Selecting new business software can be a time-consuming process. So, apart from using Axia’s RFI/RFP Templates and software selection services to save you time – here are 30 practical tips you can use right away – to save time.

LEARN ALL YOU CAN - BEFORE YOU START

1. If this is your first time selecting new software, or you’ve only done it infrequently, you are likely to be slower and require more time than someone who does this regularly. So research and learn as much as you can about each step of the software system process. 2. Learn about the technology used in the latest software systems. 3. Learn the terminology and jargon. Specifically, learn the jargon used by individual vendors / developers for their own software systems. 4. Use Axia’s Useful Resources for software selection guidance, tips and downloadable tools. PREPARE A CLEAR PROJECT PLAN 5. Prepare a project plan for the software selection process, so you know your time scales, who is doing what, where, when, milestones and deliverables. 6. As work can fill the time available, set a realistic time scale for the software selection process. 7. Question tasks as to their purpose / whether they really are necessary. 8. Delegate where possible, to spread the workload. GET THE RIGHT PEOPLE INVOLVED 9. Involve people who have had previous experience of software selection, to reduce the learning curve. 10. Use your best people in your software selection process. They will almost certainly be busy, so you will have to free up some or all of their time to work on the project. Consider reallocating their day-to-day work or hiring temporary staff to help. 11. Selection team members need to be familiar with the overall business structure, operational processes, systems, interfaces. 12. Use the knowledge and expertise you already have internally within your organisation. If you have a colleague or employee who has previously worked with a system that you are interested in - involve them - even if only to find out their views of the system /software. 13. Bring in people with the right specialist skills at the right time, rather than trying to struggle through. 14. Or, bring in external people if you lack the necessary skills or time, for certain aspects of the software selection. WORK EFFICIENTLY 15. Stay focused on the tasks you need to do. Easier said than done. But staying focused will enable you to complete all the essential tasks, without being side tracked or wasting time doing unnecessary tasks. 16. Stay in charge of your software selection process – don’t allow vendors to dictate your workload or time table. 17. Use the phone rather than email or texts. You can sort out problems / queries much faster. It’s more interactive and you build a better relationship! 18. Reduce time spent travelling, by arranging for software vendors to visit you at your offices, rather than you (and your team) travelling to the vendors. 19. Try to avoid procrastination and / or perfectionism – they are both big time-wasters. 20. Use tools wherever possible. Research the internet for downloadable tools that you can use in the process. PREPARE GOOD RFI’S / RFP’S 21. Firstly, use one of Axia’s RFI/RFP Templates. 22. But if you have to create an RFI / RFP yourself – use Excel. It is much faster to use than Word. 23. Use one column for vendor responses – not multiple columns. This will help: o vendors as it is less confusing for them to respond – they just fill in one column o your review of vendor responses – it is easier to analyse one column rather than multiple columns o setting up weighted scores calculations o facilitate a side-by-side comparison of vendor responses 24. Learn to use Excel well – particularly the later versions, which are significantly different from earlier versions. Time spent on this, will be easily recouped during the selection process. 25. Likewise, if you have a slow typing speed, learn to improve your speed or to touch type. This can be a major time saver. 26. Alternatively, record any meetings you have and have minutes typed up. HAVE A REALLY SHORT - SHORTLIST 27. Ensure your shortlist of potential software vendors is a really short list. Even if you can only reduce your short list from say 4 to 3 potential vendors, this still represents a 25% saving in demonstration and evaluation time. 28. Use a demo script for software vendor demonstrations. It will save rambling presentations / demonstrations and ensure you are focused on the key points you are interested in, rather than what the sales/presenter would like to show you. IF NECESSARY - GET ADVICE 29. If you need advice – take it from those that have done it before (or got the outcome you desire) and so cut out superfluous noise and time wasted. 30. If you are unsure – ask around or contact us. For more software selection information, visit: 10 Steps to select new business software / Stakeholder management tips / Sample project plan for business system selection / RACI matrix / Project initiation checklist / Software selection time-saving tips / Project issue log / Requirements gathering techniques / Reasons to write a good requirements specification / System design review / Risk assessment form / Risk assessment worksheet / Warning signs that your software selection may have problems / Project reporting form / Project status report template
Software Selection Time-Saving Tips 30 practical tips to save time

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Selecting new business software can be a time- consuming process. So, apart from using Axia’s RFI/RFP Templates and software selection services to save you time – here are 30 practical tips you can use right away – to save time.

