Is there a program you’ve been using since you opened your doors for business? One that you have sworn you’d never let go of? One that does everything you need it to do exactly how you need it done?
It’s a rarity but when it happens you just know.
For Buying Time, One Place was that gem. One Place was a task management software that was just starting up when Buying Time went into business 12 years ago. The relationship quickly turned into a beautiful partnership with regular calls to discuss different features that could be implemented to improve their software. This was especially beneficial for us as it resulted in this fantastic program that was, in essence, built for us.
In September of 2018 we were notified that One Place was shutting down. We had 3 months to find a new program we wanted to use, completely revamp our system to accommodate for the changes that would come along with using a different program, and work on the transition to ensure that data wasn’t lost and we had all our ducks in a row.
So, what do you do if you find yourself in a situation where a gem of a service provider, software, program, etc. is no longer an option?
We took three important steps to make sure we were making the best possible decision.
First, we researched. Everyone on the team pitched in and did some digging to find potential replacements that might meet all our needs. It was important that we were clear about different features that were necessary in order for us to continue to operate in, at least, a similar way.
Once the research was done we came together as a team and looked at the different options. From there we narrowed it down to three so we could move on to the second step of the process – TESTING! We landed on Teamwork, Trigger, and Smartsheets. We then assigned two team members to each program so they could begin using it for a two week period, noting pros and cons, similarities to One Place, and features or functions that were missing.
After the two week period each team member presented their findings to the team. After discussing each option as a group and taking into consideration capabilities, how user-friendly the programs were, and associated costs (among other things) we landed on Teamwork.
The process was important to ensure that we were covering all our bases and not missing out on any options that were out there. We relied on the team to pull together and go through these steps so we could transition with the confidence that we were moving towards the best possible outcome.
If you find yourself in a similar situation, it’s incredibly important that you approach finding a replacement with very clear requirements and to take the care to look at all of your options. Another key component to ensuring a smooth transition, especially when it comes to switching programs or softwares, is to do so in a manner that gives you enough time to weigh those options and come to a decision without the pressure of a quickly approaching deadline. We were fortunate to have several months to make the move. Rely on your team to help you knock out each of these steps to be efficient and get different points of view.
Once you’ve made the decision comes the fun part…
Tune in 2 weeks from now for a breakdown of how we managed the process, not only without losing important data but using the situation as an opportunity to revamp processes and systems to be more efficient and make improvements as a company!