Using the “Bottom-Up” Approach to Finding Software

We’ve all heard that software implementations routinely fail but is it surprising that OVER 50% of organizations that DO see an implementation say they feel there could be a solution available that BETTER suits them WITHIN 6 months of that implementation1

The biggest problem that organizations in this situation face is that once they’ve implemented and realized that it’s not the solution for them is that they’re typically stuck with that solution for a while. It can be career-limiting to implement, realize you made a mistake and soon after attempt to hop ship to another solution even if you can prove there’s a better option.  Software implementations consume too many resources and any switch typically results a significant amount of sunk cost.

So What’s the “Bottom-Up” Approach to Finding Software?

Organizations often make the mistake of hopping into their software search too soon & before fully knowing what it is that they want.  They might understand their requirements at a high-level ⬆️ but when it comes to the details, they haven’t made it that far in their process (because it does take time to get to that point). 

However, when you decide that you need a software solution to support your business, what do you really know best?  It’s not the software market & it’s not knowing which of the dozens of potential solutions will fit you best. No. You know your business and what your specific requirements are.  

Let’s start there…

“What you you really know best?”

How to Assemble Requirements Before Searching for Software

A free & easy-to-assemble requirements template can be downloaded for free HERE.

Requirements & Fit-Gap Spreadsheet Gold

The Obvious & Easy Ones
  • Lay-out your gapsàchallenges with your current solution
    • What’s leading you to look for a new solution
  • Lay out your wish list items
    • In your perfect utopia, what features would you like to see in your new solution
The Ones That Require a Little Work
  • Speak with would-be system owners & heavy-users to understand their current processes and challenges.
    • Spending time now w/ your system owners & heavy-users will ensure you’re receiving all necessary perspectives as well as helps develop “ownership” & “buy-in” on the new solution from the get-go.

*For a great free resource to document business processes, we’d highly recommend https://mindjet.com.

The Ones That Are Often Forgotten
  • Outline what your current solution does well & what your business relies on
    • Never assume that what you’re accomplishing in your current solution will be a “given” in future solutions
  • Denote requirement “importance”
    • What is absolutely required for the new solution to work? What are the things that would make life easier but not required items? What are the reasonable requests but not necessary something you foresee being implemented on day 1?

Requirements DONE. ✔️

requirements gathering template

Your Requirements For The “Bottom-Up” Approach Are Ready. Now What?

So you’ve prepared your requirements, now what?  Well… GIVE THEM TO SOFTWARE VENDORS**.  Sales teams will become wide-eyed both with excitement (that you’re reaching out) and knowing that your business is already well-ahead of the curve by fully understanding what it is that you actually need.  Based on your requirements, they’ll either be able to make a quick determination that their solution is not what you’re looking for or they’ll begin preparing their analysis and deliverable on how they meet EACH REQUIREMENT.

THINK ABOUT THAT.  Instead of preparing some bloated presentation and sales pitch, a sales team is about to significant amount of time focusing on your requirements one by one and providing answers on if/how their solution is a fit. 

Your Requirements --> Their Responses
fit gap template software implementations

When you actually do identify the solution that you’ll be implementing, it gets EVEN BETTER ☺️.  Now that you have your requirements documented and the vendor’s responses, you can track those requirements throughout the entire project AND keep the vendor accountable throughout the entirety of the project.  If you said you wanted X, vendor claimed and you both discussed that their solution could accomplish X, you will have huge leverage and a paper trail on ensuring X actually gets delivered and you’re not left short.

Bottom-Up Approach v Traditional Approach Takeaways

relying on requirements when selecting software

Have a good experience with the “bottom-up” approach to software? I’d love to hear about it!

**Alternate approach to sending requirements to vendors**

Solugence’s wizard 🧙‍♂️ helps you develop your “Requirements Profile” and then automatically matches your requirements against dozens of solutions (along with other factors) to provide you with recommended solutions that fit you best (FOR FREE). 🆓

Solugence Software Profile Wizard

budgeting and financial reporting features glance

 

Solugence Free Detailed “Best-Fit” Recommendation

 

1Solugence 2019 Market Survey | “Successful Software Implementation”

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