like, “But we’ve used this for so long,” “But we all know how to use this.” It is important to know that any kind of change is often scary and hard. Humans like comfort zones for a reason – it keeps us safe after all.
Fig. 1 Does it look familiar?
But all hope is not lost. Your enthusiasm for your software solution can break through that. It is important to approach the situation with the right mindset. You can get more flies with honey and you can get more ‘yeses’ with a positive approach to your pitch.
6 easy tips to get new software approved:
Here are a few tips to craft the right message to get new software approved and make sure that your boss is your biggest advocate.
Can you do this? Be realistic.
Make sure you can handle it. Honestly. Are you caught up on your current projects? Do you have the time you need to be the lead, the go-to, the problem solver? Do you feel capable to be in charge of this? If the answer is no, then it’s important for you to recognize it before your boss does. If you don’t have the time, you should take some time to do what you need to do to be in the right place to tackle a big project. Your boss will appreciate that you can manage yourself and your time and will be more receptive to your ideas.
Fig. Are you really, really sure you can handle it?
Identify current pain points.
The suggestion for new software needs to come from a need within the company or else, what is the point of the new software? It’s important to be really clear about what issues you see within the organization. Are your co-workers bogged down in emails, which doesn’t give them time to do any higher-level work? Your software pitch should address these pain points.
Show the value.
You might know how the software will help the company, but don’t make your boss do the work to figure it out too. This is the trick to marketing – speaking in a language that makes the value of the thing perfectly clear to the audience. And in this situation? You need to market yourself and your software solution. Laying out the arguments clearly and in terms as concrete as possible will go a long way to getting your boss on the same page as you.
Fig. 3 This is the reaction you should avoid. Have your arguments ready!
Instead of saying, “This solution will make it easier for co-workers to collaborate,” say, “This new software will reduce the dependence on email by 25% which costs the company an estimated $100,000 in lost productivity each year.” Suddenly, your boss has 100,000 clear reasons to say yes to your proposal. (And if you are struggling with email overload, consider emplo.)
Get into the mind of your boss. What might her concerns be? Is it the expense? Maybe she thinks it will strain already overburdened employees? Is it security? Confidentiality? If you can anticipate what objections your boss might raise before she does, you’ll begin to illustrate how you’ve thought about this solution.
Another thing you’ll want to do is to address any obstacles that might arise during the software rollout. Pick three things that might go wrong and explain your plan to address them (or better, prevent them). You want to show that not only do you have a brilliant idea, but you have a brilliant plan for execution.
It might not just be about your boss.
It’s important to know whether there might be others that you need to get buy-in to get new software approved as well whether that’s co-workers that like the software they have, key stakeholders, or maybe even a key higher-up like the CEO. If you know there are some people that might be crucial in regard to whether your software is adopted or not, it can be helpful to scope out their thoughts before you make the big pitch to your boss. But tread carefully – you don’t want your boss to think that everyone knows about this idea before she does or it could stop you in your tracks.
Fig. 4 Persuade your colleagues to back you up!
Keep it positive.
Don’t throw the old software under the bus. It was the right solution at the time and everything builds on itself. If there are still people in the office that were involved in that selection, they’ll appreciate your respect for legacy software. It is important to recognize that your software solution will require effort from everyone involved to adopt the new technology and to have respect for that. It is a team collaboration, at the end of the day and it will only succeed with team buy-in.
Make it visual.
Consider making a PowerPoint or other visual aids to help you during your pitch. They say a picture is worth a thousand words for a reason – it’s the truth. Humans are visual creatures. When people only hear information, they only tend to remember about 10% of that information three days later. However, if an image is paired with the same information, people remembered about 65% of the information three days later. This can be powerful for the time your boss takes to mull your idea over if she can remember more of your arguments for why your software will help the organization.
It is possible to get new software approved when you approach the situation with the right mindset – remember that you’re asking other people to do extra work for you, be respectful of the current solution, and frame your ideas in a way that removes as much friction as possible for your boss so the only possible answer they can give is ‘yes’.
Do you have tips to get new software approved? Let us know in the comments.