How to Make the Most of Your Software Demo or Trial
It is critical to do your research when it comes to selecting project management software, but once you've found a few applications that you like, it's even more important to test them out!
Many software applications will offer a demo or trial period (or both!) in which you can test out the software. Anyone can play around with a demo and get a feel for the user interface, but it's another thing to actually use the software properly in the demo and figure out if it will work for you.
The best software applications will have full time support at the ready to answer any of your questions throughout the demo and trial period, however, there are a few steps you can take to prepare yourself to make the most out of your demo or trial.
Follow these easy steps on how to get the most out of your software demo or trial in a short amount of time:
- Create a one-page workflow document. Outline your workflow at a high level. Highlight the basics and focus on who does what. Define who creates the job, who assigns the team, who works on the job, who completes the job, and the basic reports you want out of the app. Also identify the key fields of data you need to capture for each job. Try our handy workflow sample and template sheet if you're stuck!
- Send the vendor some sort of standard report you currently use so they can configure the trial for you. Your vendor should know how to analyze your report, and configure the trial.
- Request training. This is how you determine if you have a good partner in a vendor. A vendor who will be with you throughout the entire trial period (and after!) is a good sign.
- Enter 5 different jobs in the app. Focus on the key steps of your workflow, from start to finish. Once you enter one job, the next one will feel more easy. Try to enter in different kinds of jobs so you get a good idea of what features you need.
So are you ready to get started with your demo or trial?
Remember, keep trials simple! The purpose of a trial is not to evaluate every button. The main purpose of the trial is to pick a vendor you can work with and get a good feel for the app.
Creative workflow is unique, meaning all sorts of changes and issues come up. Pick a vendor that is responsive, and will help you handle the issues that inevitably will come up. This app will become the backbone of your department and you want to be sure it's the right choice for you!