Solar & Renewable Software Implementation: How to Manage Change & Quickly Achieve Success

Change is scary in the beginning, messy in the middle, and rewarding in the end.

When adopting new technology or undergoing a complete digital transformation, the ultimate goal is to achieve positive results and enhance operations. To recognize the value the new solution adds, it’s essential to implement it correctly and onboard the team effectively. This is arguably the most important part of the digital transformation process. In most cases, you can yield greater results by focusing on properly implementing basic software tools or basic features than when you choose a powerful piece of software but don’t invest in proper implementation. 

A company’s approach to implementing new software is one of the earliest indicators of long-term success. Software implementation involves embracing change, which is crucial to achieving your desired outcomes. While strategies exist, you must come to grips with the reality that change processes aren’t always smooth, even when well-executed. 

In this blog, we will pull from our team’s real-world experiences while onboarding hundreds of clients to demonstrate best practices when it comes to successfully implementing new technology. We will explore the following topics: 

What is Software Implementation Anyways?

Implementation is arguably the most important phase in the digital transformation or software adoption process. It’s the “how” that follows the “why” (needs analysis) and the “what”. To rewind, recognizing the need for change and assessing business needs is the “why,” while shopping around for and selecting a suitable solution forms the “what”. To be sure these are worthwhile topics that we will cover on their own in future posts but for this article, we are going to focus on the “how” which includes configuring the software to align with business processes, training your team, and launching the chosen software. 

However, one thing that most people overlook is the fact that software implementation doesn’t occur at a single point in time. In fact even beyond the launch, there’s a need for a process of continuous improvement and modifications to ensure the solution adapts to your business’s ever-changing needs. As a leadership team, adjusting to this type of mindset is a critical success factor for any software implementation.

How software implementation fits in the digital transformation process

Why Proper Software Implementation is Critical 

Maximizing Return on Investment (ROI)

Proper implementation and onboarding of new software is crucial for the success of an organization, as it directly impacts its return on investment (ROI). When employees are properly onboarded, they can use the software to its full potential, leading to enhanced productivity and efficiency. This optimal usage can result in faster achievement of business objectives, whether it is increasing sales, accelerating installations, or streamlining service visits. 

On the other hand, poor onboarding can lead to the underutilization of expensive software, turning an investment into an expense. This is the last thing you want especially in today’s competitive market, where effectively using advanced software can provide a significant competitive advantage by enabling you to respond quickly to market changes and capitalize on opportunities.

The Human Aspect

Taking the time to properly implement new software can have huge benefits for your business.   A critical aspect to take into account is the human side of your business and managing change effectively. When staff members struggle with new tools, aren’t properly trained, and do not have an opportunity to provide feedback, this can lead to frustration, decreased morale, and even increased turnover – regardless of how great a tool is and how thoroughly it is set up.

Doing things the right way demonstrates your commitment to supporting employees, thereby fostering a positive workplace culture and increasing employee satisfaction and loyalty. This is crucial for business leaders, especially in a time of widespread skilled labor shortages.

Common Mistakes During Software Implementation 

There are a few ways you can find yourself running into onboarding woes. These are generally bucketed into 2 categories: Configuration Woes and Training Woes. 

Configuration Woes

The One-(Wo)Man Army

One of the most common challenges in building software is having a single person take care of configuration and implementation while failing to involve other stakeholders. It’s essential to consider the new system’s complexity, which teams will be using it, who’s enthusiastic, and who isn’t. If you don’t identify and involve these individuals during the building phase, your software may not be designed with the end user in mind. This might seem obvious, but we’ve seen it happen far too often—avoid having a single person who won’t be using the system go solo into implementation.

The Perfection Trap

Attempting to include every possible feature from the start often complicates software implementation and can overwhelm users. This “perfection trap” can delay deployments and distract from the software’s core objectives. Often, an organization will purchase a system after being impressed by all of its bells and whistles and will try to incorporate all of them from the start instead of focusing on the key areas of value first

Overcomplicating things can also negatively impact software adoption from your team. Humans are creatures of habit so chances are, they’ll revert back to the “old way” of doing things simply because that’s what they know and are comfortable with.

Assuming Change Happens at a Single Point in Time

As mentioned in “What Is Software Implementation Anyways?”, many people mistakenly assume that software implementation occurs at a single point in time. However, once the software is launched, it’s often considered complete. Employees stop actively working on the system even as their needs evolve and inefficiencies surface. This neglect often leads people to blame the software for its “limitations,” resulting in frustration and unmet needs. 

We’ve seen some of our users abandon our software, believing it no longer met their requirements, only to return months later after realizing that no better option exists. They often discover that the real issue lies not in the software itself, but in the failure to maintain and adapt it to evolving workflows. Ultimately, overlooking the need for iteration (using employee feedback) can leave the software stagnant, preventing it from meeting changing organizational goals.

