Using a standardized approach creates clarity and honesty for all parties involved because it is clear from the start how the decision is going to be made. The organization can understand a decision and vendors will know exactly on which points they won or lost.

Many don’t select software on a daily basis, but still more often than you’d think. Often, we see organizations selecting different software solutions a couple of times each year. Selecting software is a process that usually follows a similar path. Researching possible vendors, defining proofpoints, validating promises via prototyping and thorough planning are enough to make a decent selection. However, we see organizations reinventing the wheel each time they select software or have multiple different approaches or no process at all. Let’s look at the power of a standardized approach for software selection. 

The benefits of standardization

Standardization is the elimination of alternatives which are inefficient and conducive to conflict. When done correctly, standardization can decrease ambiguity and guesswork, guarantee quality, boost productivity and safe time. 

Using a standardized approach creates clarity and honesty for all parties involved because it is clear from the start how the decision is going to be made. The organization can understand a decision and vendors will know exactly on which points they won or lost. Allowing them to learn from the process. Standardization ensures the quality of a decision by minimizing the changes that crucial details are overlooked. Defining proofpoints with the four entities, for example, ensure that multi-viewpoints are considered. Adding standardized scoring method helps to settle differences. 

Track everything, yes everything

To reach a final selection that includes a well-thought-out rationale, it is important to track all the steps that lead to that decision. It is the only way to ensure that the knowledge behind a decision is kept within the organization, even when a decision-taker leaves. Selecting software is not a mathematical exercise, we need qualitative information to explain certain decisions. Take user experience for example, the difference between a 3 or a 5 doesn’t tell us much. We need comments to help explain the rating. Documenting every comment and score allows you to build an audit trail, which helps during the implementation of the selected software. Being able to look back at detail level why a certain decision was made could clarify why a problem occurs during implementation and can give guidance on how to solve the problem. Standardizing the way of documenting is a great time-saver and ensures the quality of the decision. 

Selecting software is not part of day-to-day tasks for many people. And, as with many things, it requires experience to become better at it. Using a standardized approach allows you to gain that experience without much effort. It is, however, a daily task for us management and technology consultants so reach to us to access latest insights and experiences, learn about our approach to software selection based on early adoption, and make use of our toolkits, templates and ready-to-use communication packages and much more.

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