There are many situations in which it might be advantageous to postpone making a final decision. Buying cheap property in the Florida Everglades. Declawing your cat. Getting a tattoo of your lover's initials.But when it comes to making a decision concerning software that will be used throughout your organization, it's far better to avoid any delay. In fact, your team should read this entire list now or prepare to suffer from indecisiveness.
Without further hesitation, here are the top seven ways to facilitate a decision when it comes to choosing the best software for your company's needs.
1) SET A DEADLINE
Initiating the decision-making process with a well-considered deadline allows all parties to manage their time effectively, successfully complete tasks that contribute to a final consensus, and overcome process challenges without feeling rushed. Decision-makers can also continually assess their progress to ensure they're "on track" according to the specified date. A sense of focus and discipline will yield the best results.
2) USE SUFFICIENT RESOURCES
In order to make the most strategic decision you're going to need help. This assistance can take several forms: people, decision-analysis charts, timetables, market research, and more. Ideally, use as many methods as possible, but beware of the trap that is over-analysis. Once your resources have been tapped, allow yourself to feel secure in your choice(s) and move forward.
3) ANTICIPATE THE PAIN
If you understand ahead of time that making a significant company-wide decision might have some inevitable fallout (people may resist the changes and adjustments associated with new technology), then you'll be less likely to react in an emotional or irrational manner when confronted with this reality. Let's be honest - it's not easy to be part of a team responsible for the big decisions, and it's even harder if you're calling the shots without support.
4) INCREASE THE PRESSURE
In order to operate as a cohesive unit, software decisions will, and should, affect the entire company. No department functions in isolation. Make sure that your team is aware of this fact as a tactic for gradually increasing the pressure on them to reach a decision. The right amount of stress can promote results - no need to be a dictator, but this isn't a beach vacation either.
5) KNOW YOUR INTENTIONS
Far too often the decision-making process becomes foggy when the focus shifts from reaching a final consensus to brainstorming, info-sharing, and team discussions that lack direction. Ensure that meetings have intention - the common goal is to make a decision. This may sound overly simplistic, but even the most obvious concepts can become buried in details without anyone noticing how far the group has wandered off-track.
6) ESTABLISH ALTERNATIVES
When numerous alternatives have been considered it becomes easier to determine an optimal course of action. To be confident with one choice, decision-makers must first thoroughly understand the options that are being rejected. It will then be painless to allocate time, money, and personnel to the post-decision phase (software implementation and training).
7) DISTRIBUTE READING MATERIAL EARLY
Making educated decisions involves a certain amount of research. To maximize the relevancy and efficiency of meetings, reading materials should be distributed ahead of time. This allows team members to review the content in advance and contribute more effectively to conversations. Employees will also gain a more comprehensive sense of the technology being considered, which should lessen the learning curve that sometimes accompanies new software.
Use these seven tips to make decisions about software, particularly procurement software, and you'll never have to experience missed business opportunities or a revenue loss due to delay. Some procurement solutions are so effective that you might even be able to take extra vacation days with all the saved time.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of this blog where we address the top three reasons whysooner is better than later, specifically for decisions about procurement software. Don't delay your purchasing education any longer!