Last reviewed: 02 March 2021Help us improve this content
Use this page to understand why you should plan software selection and how you should approach it.
Did you ever work somewhere that spent a lot of time or money on a new piece of software and then discovered it wasn’t much use? Sometimes the fear of this happening again stops you looking for a new solution even when you really need one.
There are ways to reduce the risks of choosing new software or digital tools.
You need to take a planned approach that focuses on user needs.
You can use this planned approach any time you want to choose a new software or tool. You need to spend the right amount of time depending on the risks involved. It could take just a couple of hours across two days or it could take hundreds of hours over six months.
Reasons to take more time and plan in more depth.
The bigger the scale the longer you'll need to take. You should spend longer on each activity. You should also leave longer to reflect between activities.
Reasons to run through the plan very rapidly.
You should still go through the steps of the plan to make sure there's nothing you need to stop and think about. But you can do that quite quickly if you have these low-risk factors. You can use the trial to decide whether it works for you or not.
One of the first steps in the plan is to work out who the stakeholders are. You want to involve everyone who'll be affected at the right step in your planning process. The activities in this plan help you create useful involvement opportunities. They should help you avoid too many people fighting over 'what I like best'.
You should think about three key things.
It's really important to make sure you can gather the answers as a series of post-it notes or bullet points. You need to be able to move things between lists and change priority orders easily. Avoid using long paragraphs of text.
Choose a participation tool that people in your organisation will be happy to use. Any of these options can work.
There is no one right way to do this.
This page was last reviewed for accuracy on 02 March 2021
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