A good software selection methodology is critical to the success of your project. Whether you are looking for ERP software, HR/Payroll, CRM, or any other type of software, follow this process for a successful selection project.
The 6 Phases of Software Selection
We divide the software selection process into 6 phases and discuss ways that you can more effectively manage your project based on our combined experience of 675 software evaluation projects.
The initial step in the software selection process is your internal planning and budgeting. You need to set up your project team, get buy-in for the project and put together a high-level budget.
Next you need to put together your requirements document. Make sure it is focused on your requirements (key differentiating criteria) so that you can concentrate on your most important requirements and quickly, yet thoroughly evaluate vendors.
Now it is time to evaluate your vendor options. This phase focuses on how to start with a long list of vendors and efficiently evaluate them to get to a Short List of approximately 3 software solutions.
When you have your Short List, invite the vendors for demos. Make sure they follow a structured Demo Script so you can see how they will handle your key requirements and you can compare them in an equal manner.
When you narrow the list to one or two vendors it’s time to do your due diligence and confirm your final decision.
Most software contracts are written by the software vendor. Make sure you negotiate the contract to protect your interests and save you money.
A critical part of the selection process that most companies overlook is the selection of a qualified implementation partner or Value Added Reseller (VAR). In certain cases you need to do this evaluation during the vendor research, in other cases you will select the implementation partner after you select the software product. The selection of the implementation partner can make or break the success of your implementation.