Among the biggest challenges of a software Go-Live day are often improper staffing and the lack of available resources. A Go-Live game plan will help transit agencies prepare.
During the lead-up to Go-Live, having a clear and detailed game plan will iron out most problems before they arise. Most importantly, a proper plan for transit software implementation will help ensure an agency is fully staffed and that the staff is appropriate prepared to handle unforeseen challenges.
Why is it important to be fully staffed?
After all the hard work of updating data, training managers and staff, and communicating the coming changes to customers and partner agencies is complete, the real work begins. As an agency prepares to go live with new transit software, they should have all hands on deck. Being fully staffed communicates to customers and partner agencies that you care about them and that everything is being done to ensure the transition goes as smoothly as possible. Ensuring that staff knows well in advance the timing and schedule of the transition is essential and keeping staff informed often results in keeping customers informed as well.
You're fully staffed, now what?
Informing and preparing agency staff for the transition to new software is essential to success. Anticipating customer questions and complaints is also in an agency’s best interests. Some of these will be obvious and should be formatted into a script for staff who can use canned responses to reassure customers and partner agencies. Preparing staff with a script takes pressure off of them, helping them to understand possible issues that may arise and providing the tools they need to more quickly provide solutions. Developing scripts with your software partner is a good idea since they should have suggestions based on their experience and expertise.
Agency staff should also have a list of procedures for common situations. Like the script, these procedures equip staff with the solutions to handle most situations in a confident and consistent manner. A staff member’s reaction to possible problems reflects on an agency’s operations, after all. Ensuring they are fully knowledgeable about the new transit software and the changes it will cause enables them to be good ambassadors to customers and partner agencies.
Lastly, have a clear system set up to handle unanticipated problems. Frustrated, confused, and upset customers want to feel like they are being heard and their concerns responded to. Making sure staff knows how to professionally handle complaints, how to report them, and how follow ups take place is extremely important. This transparency reassures customers, and reinforces a company's caring reputation.
The ultimate goal is to transition new transit software smoothly, and to confidently handle problems so that partner agencies and customers maintain their confidence in your operations. The go-live game plan will help you transition with as few bumps as possible. There will always be unanticipated issues, but with a go-live plan in place, those issues can be quickly handled better and the agency’s positive reputation reinforced.
About the Author
Read Ecolane's blog articles for perspective, opinion and information on transit and paratransit issues.