Implementing review and approval software often comes with a stigma that it takes forever, is full of challenges and barriers, and requires a significant amount of time and effort from your team.

While that may be true for some software implementations, at Vodori, we have devised a review and approval software implementation process that is simple, streamlined, and built on a foundation of industry knowledge. Our expertise comes from years of experience as consultants deploying custom software solutions for life science organizations of all sizes.

Here are some of the best practices we follow that you should consider before you start the review and approval software implementation process, no matter your software vendor. These best practices will help guide your project and eliminate headaches for you and your entire team as you implement new software and navigate any challenges that arise.

Review and approval software implementation best practices to save you time and headache

Identify key stakeholders involved in the implementation project 

Before you even start with your review and approval software implementation, identify who needs to be involved and who will weigh in on key decisions throughout the process. At Vodori, we recommend that you identify the following stakeholders:

  • A system owner and project lead – This individual will have a good familiarity with your current processes as well as your future promotional review goals. Your system owner should also have a strong knowledge of your current SOPs and the review team composition. They will serve as the point person for any day to day decisions and questions that arise while your organization implements the new system.
  • An IT specialist – Your IT specialist will be familiar with the technical systems currently in place and can provide guidance on how to best integrate your new MLR review solution with the other systems that your organization uses..
  • MLR or PRC team representatives – These representatives should be knowledgeable members of your current material review team and can assist with configuration decisions needed for your new process. Be sure to include a range of team members representing every department involved with your material reviews. That way, each department can advocate for their specific needs.

Identifying your software implementation team before you begin the process is critical to a successful implementation. 

Determine changes you want to make to your review process to guide configuration

Before you begin the implementation process, it is beneficial to meet with your entire material review team to talk about your current process and changes that need to be made. Think about your organization’s needs, current material review challenges, pain points of your old system, and process goals for your new system. Then communicate that information to your software provider so that the new system aligns with your process changes, needs, and goals.

Through our implementations with many different life science organizations, we’ve learned firsthand how essential it is to talk about your goals, review current processes to better inform your new process, and design SOPs that are specific to your organization. These discussions will directly impact how your software is configured to meet the needs of your content review and approval process.

Set a realistic timeframe for your review and approval software implementation

There are many factors to consider when setting a realistic timeframe and pace for your software implementation. Some questions you should consider include:

  • What is the size of my organization?
  • How many individuals will use the new software?
  • Where are my users located?
  • What is our current review process?

Having answers to these questions will enable you and your software provider to create your desired timeline and launch date. Be sure to account for vacations, outages, and other higher-priority projects that take precedent in your timeline. Communicate that plan with your software implementation project team so everyone is on the same page. Once everyone is in agreement, budget that time so everyone is available to ensure a smooth software implementation.

Being realistic about your timeline is critical to a successful software implementation. We recommend adding a little bit more time than you think you need to account for unforeseen challenges and issues that could arise. You can see a sample timeline for our software implementations here.

Identify and discuss content migration needs

If you are currently using a manual content review and approval solution or are hosting your content elsewhere, consider whether you want to migrate all your existing content into your new software as part of the implementation process. Your software provider should work with you to provide options for content migration that will work best based on your organization’s size and needs.

We understand that successfully migrating your existing content into a new software is an important part of the implementation process. We always take business context and goals into account to determine if a hard cutover or dual system operability is ideal for your organization.

Have a formalized end-user training plan in place

Before you launch a new promotional review system, it’ll be important to get your material review team and other key stakeholders trained on the system. This ensures high end-user adoption and a positive user experience. The better trained your team is from day one of using the new software, the more successful your new process will be. 

Training also provides a critical time for end users to ask specific questions that are relevant to how they will use the system to do their jobs. Work with your software provider to outline a training plan and communicate that plan to your team so everyone is on the same page.

During our software implementation process, we provide training after user acceptance testing and before you’re live with the system. Our standard training includes instructor-led training for all end users and we always collaborate with system owners to cover all the important software features specific to an organization’s needs.

Know what customer success looks like post implementation

So you’ve successfully launched your new review and approval software, but now what? It’s important that you have regular touch points with your software provider after implementation. They can help answer questions, talk through challenges you’re facing, and work through additional configuration needs that were unforeseen during the initial planning phase.

At Vodori, we check in with our customers more frequently in the 30 days post-launch, what we call hypercare, to provide increased monitoring, quicker turnaround times for configurations, and to ensure our software is meeting the needs of your organization. Additionally, these first 30 days are important for ensuring system adoption and to monitor if any extra training is needed so that users get the most out of our solutions. After hypercare, we assign a dedicated Customer Success Manager to establish regular touch points where we discuss goals, your process, software and system usage, and work through any challenges together. As your business grows and changes, we’re here to help you navigate those changes and make sure our systems are adding as much value as possible to your business. 

The importance of a smooth review and approval software implementation

Review and approval software solutions will help you bring compliant products to market faster and will streamline your material review process. But to ensure your organization is using that software to its fullest, it starts with a smooth software implementation. Use these best practices as you embark on this project and remember, your software provider should be there to guide and help you. Learn more about Vodori’s implementation process here or read an interview with our CEO on what a successful implementation process looks like.

At Vodori, we make it easy for life science companies to move fast–because healthcare can’t wait. We empower companies to move quickly with cloud software that is innovative, life-science focused, and delivered with an exceptional customer experience.