You’re clear on the return on investment for purchasing a SaaS product licence. However, with so much else going on at work, it’s difficult to see how you’ll find the time and headspace to implement it successfully. Even though you know implementing it will help create that space in the future. Juggling the day job and change can be tough. Sound familiar?

We have this conversation regularly with new clients who are thinking through the implementation process to bring insightQ into their organisations to underpin their quality assurance and improvement processes.

Combining our years of change management consultancy with the experiences of our clients, here are series of short blogs covering the steps that will help you to plan for success and make that ROI a reality. So far, we’ve covered:

Step 1: Raising awareness

Step 2: Motivating people to making the change.

This week we’ll focus on Step 3: Upskilling to achieve the change

If you’re an insightQ client you can access the templates in the Store and Share modules. If anyone else would like them to use for other SaaS implementation projects, please email hello@mesma.co.uk and we’ll send them to you.

Upskilling to achieve the return on investment

insightQ is designed to be simple and straightforward to use. It has onscreen help, product tours, webinars and access to the team via Chat.

We know our clients  find all of this is extremely helpful and we keep evolving support in line with needs. However, it’s very common – and understandably so – that our clients want to go beyond this and provide additional support to upskill their teams to move to a new way of working using the software. Here are our thoughts on how you can do this successfully with any software purchase.

Hands-on training

Training is helpful in ways that are broader than just the use of the software. It’s an opportunity to reinforce your key messages, linking the reason for change to the ‘what’s in it for me?’ to the practicalities of using the software. It can also be a chance to reiterate some important messages about your quality improvement approach. For example, we often find clients who have purchased the Evaluate module for self assessment reporting, use the opportunity to support staff to develop their evaluative writing skills to ensure what is written is meaningful, concise and honest.

The ‘hands-on’ bit is important. So, whilst watching a webinar is certainly helpful, the learning doesn’t take place at as deeply as when someone is actually using the software. How can this best be achieved for you? For example, do you prefer to train yourself or do you want the software provider to support on site? Whilst this may come at a cost, it can pay dividends in the long term. Always talk this through with the provider before purchasing so you know what your options are and the support that’s available.

Manager involvement

I can’t express enough the importance of engaging line managers of the users in your upskilling efforts. They play a crucial role in ensuring the software you’ve implemented is sustained and your ROI achieved. Too often in change efforts, I see the users being trained and the managers not being included in the process. This is likely to cause you issues further down the line. Team members can easily fall back into the way of working they’ve been used to. Without line managers reinforcing the need for the change and regularly sharing success stories aligned with the goal, you may find you’ve wasted your hard-earned cash on your purchase.

Access to Subject Matter Experts

The user champions you engaged during step 2 would usually undertake the role of subject matter experts. At least during the early stages. There is mileage in developing this into an opportunity for other users in the future to take on this remit, to help them master their role and software use.

The purpose of the SME is to provide support for users throughout the upskilling process and beyond. Whilst manager involvement is important, it can be unrealistic to ask them to be an expert in using new software; particularly if their day to day use of it differs from that of their team. Most importantly, it creates a community of self-sufficient people who can grow their knowledge and skill together. Ensure that everyone is clear on the SMEs remit and how to access them. Create the right channels of communication to maximise the benefit for everyone involved.

Step 3 Actions

Consider the following:

  • Who needs to be trained and how best do we know they learn? How can we ensure there are opportunities for hands-on learning?
  • What training support does the supplier provide as part of the initial cost? What can they provide for you at an additional cost?
  • What in-application training is available to end users? For example, on screen chat, help and guidance or product tours?
  • How can we ensure we retain the messages from step 1 and step 2 to ensure consistency and commitment to achieving our end goal?
  • Who internally can undertake training? How, for example, might we use the user champions in the capacity as subject matter experts to support initial training and ongoing help to users?
  • How do we embed training into the ‘way we do things round here’ making it part of future inductions for new recruits for example?
  • Can we use existing processes to capture any future training needs related to the software?

If you’re an insightQ client you can access the templates in the Store and Share modules. If anyone else would like them to use for other SaaS implementation projects, please email hello@mesma.co.uk and we’ll send them to you.

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