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Event Recap: How to Make Software Rollout a Success

A recap of our very first virtual event held in July 2020, including the recording of our first session with guest speakers and a summary of our brainstorming sessions with attendees.

There’s no doubt about it: This year has been a real game-changer for businesses with the spread of COVID-19, and, as you know all too well, remote work has become a part of our working culture in our efforts to fight the pandemic. 

Due to the existing demands set by digital transformation as well as this new shift to remote work, companies across the globe need to continually introduce new technologies, software, and processes in order to help their employees work successfully in these remote environments. 

So, to help companies navigate this new business climate, we decided, over the last few months, to focus on creating content and hosting events on software rollout and support in the era of remote work.

Our Very First Virtual Event!

On July 23, 2020, we held our very first virtual event (we had to work with new software for this 😉) on how to make your next software rollout a winning one. The event was a huge success, so we decided to give you a recap.

Below, you’ll find (a) the key takeaways from each of our guest speakers who presented during our first session, and (b) a summary of the main challenges of and possible solutions for each phase of a software rollout based on our collaborative brainstorming sessions with attendees.

Deep Dive Session: How to Make Software Rollout a Success

Our event was broken up into four sessions, with the first being a deep dive into how to make software rollout a success, including how to measure and improve business impact and tips and tricks for a painfree rollout. We had three guest speakers (who are leading experts and technology  implementation practitioners), with each of them focusing on different key aspects of a rollout. 

First Speaker: Sebastian Zack

Sebastian Zack of Hitachi SolutionsOur first guest speaker, Sebastian Zack, Customer Engagement Solution Architect at Hitachi Solutions Europe, took a motivational and inspiring approach to his presentation on how to increase and measure the business impact of a software rollout. Sebastian uses the analogy of team sport (Handball in particular) to discuss how to effectively manage a rollout project, focusing on how you, as an individual, should be confident, optimistic, tenacious, and enthusiastic when working with your teams. 

Listed below are some pointers from Sebastian on how to achieve successful outcomes with your next rollout:

  • Set up a roadmap on how to achieve success.
  • Define a long-term strategy, be smart with your tactics, and focus on quick wins to keep you and your teams motivated.
  • Never stop communicating and be clear on how to “play the game” (i.e. set clear objectives and milestones).
  • Identify key players (your key users) and take them on a journey with you. They are ultimately the ones who will tell you what’s most valuable to them.
  • Make these key users pioneers for success.
  • Take an agile approach to project management. (Sebastian has personal experience with this, discussing how he helped turned a CRM project around.)

Overall, Sebastian’s main message is that everyone in the company needs to be central to the project and that people must always come first. Managing a software rollout is essentially the equivalent of a team sport and requires teamwork, trust, flexibility, strong communication, the ability to change and adapt to new strategies, and even a bit of emotion (some passion!). 

To get in touch with Sebastian, you can reach out to him on LinkedIn.

Second Speaker: Stefan Krüger

Stefan Krüger of EYNext up, we had Stefan Krüger, Senior Manager of Digital Learning at Ernst&Young (EY). Focusing more on training and enablement, Stefan talks about mistakes that are made during each phase of a software rollout and how to avoid making them. One of the mistakes he has observed over the years is how training, enablement, and change management are hardly addressed in an RFP. This should never be the case as these are hugely important aspects of software rollout. Like Sebastian, Stefan focuses on software users and how they must be central to the entire rollout project. He also briefly touches on the value of digital adoption platforms and how they are necessary if companies truly want to provide effective training and support.

You can reach out to Stefan on LinkedIn.

Third Speaker: Markus Menth

And last but not least, we had Markus Menth, IT Consultant for Administration at Linde Engineering. Markus’ presentation centers on Linde Engineering’s new platform, SupplierConnect (an internally developed platform that connects suppliers with Linde) as well as user onboarding and change management. Aligning with Sebastian’s and Stefan’s message, Markus emphasizes the importance of users (in this case, the suppliers) in driving the success of the rollout. 

Linde Engineering recently implemented Userlane to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their user onboarding, so Markus talks about the advantages of Userlane (especially in comparison to the more standard onboarding methods) and gives a brief demonstration of how our product works on SupplierConnect. 

You can get in contact with Markus on LinkedIn.

Below is the video recording of our first session. Enjoy!

Collaborative Session: Planning a Perfect Software Rollout

For the second part of our event, we had a collaborative session on how to plan the perfect software rollout. Our two hosts from Userlane, Felix and Thomas, worked with attendees in Miro to brainstorm challenges and solutions related to each phase of a rollout project. We took the answers attendees gave on the Miroboard and consolidated them into the following tables. If you’re familiar with working with rollout projects, you’ll probably recognize some (if not all!) of these challenges.

Pre-Rollout

summary of challenges and solutions of the pre-rollout phase given by attendees during our virtual event

Go-Live

summary of challenges and solutions of go-live of a software rollout given by attendees during our virtual event

Post-Rollout

summary of challenges and solutions of the post-rollout phase given by attendees during our virtual event

At the end of the brainstorming session, we also asked attendees what their main takeaways were from the event. Some of their answers included:

  • Ask users how they feel about their daily tasks.
  • The users are the experts, so communicate with them.
  • Plan a learning journey and understand that learning is an ongoing process.
  • Never stop communicating.
  • Make feedback sessions interactive. 
  • Reward users for giving feedback on the product.
  • Userlane can make a huge impact on maximizing software adoption.
  • Attendees challenges were similar.

There’s Still More to Watch!

There were four sessions of the event in total (we’ve only summarized the first two in this post!), meaning you still have something to watch (including a fireside chat with our CEO Hartmut Hahn and Sarah Yvonne Elsser, founder and host of TechWellTold)!

Be sure to check out the rest of the event by registering below. 

We hope you enjoyed the recap! We have plenty more exciting events coming your way this year, so keep an eye out on our social media channels for more information!

Written by Tracey Ruff

Tracey is a Marketing and Content Specialist at Userlane. She is passionate about writing and social media (Instagram in particular) and is keen to start her own vlog. She has a Master of Arts degree in English Literature and has plans to pursue her PhD in the near future. Currently writing about Learning and Development and User Onboarding, Tracey is excited about how the tech industry - especially relating to SaaS products - is evolving. She also loves living and working in Germany (and may or may not be slightly obsessed with Taylor Swift and cats).

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