The importance of the Onboarding process is often overlooked when choosing to implement new Time Tracking/Project Management software. The more user-friendly and intuitive the product, the better, but regardless of how simple account setup may seem, it is always worth your time to work with a dedicated Onboarder. Good marketing and sales strategies are one thing, but a successful product can only back up those promises if they have a team behind the product that wants you to love their software as much as they do. This is your Onboarder’s primary goal and is achieved through two main objectives: helping set up your account in a way that best fits your business and complements your workflow and making sure that you fully understand how the product works, and the value in using it.

Help Your Onboarder Help You
Many companies often take advantage of seasonal promotions when making their initial purchase. Saving money is always a bonus, however, these promotions often coincide with office closures and employees out on holiday - not the best time to set up and implement new software! It is important to not only establish a realistic timeline for implementation, but to also communicate this to your Onboarder. If you know that you are going to need a couple of weeks before you are ready to begin, or if you are working against a deadline with a set go-live date, be open about this so that your Onboarder is ready to get started when you are.

If you are unable to begin the onboarding process right away, there are still ways in which you can help your Onboarder help you. Think about what you want to accomplish by implementing this new software. What pain points need to be addressed? Struggling with managing employee workload? Scope creep? Losing track of deadlines? Communicating these expectations will help you and your Onboarder outline a plan with these specific points in mind. If you have been managing projects via spreadsheets, or have other documents relating to your workflow, send them to your Onboarder so that they have an opportunity to familiarize themselves with your current process and how to best transition that process over to the new software.

Time Spent Now Will Save Time Later
Setting up and learning a new piece of software, no matter how straightforward, takes time. Every company is different, so how long it takes will vary depending on the size of the account, complexity of setup, and the type of work being done. The important thing is that you dedicate the time to work with your Onboarder and set yourself up for success. Daily schedules often change on the fly - a looming deadline can turn a day or even a whole week upside down - however, if Onboarding meetings are continuously being pushed back or cancelled, it makes it difficult to establish a consistent process, and could potentially derail your entire implementation plan.

The key to successful account setup is having a clear idea of the information that you want to capture. The percentage of billable vs. non-billable work being done? The accurate tracking of Project statuses? The categorization of Projects by different type? Think ahead to the reporting process - when you’re pulling data from your account on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, what do you want to see? The last thing you want is to have to overhaul your account setup and retrain your staff a few months after roll-out, once you realize that you are not getting the information or level of detail that you need - nobody has time for that!

In this ever-changing industry, one thing remains the same: the right software can have a significant impact on your team’s productivity and overall business efficiency, and it can only work better when set up with your specific business in mind. Through clear communication and collaboration, working with an Onboarder to implement your new software will be time well spent.