How to Get the Most From a Software Demo – The Digital Projekt Manager

How to Get the Most From a Software Demo – The Digital Projekt Manager

Galen Low is joined at Capterra by Olivia Montgomery, Associate Principal Analyst. Together they discuss some of the most effective strategies to make the demo phase of your software selection process more relevant to your specific needs.
Interview Highlights
Olivia is an Associate Principal Analyst with Capterra. She was previously the IT PMO leader and now advises small and mid-sized businesses on software selection. [1:24]
Olivia believes that demos are an important part of the selection process. There is a lot to do, especially for the project manager. [5:48]
You can’t cover all the functionality in a demo software. The demo is not the best place to see all of the functionality. Before you sign a contract, it is important to have a list of the actual functionality. [7:07]
Olivia suggests scheduling two demos: a business-facing demo and a technical demo. Olivia suggests splitting them to respect the time of your stakeholders. These meetings will also require different people. It’s not the same people. [8:59]
The demo for business will be focused on user stories. Your power user and business owner should be present in the area where the tool is most useful. [9:42]
Olivia recommends being transparent and open with vendors when meeting to prepare for a demo. [15:09]
I believe transparency is key to success. Talk to your stakeholders and the vendor about what you require and what they have in mind.
Olivia Montgomery Olivia Montgomery Olivia Montgomery Olivia sent out a survey to the power user, the heads of the department, and to the team to find out who was going to be using it. To give them structure, she used a Mad Libs approach. [19:13]
Olivia also spoke about the second demo being a technical-facing one. This is where you need to ensure that both your technical leads as well as the vendor’s technical leads are present at the demo. [20:33]
Rely on your team leaders, your business leaders, and your power users. Before you demo, you need to speak to them.
Olivia Montgomery Software is moving towards low code. This allows your front-end sysadmin, even your high-level business, and your power user to set up many workflows in these low-code solutions. [27:26]
Olivia discusses vendor scorecards and their usefulness in decision-making discussions. Olivia recommends that project managers save vendor scorecards every time they are needed, as you never know when they will be audited. [29:13]
Olivia recommends that you have one scorecard template. It should contain your technical and business requirements. Then, be very clear about who owns which column or row. [37:07]
A single scorecard can help everyone feel connected, heard and on the same page. It can also facilitate key discussions that must take place before you sign a contract.
Olivia Montgomery Olivia believes in a consistent, yet personalized approach. Every stakeholder is unique. Every business is unique. The maturity of your environment, your business processes, your money, and your time are all factors that determine the success of your business. [41:58]
Olivia also likes vendor scorecards, especially if you wait to see the criteria. It is important to remember why you need a tool because it can sometimes be forgotten, or you can lose track of it. [47:18]
Respect the opinion-holder. You should verify that they are the ones making the final decision.
Olivia Montgomery Meets Our Guest
Researcher and thought leader analyst, responsible for creating reports and insights on small-business project management and supply chain