Katapult Pro: Onboarding New Teams
Updated: Apr 4
When we brought on our first software client in 2016, the Katapult Pro platform was a very different system than it is today. Just as the platform's capabilities and features have grown, so has our ability to bring new teams up to speed.
Over the course of a difficult 2020, we have more than doubled our number of Katapult Pro clients, and are looking forward to the next wave of Katapult Pro companies who will be taking on pilot projects in the coming months.
As we enter our our fifth year of equipping teams with with OSP engineering software, I wanted to outline a few of our techniques and strategies to make sure our clients' first projects are successful.
Strategy #1: Never From The Top, Always From The Bottom.
If there is one lesson that we have learned over the years, it's that technicians, designers, and project managers will chafe against a solution that is imposed on them by their bosses. Whether this is a psychological, practical, or an indicator of organization health does not matter—what we see is that when teams are forced to use a solution they don't want to use, they find ways to make sure it never works. On the other hand, teams that are given some agency in the decision-making process (and have the time to run their own split tests and trials) take ownership of their solutions and feel pressure to make it work no matter what.
The latter situations have played a major role in Katapult Pro's adoption by leading OSP engineering teams, while the former have been behind our very few situations where teams failed to adopt the software in a helpful way.
Strategy #2: Start With Pilot Projects.
Many of our potential clients ask for free trials of the software. While we typically don't give our software away for free, we often agree to fully guarantee all license, equipment, and training costs for a first project in the Katapult Pro system. All we ask in return is that the team does their best to adhere to our design for the software for the first project. That means using the recommended equipment, going through training with our Engineering Lead, and using the recommended workflows while working closely with our support team. As our clients become more and more familiar with the software, they make changes and tweaks as they make the platform their own. We think we're onto something—every company who has signed up for a pilot project is still in the platform!
Strategy #3: Negotiate Fair Agreements.
When we first started drafting our Katapult Pro SaaS Agreement, we got some pushback from our IP attorney for the suggested edits that we wanted to add to the agreement to make it more equitable for both parties. Our final agreement reflects the following strategies that we think will make the Katapult Pro platform the industry standard:
Clients own all their data
Katapult won't jack our prices
Clients can add and subtract users easily
Clients can cancel your account at anytime
Clients can't steal, reproduce, or re-sell the platform
Strategy #4: Offer Expedited Features And Custom Exports.
One of the best ways that we can help our clients succeed is by allowing Katapult Pro teams to "hijack" our developers' time t develop future functionality that is specifically helpful to their team. We have a road map for Katapult Pro, and our developers spend their time building in new features that push the platform forward. We allow Katapult Pro companies to pay an expedited rate to add future features to the platform ahead of schedule. We also have platform functionality that allows us to map Katapult Pro data to custom spreadsheets and PDF deliverables, which helps clients automate traditional, clerical, heavy data-entry tasks.
Strategy #5: Run Project Managers Through Focused Training.
Another important thing that we recommend to our new clients is to put 1-3 individuals through full-stack training with our team. This is typically done remotely, at Katapult HQ, or on-site over two full days. We go over field collection, the basic office processes, and advanced office workflows, too. We limit the size of these trainings to ensure that project managers can get focused, one-on-one time with a Katapult Pro expert. Once your project managers have full-stack understanding of the platform, they are equipped to train the rest of your team and work with us to help your team tackle new markets and projects.
Thanks for reading! To start a pilot project, contact the Katapult Pro team at email@example.com!