LEARN ALL YOU CAN - BEFORE YOU

START

1. If this is your first time selecting new software, or you’ve only done it infrequently, you are likely to be slower and require more time than someone who does this regularly. So research and learn as much as you can about each step of the software system process. 2. Learn about the technology used in the latest software systems. 3. Learn the terminology and jargon. Specifically, learn the jargon used by individual vendors / developers for their own software systems. 4. Use Axia’s Useful Resources for software selection guidance, tips and downloadable tools. PREPARE A CLEAR PROJECT PLAN 5. Prepare a project plan for the software selection process, so you know your time scales, who is doing what, where, when, milestones and deliverables. 6. As work can fill the time available, set a realistic time scale for the software selection process. 7. Question tasks as to their purpose / whether they really are necessary. 8. Delegate where possible, to spread the workload. GET THE RIGHT PEOPLE INVOLVED 9. Involve people who have had previous experience of software selection, to reduce the learning curve. 10. Use your best people in your software selection process. They will almost certainly be busy, so you will have to free up some or all of their time to work on the project. Consider reallocating their day-to-day work or hiring temporary staff to help. 11. Selection team members need to be familiar with the overall business structure, operational processes, systems, interfaces. 12. Use the knowledge and expertise you already have internally within your organisation. If you have a colleague or employee who has previously worked with a system that you are interested in - involve them - even if only to find out their views of the system /software. 13. Bring in people with the right specialist skills at the right time, rather than trying to struggle through. 14. Or, bring in external people if you lack the necessary skills or time, for certain aspects of the software selection. WORK EFFICIENTLY 15. Stay focused on the tasks you need to do. Easier said than done. But staying focused will enable you to complete all the essential tasks, without being side tracked or wasting time doing unnecessary tasks. 16. Stay in charge of your software selection process – don’t allow vendors to dictate your workload or time table. 17. Use the phone rather than email or texts. You can sort out problems / queries much faster. It’s more interactive and you build a better relationship! 18. Reduce time spent travelling, by arranging for software vendors to visit you at your offices, rather than you (and your team) travelling to the vendors. 19. Try to avoid procrastination and / or perfectionism – they are both big time- wasters. 20. Use tools wherever possible. Research the internet for downloadable tools that you can use in the process. PREPARE GOOD RFI’S / RFP’S 21. Firstly, use one of Axia’s RFI/RFP Templates. 22. But if you have to create an RFI / RFP yourself – use Excel. It is much faster to use than Word. 23. Use one column for vendor responses – not multiple columns. This will help: o vendors as it is less confusing for them to respond – they just fill in one column o your review of vendor responses – it is easier to analyse one column rather than multiple columns o setting up weighted scores calculations o facilitate a side-by-side comparison of vendor responses 24. Learn to use Excel well – particularly the later versions, which are significantly different from earlier versions. Time spent on this, will be easily recouped during the selection process. 25. Likewise, if you have a slow typing speed, learn to improve your speed or to touch type. This can be a major time saver. 26. Alternatively, record any meetings you have and have minutes typed up. HAVE A REALLY SHORT - SHORTLIST 27. Ensure your shortlist of potential software vendors is a really short list. Even if you can only reduce your short list from say 4 to 3 potential vendors, this still represents a 25% saving in demonstration and evaluation time. 28. Use a demo script for software vendor demonstrations. It will save rambling presentations / demonstrations and ensure you are focused on the key points you are interested in, rather than what the sales/presenter would like to show you. IF NECESSARY - GET ADVICE 29. If you need advice – take it from those that have done it before (or got the outcome you desire) and so cut out superfluous noise and time wasted. 30. If you are unsure – ask around or contact us. For more software selection information, visit: 10 Steps to select new business software / Stakeholder management tips / Sample project plan for business system selection / RACI matrix / Project initiation checklist / Software selection time-saving tips / Project issue log / Requirements gathering techniques / Reasons to write a good requirements specification / System design review / Risk assessment form / Risk assessment worksheet / Warning signs that your software selection may have problems / Project reporting form / Project status report template
Software Selection Time-Saving Tips 30 practical tips to save time
© 2020 Axia Consulting Ltd
All rights reserved. Contact Us

Axia Consulting