New lab software can yield great benefits, like enhanced organization, better efficiency, and simplified lab management. But these benefits can’t manifest if your team isn’t on board. Thankfully, an organized and well-laid plan can smooth any lab’s software transition. These tips will help you prepare for user acceptance challenges and help your team see the benefits of your investment in lab software.
Contents: Inspire Support | Power Users | Documentation | Training
Inspire Support In Your Team From the Beginning
In order to promote usage, you’ll need to build support for the new system from within your team from day one. This is often best achieved by involving them in the planning process, from determining the requirements of the new system to evaluating products and helping design how the lab software will be used.
- Work with your team to identify pain points that can be alleviated with software, and identify the features that will help the most. This will help you communicate the “why” for your users.
- Set, share and discuss the goals of migrating to a new system with your team.
- Involve key users in the evaluation and selection of the lab software. Ask for participation from the team in software demos and trials.
- Set role-specific onboarding tasks, like user registration or vital data transfer, with deadlines for every user to complete during the transition period.
Identify, Utilize and Support Your Power Users
Every lab has individuals who embrace technology and change, and like to step up and help others. These are your power users, and they are critical to the successful adoption of your lab software.
Power users will use the system frequently, and they’ll be the ones finding the best way to use it. They’ll suggest efficient and effective ways to navigate the system and get the most out of the software. Often, other members of your team will rely on your power users as a source of knowledge, reaching out to them first when they have a problem or aren’t sure how to navigate the system.
- Involve your power users in the implementation and configuration of the new lab software.
- Ask for their help training the team, perhaps by leading training sessions or demonstrating new features. Ask them to address what they get asked about most often.
- Support your power users in further developing their skills with the software and encourage their feedback.
Create Lab-Specific Documentation
To accelerate adoption of your new lab software, make sure you are setting up your new users for success. Create new and specific software documentation, and update your existing standard operating procedures (SOPs). These steps are vital to ensuring everyone knows how and when to use the software.
- Update your lab’s SOPs and protocols to include steps taken with the new software. When possible, include screenshots or record a video for more complex workflows.
- During training, use your specific version of the system, with your real-world data.
- Create your own training materials for common tasks and challenges users have with the application. Video walkthroughs and listed instructions are great options.
- Document the different roles of users in your software. Include permissions associated with the roles and the purposes of each designation.
Train Your Team, Then Train Them Again
When training your team, start as soon as possible. Starting training before implementation is ideal. As your lab adapts, continue to create opportunities for your team to train on the software. This will help new lab members learn as well as reinforce the knowledge of more tenured staff. As you begin holding regular training, standardizing materials helps ensure every user knows how to use the software. This cuts down on word-of-mouth misunderstandings about your SOPs.
- While building training sessions, consider the role of the user in the lab and how the software will be used by that role. Make sure to hold training for role-specific learning as well as general training.
- Hold sessions regularly for both new and advanced users, such as quarterly or every six months.
- Ensure that any ad hoc training has up-to-date established materials for reference.
- Leverage vendor resources like online documentation, tutorials, virtual events, user conferences, and webinars.
- Use any live vendor help available, like dedicated account managers or included user education sessions.