Why Change Management Is Important: 10 Software Adoption Tips

By Chelsea Williams
Senior Copywriter
Oct 10 2023 read

“Standing still is moving backward.” In the relentless tide of business evolution, this adage rings truer than ever. However, it’s understandable that you might be resistant to the change that’s necessary to take a big step and propel your business forward.

When handled haphazardly, change can turn from an opportunity into a disruptive force. Armed with a strategy to smooth out the waves, you can make change your ally.

Here, we’ll cover why change management is important and reveal tips for making your software transition more transformative than frightening.

Understand Why Change Management Is Important

“Change management” might feel like a buzzword, but it’s a critical piece of carrying individuals, teams and organizations from their current state to a better future state. 

There’s a misconception that change management is only necessary if your business is in the midst of a merger or acquisition, restructuring, round of layoffs or some other massive change. In fact, it’s a crucial consideration in many other moments, including when you choose to adopt new software.

Anticipating and effectively handling change means minimizing disruptions, maintaining (or enhancing) productivity and giving your team a better chance of staying engaged despite obstacles or concerns. 

Help Your Team Navigate a Software Rollout

1. Align with organizational goals

There are many change management models, but they all share one thing in common: They center around a vision or desired business result. Before implementing any software, ensure it fits with your business strategy. Change will be much easier to face when the selected platform sets your team up to foster efficiency, bolster client relations, enhance business intelligence or achieve other outcomes for which they’ll be held accountable.

2. Involve key stakeholders early

Inform and gather input from those who will use the software most even before you’ve committed to a platform.

Accelo’s VP of Client Success, Robert Germain, says not doing so is one of the biggest mistakes business leaders make when adopting new software. 

“They don’t often have the right people in the room at the right time. In other words, they’re expecting to have just a few higher-ups make a choice about software and then let everybody else catch on later. There has to be a conversation about total business health involving members of each team or department. Then, they’ll each be able to better see the collective benefit of the decision to try something new.”

3. Communicate the ‘why’

A list of features and functionality won’t be sufficient in these early conversations. Don’t forget to illustrate how the new software will address pain points, improve workflows or elevate client service. Depending on the size of your business, this might look more or less formal, but it should always be characterized by as much transparency as possible.

Who the messaging comes from also matters. Accelo’s Senior Professional Services Manager,  Corin Vallee, shares that research shows employees prefer to hear from “preferred senders.” These are people in two categories of roles and who communicate with the organization for different purposes.

  1. Executive or senior leaders for organizational messages, including reasons for change
  2. Immediate supervisors or people managers for messages about personal impacts

It's not enough to have a vision. You have to communicate it. To win the hearts and minds of those affected by the change, it's not a project — it has to be a mission.

Corin Vallee, Senior Professional Services Manager, Accelo

4. Offer comprehensive training

A tool is only as good as its user. Organizing in-depth training sessions can make your team feel comfortable and confident in using the new technology to its fullest potential. Read about how and why results-driven marketing agency Giant Creative took a full-on approach to training when they implemented Accelo.

5. Create a functioning feedback loop

Encourage your team to communicate their experiences, challenges and successes from day one in the new platform. Honest feedback can be vital in making necessary adjustments and refining your training process as your business grows. Not only should you welcome questions and concerns, but you should log ideas about how to make this new tech even more beneficial. This could inform future decisions to work with the internal experts at the software company.


Get Inspired by Your Company Values

According to UC Berkeley’s Change Management Toolkit, your company’s core values can serve as anchors during a period of change. Challenge your employees to connect one or more values to the software adoption process. Like uniting a sports team around a common goal, managing a digital transformation is a mission of human connection.


6. Set realistic milestones

Break down your rollout plans into manageable phases. Celebrate small victories to keep morale high and reinforce the positive impacts of the change. These milestones serve as motivation and markers of progress, especially when they’re acknowledged with anything from a heartfelt company message to a team lunch. Having clear milestones can also make it easier to identify any challenges or bottlenecks and give you ample time to intervene before there are any negative impacts. 

7. Appoint change champions

Identify and empower your most enthusiastic and capable team members to act as software ambassadors. At Accelo, we call these people “champions.” Their proficiency prompts others to get on board with new processes and provides a source of internal support as your business navigates a new digital environment. An experienced implementation team will ask you to select these points of contact, so it’s helpful to think about these appointments early on.

8. Minimize resistance with support

There will always be a few team members who are resistant to change. Be ready to address their concerns, provide additional training if necessary and highlight the software’s benefits as they apply to their specific role. A personal touch and sense of understanding can make all the difference. To make this easier, choose a technology provider that values partnership.

9. Keep your team updated

Software ecosystems evolve, and a successful change effort is not a one-time event. Attend webinars, engage with the software’s community and keep your team informed about updates or new features that can further enhance how they use the platform. These efforts also show your team that you’re committed to continuous improvement, which can help improve your company culture and maintain your business’s competitive edge.

“The momentum you gain from a successful transformation must be reinforced and is an excellent driver for continuous improvement,” says Corin. “Hold the gains and sustain acceleration!”

10. Monitor and measure success

Use metrics to gauge the software’s impact on productivity, client satisfaction or any relevant KPIs. Regular evaluation is a pulse check — the key to making sure the given platform continues to serve its purpose, offer the value you expected from your investment and align with your business goals.

Adopting new software in a professional services context is more than just an IT endeavor. It’s a strategic move that your valued team deserves to be fully involved in. With these tips and an awareness of why change management is important, you’re poised to make the transition stress-free.

Change isn’t the only thing you’re likely to be worried about. Explore our advice for mitigating other common fears around adopting new tech.


About the Author


Chelsea Williams is Senior Copywriter at Accelo, where she shares unique insights with service professionals and tells user stories via blogs, eBooks, industry reports and more. She has over 15 years of B2B and B2C writing experience — primarily in tech, sales, education and healthcare. Chelsea is an AWAI-certified Master Copywriter trained in brand storytelling and microcopy.

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