You’ve made your decision, a platform stole your heart or your brain and you are very excited about the implementation. Only, as any new situation, when the future is unknown it can get scary and stressful.
This 4th blog from our series will help you plan your platform deployment and ensure a successful implementation and experience - If you skipped the first three articles , you can still read them here:
If you’re upgrading from a manual or simple cloud solution to a fully automated system, then you’re off to a great start.
One of the hardest parts of this change in process will be helping users swap their old habits for new ones. An easy to use platform should make your work easier and minimise the training time you need to give. That being said, even a great new piece of software can fail without proper support. Let’s look at our top tips:
Prepare your data
In the process of choosing an expense management platform you have probably audited your current processes and discussed changes and evolutions with HR, IT and accounting teams.
If not, don’t panic, it’s not too late, check out the second blog of this series to guide you in this mandatory assessment.
Once this step completed, it’s very important to have the new structure and rules as limpid as possible for your supplier. Make sure all the information is available and ready to be used: employees data, approval flows, credit card information, reimbursement policies, mileage rules etc …
While the list may vary from one company to another, it’s very important to make sure you know what will be needed and who to contact for what information. This preparation work will help you save precious time during the implementation phase.
Also, mapping out the processes will help you communicate your needs clearly to your provider and teams responsible for deployment and increase your chances of a stress free implementation.
Communicate your expectations in advance
A successful roll out begins before you switch over to your new software.
Communication both internally and with your supplier should be fully transparent. Every person involved in the project should have a clear vision on the scope and be aware of the deadlines.
Also don’t forget about your end users, they need to be aware of the efforts you are making to improve processes. Get them excited about it to increase your chances of adoption.
Whether your comunicate via email or during a lunch & learn session, make sure you share the reasons of change and the benefits this will bring to the employees and the company.
If you decided to update your expense policy to fit the new platform, make everyone aware of the new rules and apply them even before the app is launched so that people can get familiarized with them.
Prepare training sessions
While in some companies an email might be enough for users to adopt a new tool, in the majority of companies, you will need to host learning sessions to put everyone on the same page.
For the users:
With a digital expense solution, the actions required by employees submitting expenses are very limited. No need for extensive training or learning sessions. Host a fun lunch & learn and have everyone gather around pizzas in the lobby.
Make people download the app and try on the spot. This way you can make sure that you answer all first questions and that the first experience with the app won’t be frustrating - especially for less tech savvy employees.
For Administrators and accounting teams
Admins and accounting teams need to be involved before a decision is made on the platform. They should be the ambassadors of the tool among employees.
Xpenditure teams follows the “train the trainer” philosophy; making sure that the people involved in the implementation of the tool know the platform ins and outs and are always kept updated with the evolutions and new features of the platform.
Pave The Way With A Pilot Team
Starting the deployment with a pilot team might not be a bad a idea.
Choose a department or even a branch of your company that will be first to use the platform. This pilot phase helps you iron out any kinks in your implementation and honing any training you’ve set up for your teams. Gather their feedback, make adjustments and use this opportunity to ensure your full launch goes as smoothly as possible.
Ideally, other teams will see your pilot team in action and say, “I want that”.
It’s impossible to think about everything but if you follow this process it will give you greater chances to achieve a seamless and successful implementation.
This is the last blog of our series. We hope that you found all the information you needed about expense management and that you now have all the weapons in hand to make the right decision.