How to prepare for successful software implementation

I've talked before about what successful software implementation looks like for a church. The idea was that a church that wants to achieve success in implementing a new software or church management system needs to involve people who will be materially impacted by the decision from the very beginning of the process.

Today, I want to highlight the critical steps a church should take if they want to prepare for successful software implementation. Once you’ve made the commitment to involve others to gain buy-in and momentum, here are eight steps you can take to prepare your entire church for a successful process:

  1. Identify the people who will be materially impacted. There are obvious roles, like your church management system or office administrator, but don’t forget about the other areas of ministry that will be impacted — small groups, children’s ministry, externally focused ministry, communications director, and others. Each of these roles will be affected by new software implementation, so having their input is important.
  2. Evaluate their processes. After identifying the people who will be impacted, take time to evaluate how they could use the software to improve their area of ministry.
  3. Let processes drive the key functionality you need. Once you’ve analyzed the various processes of your church’s ministry, let them help guide you in your initial process of research and implementation.
  4. Identify your non-negotiables. What are the things your software must do? If a decision is made to pursue something that does not address a non-negotiable, be sure everyone is okay with that before moving forward. If not, you just created resistors who will hamper your success.
  5. Identify your ‘dream list’. Separate from your non-negotiables, these are the things you would give up in order to achieve an integrated solution for your non-negotiables.
  6. Identify your high-level goals. What do you all hope will be different? What do you all want to achieve by implementing a new system or process?
  7. Assign and conquer. Pick a point person to do the research, but be sure to include all those who were identified in step one. Everyone doesn’t need to be responsible for researching, but don’t leave them in the dark when it comes to the decision.
  8. Create accountability. Once the decision is made, be sure you create accountability so that everyone is on the same page about implementing the process.

Once you’ve done these eight things, your church will be prepared to implement a new software or church management system effectively.

What other factors have helped your church implement its church management software effectively?

Topics: This entry was posted in Leadership Roles, This entry was posted in Administrative Support, This entry was posted in Blog, This entry was posted in Executive Pastor, This entry was posted in church management software

Posted by Steve Caton on June 05, 2013