Training Woes

The One-Size-Fits-All Fallacy 

A common pitfall when introducing a new system is the company spends most of its effort getting the tool set up and minimal effort on educating their team during and after implementation. We’ve even seen some companies skip training their field team altogether. That’s like spending weeks to find the perfect job candidate, telling them when their first day is, and then never talking to them again—I think we all know how that story ends. 

Training matters, don’t overlook it! Not having a proper onboarding plan to ensure each functional team can use the new system effectively is a quick way to fail. There shouldn’t be a one-size-fits-all approach to your training either. The way people use the software will greatly depend on their function so overloading everyone with useless information through generalized onboarding is a no-go.

Not Having a Backup Sotware Implementation Lead

One common mistake organizations make is not having a backup software implementation lead ready to go. The main lead often ends up being the “guru,” the one who knows the ins and outs of the system. If that person leaves or can’t continue in the role, and there’s no backup ready to step in, it can cause serious setbacks. All the progress made can quickly come to a halt, and months or even years of work can be lost. 

Without a trained successor, knowledge gaps start to show up, and the team might struggle to keep things on track. The platform could end up not working as smoothly as it should, and you risk it not aligning with the organization’s goals anymore. Not having a backup plan leaves the door open for costly mistakes that could impact how well the software supports your organization.

Keys to Successful Software Implementation 

Start Simple

Start simple. Keep your scope of launch manageable and laser-focused on key areas. You can add bells and whistles once you and your users are confident in your initial build. Your team will thank you for it. Let’s put it this way, if you want to learn how to juggle like a circus performer, it’s much easier to start with two balls and move your way up to dangerous items like swords and chainsaws—going the other way around can lead to catastrophic consequences. Starting simple also allows you to be more flexible and include employee feedback. Here’s what John McNamara, COO at ARP Solar has to say about his experience implementing Scoop:

For more of John’s insights, click here.

Role-Based Training

When creating your training plan for the new software, categorize your team by function. Try putting yourself in their shoes and follow the WIIFM (what’s in it for me?) rule. Each learner wants to understand the personal advantages they will gain from their training session. They ask themselves: How is this going to benefit me? Why should I engage? Will this training help reduce my day-to-day headaches?

To easily answer these questions and ensure your team is engaged, we recommend using a skill-based training approach. Skill-based training focuses on providing employees with the precise knowledge they need for their roles. It’s customized to meet each job position’s unique reality and avoids overloading them with pointless information.

Have a Plan

Having a clear detailed plan with milestone dates allows for regular reviews, ensuring everything is executed smoothly. Furthermore, having a structured plan facilitates better management of various teams involved, allowing for timely preparation and stellar training sessions. Moreover, aligning with executive teams through these plans enables celebrating milestones and quickly addressing risks, optimizing support from higher-ups when needed. 

Constant Iteration and Feedback

As John mentions in the above video, encouraging feedback from the team and implementing changes in real-time is key to getting buy-in. At the end of the day, you are implementing a new system for the end user to facilitate their lives which in turn, optimizes operations. It’s also important to treat software implementation as an ongoing process—it doesn’t simply end once you’re finished with the initial launch. 

Creating formalized communication channels for individuals to make suggestions and ask questions is also valuable in identifying areas of improvement. It’s a great way to socialize what the next version of your system will look like. Things like Slack channels or weekly meetings have worked very well for some of our most successful customers. 

Forming a Well-Rounded Sotware Implementation Team

Having a software implementation lead or champion is crucial for several reasons. This role serves as a central point of coordination and communication, ensuring that all aspects of the implementation align with the organization’s goals and processes. The lead oversees the project timeline, manages resources, troubleshoots issues, and ensures stakeholder engagement across departments, which promotes user adoption and smooth integration into existing workflows. 

However, be careful not to fall into the “one-(wo)man” army trap. One great way to avoid it and maximize buy-in from the team is to create a supporting cast for this person, including a dedicated representative from each functional team as well as an executive champion. This ensures the interests of everyone are taken into account and allows you to head in the right direction from the start.


Effective onboarding is essential for the successful adoption of new software within an organization. By prioritizing proper planning, stakeholder involvement, and comprehensive training, teams can avoid common pitfalls and ensure an effortless transition. Don’t forget, that it takes time—always keep in mind that these are short-term pains that result in long-term gains. 

Embracing simplicity, having a well-defined plan, fostering team buy-in, and committing to constant iteration are key elements for a successful onboarding process. With the right approach, organizations can maximize the value of their software investments and empower their teams to thrive in our growing digital world. Before you pick your next system to add to your tech stack, review that company’s onboarding program as a criteria to determine if it’s the right one for you. A good system on paper is only valuable if you can get your team to use it. 

For more information on how we approach onboarding at Scoop and ensure that all our customers are set up for success, reach out to one of our dedicated experts today.

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