The success any firm has with new fund management software is directly proportional to the buy-in that the organization gets from users. At Altvia, we have consistently high success rates helping organizations implement our customer relationship management (CRM) system, get their team members on board.
While buy-in isn’t the only factor in a successful fund management software implementation, we’ve found it to be critical enough that we’ve studied the process and come up with a proven set of tactics for improving adoption.
If you’re looking to implement a fund management software solution and want to get maximum buy-in—or already have one in place but need to get more people to use it—we recommend taking the actions below.
A Checklist for Getting User Buy-In for Fund Management Software
- Secure executive sponsorship.
This is first on the list because when it comes to fund management software implementations and ensuring that people use the system, this is the most important step to take. If a software implementation doesn’t have full support from the top, it’s likely to fail. On the other hand, if executives lead by example, eagerly learning about and using the new solution, others in the firm will almost certainly follow suit. If they don’t, a little direct prompting from firm leaders can help get anyone who is reluctant to move in the right direction.
- Simplify tasks.
There are many ways that good software can streamline tasks like report creation. If the system is set up to have a button that creates your Monday morning report with a single click, you can bet that the analyst whose job it is to generate that report is going to use the system rather than do it manually. And that’s just one example of tasks that can be simplified with the right solution.
- Provide proper training (and make it fun).
In-depth training—specifically on-site, face-to-face training when possible—not only results in trainees being more attentive and engaged, it also encourages them to go beyond simply understanding the technical “nuts and bolts” of the software and ask important real-world questions like, “How can I use the system for the type of work I do?” and “What new and better business processes can we accomplish with this solution?” Also, any training provided should be fun and interactive. You don’t want people coming into a session viewing it as something they just have to “get through” so they can go back to their desk. You want them to hear from coworkers that the session was informative and enjoyable.
- Show users where to get help.
Nothing drives software buy-in numbers down faster than frustration. Users should be able to get answers quickly so they aren’t left feeling helpless with no way to complete the task they’re working on.
- Address the “why.”
Sometimes people don’t understand the reason behind new software and what it’s supposed to fix. They just see the system as a “shiny new toy” that doesn’t interest them because they’re busy with meeting project deadlines. But if everyone understands the problems that the new fund management software will solve, team members are much more likely to learn about the system and see it as critical to the firm’s success.
- Customize the system.
Even small customizations to your new fund management software like tweaking it to use your firm’s vernacular to describe deal stages or fundraising stages can make the system feel more suited to users’ needs and make them more likely to use it. The greater their “comfort level” is, the higher your buy-in will be.
- Involve everyone in the design/setup process.
Even if just a few team members are actually doing the design and setup of the system, solicit input from all users before that process begins. Waiting until the solution is ready for launch and then getting valuable feedback means either delaying the rollout or discarding the input, and the latter isn’t helpful in general and definitely won’t help with buy-in.
- Have a fund management software implementation “champion.”
This isn’t the executive sponsor, but someone else in the firm. Sometimes admins make the best champions. This role can include making sure meeting notes and other interactions are recorded, and also monitoring who has logged in and providing encouragement for everyone to do so. This person can also share updates on who has used the solution and the benefits they’re enjoying.
- Make it easy to get data into the system.
If users can’t perform the tasks they need to because the data required isn’t available, that will hurt your adoption rate. Leverage tools like e2sf, Dragon Dictation, or email integration to make getting data into the system as easy as possible. Also, be sure that populating the system with important information is a top priority. Then, subsequent data imports can be done as needed.
- Prepare different groups for the real-life use cases they’ll encounter.
In addition to more general training, it’s helpful to meet with smaller groups to discuss how they can use the fund management software to address specific use cases. For example, analysts might use the system primarily for running reports and performing analyses, while managing directors might want more high-level information to see the overall direction of the organization.
Ensure Buy-In for Long-Term Success
When implementing new fund management software, there are both immediate and long-term benefits. Even if people don’t immediately start using the system for some reason, it’s crucial that you do ultimately get them onboard.
Once everyone is using your new solution, you’ll find that the time and effort involved in ensuring full buy-in pays for itself many times over in the months and years to come.