Do you know when to fire your software?
You hired your software to do a job. Thus, there must be fireable offenses.
Have you outlined what those are and how to identify them? You have a code of conduct and host performance reviews for your employees to ensure they are continuously supporting the growth of your company – but what about your software?
What is your process for determining that your software warrants termination?
You don’t need to hire an HR manager for your software. However, you should have someone overseeing the health of the systems that run your business (obviously!). How else are you going to ensure you’re not wasting money and minutes on manual processes, and remaining agile so you can adapt when a competitor inevitably challenges your position in the market?
Evaluation criteria should include:
1. the adaptability of your software
2. the time it takes to achieve an outcome
3. the annual cost of running that system (i.e. software, employees, opportunity cost), and
4. the resiliency of the system that your software supports (i.e. if an employee is out sick, does the system keep running smoothly?)
The first fireable offense is an unwillingness to adapt.
Maybe your software was on its best behavior at the beginning – simplifying your day and streamlining your processes – but slowly over time it is no longer meeting your expectations. Your business has evolved, and your software hasn’t kept up. You’ve filled the gaps with manual processes, accepted the complexity, cost, and the need for backup plans for when things break.
Would you allow an employee to operate with an outdated skillset? It’s the year 2019, and almost every market is ripe for disruption. You need to be able to update your processes as needed in this ever-changing business landscape.
Does your software move with speed or slow you down? Does your software invite you to find innovative ways to increase efficiency because of how easy it can adapt, or do you find yourself catering your strategy to the features your software provides you?
If the latter, you may simply be unaware that the status quo of software is changing. You have more control than you think.
Time is money. The more time you spend operating your business, the higher your operational costs, and the lower your profit margins.You wouldn’t tolerate an employee wasting time. The same should go for your software. If you find yourself spending more time on your software, and hiring more software to make up for its limitations, it’s time to take a look at your options.
Just like you would fire Janet for playing Bejeweled and napping at her desk, you should fire your incompetent software. You wouldn’t let a toxic employee affect other areas of your business. Then why let bad software affect your bottom line?
Remember: There is no ageism when it comes to firing your software. If it’s old, outdated, and no longer doing the job it was hired to do, it’s time to kick it to the curb.
If you or your employees complain about your software more than you praise it, it’s time to move on. You certainly wouldn’t keep or promote an employee who consistently misses the mark.
If your software has such a steep learning curve or it’s so difficult to comprehend how the software is meant to simplify things that your employees don’t even use it, stop and switch.
Team morale and motivation is difficult to measure, but critical for productivity. If your team is waking up frustrated that they have to come in and work alongside incompetent software, it’s time to review your options.
Is your data secure and reliable? There’s enough uncertainty in the world, don’t let your software increase your liability.
What would happen to your data if your software crashed? Just like you probably have a “hit by a bus” clause when it comes to your employees and information shared, you should have a backup plan for your software.
Better yet, your software should have fail-safes in place in the event of a system failure.
And it’s 2019. If you can’t easily access your data and view it in a format that clearly tells a narrative about the health of your business and the direction you should be headed, you are behind.
Last but certainly not least, if your software doesn’t play well with others (i.e. your other systems and processes), it has to go. If it doesn’t communicate effectively, and instead of breaking down walls between departments, it builds them, it’s time to review your options.
If you find it difficult to explain how your business operates, it’s likely because of the software you’re using to manage your systems.
Having an integrated and automated system running your business is much easier than you think.
If you were to write a list of the sequence of activities you need to run your business and you think, “this seems way simpler than the flowchart of software we’re currently using,” you should stop and switch.
If you’re suffering from any of these offenses, it may be time to let your software go. If you don’t have software that you can confidently say keeps your business streamlined, organized, and agile, you’re vulnerable. We are in a time of speed, disruption, and iteration. Don’t be the bloated, slow moving business that repels top talent, churns customer, and allows competition to push them into an early retirement.
Stop letting your software put you and your business on the chopping block.
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