In this episode, I talk about how to run a successful software pilot project at your firm by reviewing the three main stakeholder types, the design criteria for success, as well as the costs and other factors involved in this process.
Here Are Some Key Points Discussed in This Episode About How to Run a Successful Software Pilot Program (for AEC Professionals):
- A software pilot is a type of software testing where a user group trials the software before it is deployed firm-wide. The software will need to be tested under a variety of conditions to see if it meets the needs of your business.
- There are three main stakeholder types in the software pilot.
- Leadership: Leadership is a combination of senior leaders who know how the company works and financial leaders. They usually do not use the software daily, but they know how the firm runs. Getting them involved early and understanding what they are looking for is critical.
- Influencers: They are the mid-level people who will be using the output of the software. They care about what the software does for them and how the software will be making everyone’s lives better. Getting their buy-in is critical because they are the ultimate link to the people who make the final decisions in the firm.
- End Users: They are the individuals working with the software daily in many aspects of their work. If they think the software does not work for them, then the pilot project will not be a success.
- A clear design criterion of what success looks like for your civil engineering firm must be obtained. It can include things like return on investment or making lives easier in the firm. It must be clearly defined so that the people involved in the pilot process understand what metrics are used to determine the software pilot’s success or failure.
- There are many costs involved with any piece of software, such as licensing fees, equipment to use the software, and the training of the end users. Understanding the major costs involved gives the decision-makers the information they need to start the pilot correctly.
- Get the software vendor engaged early and often during the software pilot because they know the software best. The vendor will help more with the customer service side and help you run a more successful software pilot.
- If you set a deadline and enforce it for the software pilot evaluation, you will have a higher chance that the pilot will be done successfully. It gives you the best chance that all the steps will be taken and completed in the given time frame.
More Details in This Episode…
About the Host: Nick Heim, P.E.
Nick is a field and VDC engineer at StructureCare, owner of Green House Property Management, and the host of the AEC Engineering and Technology Podcast. Nick’s interests lie at the intersection between the built world and technology, and he can be found looking for the ever-changing answer to the question, “How can we do this better?” He can be found on LinkedIn, producing content about the use of technologies in his civil engineering career and small business.
This Episode Is Brought to You by Shingle
Built specifically for the flexibility required by both engineers and architectural, engineering, and construction (AEC) firms, Shingle is a web platform that connects experienced, U.S.-accredited P.E.s and CAD professionals with AEC firms to complete short-duration tasks. Engineering firms with overflow work can easily engage with the engineers virtually on the platform without a timely hiring or tedious contracting process. With a focus on building long-term relationships between the engineers and AEC firms, Shingle’s goal is to help firms access top engineers as needed and potentially for full-time employment. Find out more about Shingle and how to join the network as an engineer or CAD professional, or through an AEC firm by visiting shingleit.com.
We would love to hear any questions you might have or stories you can share on how you would run a successful software pilot program.
Please leave your comments, feedback, or questions in the section below.
To your success,
Nick Heim, P.E.
Host of the AEC Engineering and Technology Podcast