What successful software implementation looks like

I’m currently in the process of reading through a fascinating book entitled Predictable Success. The idea of setting your organization up to achieve long-term, certain success has become a very popular topic for business and church leaders over the past few years. Because of the tough economic times and changes in the way business is being done, organizations want to guarantee that any new process, system, product, or idea they roll out has a strong probability for success.

The churches we work with are no different. If I had to take a poll, I would estimate that 100 percent of those churches would want their software implementation process to succeed. After working with hundreds of churches, there’s one core principle highlighted in the book that has helped them achieve predictable success with their new church management software.

Decisions are not made by a closeted set of leaders and then tossed over the transom for others to implement. Instead, they are made by involving from the start the people who will be materially impacted by the decision.

The reason this principle for predictable success works is because it ensures buy-in and momentum from the start. When decision-making is shared, there is a core team of people that play a role in the successful implementation.

We see a lot of churches make a decision about their church management software with a closeted set of leaders or a single leader. While we’re glad to work with them, we often have to deal with the repercussions as the rest of the staff struggles to understand the ‘why’ and the ‘how’ behind the decision.

If you want to achieve predictable success in your church’s software implementation, here are the elements needed based on this core principle from the book:

  • Your staff and volunteers understand the ‘why’.
  • You understand the systems and processes of how your church works today, and you’re able to translate that into the new system.
  • You’ve prepared your data to move from one system to the next.
  • You’ve allowed time to verify data and make sure things are functioning properly.
  • You’ve allowed time for training.
  • You’ve made someone accountable for owning it (both in transition and in the future).

Many churches give the responsibility for researching a new church management system to an administrative assistant. While it’s totally okay to have an administrative assistant involved, you need to make sure there is a director-level or higher staff person involved.

Having buy-in from your entire team is one of the easiest ways for you to achieve predictable success for any new process, system, or idea. The next time you’re making a decision, make sure to involve the people who will be directly affected by it in some capacity.

Has your church effectively implemented your church management software by using this principle? What other principles help churches achieve predictable success?

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

Posted by Steve Caton on June 03, 2013