Get Your Team to Use and Love Project Management Software

Get Your Team to Use and Love Project Management Software

Running simultaneous initiatives at an organization-wide scale is always a challenge. Numerous stakeholders, different types of tasks spread across multi-functional teams do not make it easy either.

Ensuring collaboration and maintaining visibility of the true state of affairs proves to be an uphill battle.

Hence, teams across the world turn to project management software for help. Some are lucky and get the right fit the first time and get going.

Some run into multiple challenges

  • Administrative hurdles
  • Organization culture
  • Resistance to change
  • Cost, etc.

But the greatest challenge of all: hooking your team to actually use and enjoy; this new tool!

This challenge is not to be taken lightly. Do it badly and you risk failure? You don’t want that. The business definitely can’t afford that.

But when you have decided to scale, do it right–the first time.

Just one slight glitch…

 It’s tough to switch…many pleas will surface

“Too busy to learn a new tool”,

“Our process is working fine. Why swap?”

“I am fine doing it my way; a new one won’t help me.”

Convincing your team to adopt any new project management software will take some work.

But it’s definitely possible, and we’re going to help you do it with some proven tips.

Engage your team from the beginning

It’s important to not only involve your team but key personnel across departments into the decision process early on.

Make them a partner on this journey. Get their skin in the game.

Invite their interests, expectations. Interview them on their current process and way of doing things.

See what features or capabilities will help make their work easier and gain common ground.

Demo the relevant aspects of the new tool and allow them some me-time with the tool.

It will go a long way.

Choose simple software that is easy to use

When selecting project management software always choose a system that is intuitive and has a user-friendly interface.

Look for on-screen training, clearly labeled buttons and tooltips that help you solve any user-issues on your own.

This will help drive user adoption.  Ease of doing things is of paramount importance at this stage of the evaluation and the overall adoption journey.

See to it that the teams are comfortable in finding their way around on the chosen platform.

Minimum learning curve and the ability to get their job done with minimum steps should be your key criteria other than the features.

Showcase Benefits, Not Features

“Features tell, but benefits sell.”

You have to sell to your team, describing the benefits.

The reason you are using a project management tool is that it will benefit you and your team.

Clearly demonstrate the benefits, for example, tracking the progress of your projects and being able to share and store files in one common place.

Identify and understand the non-negotiable functions. See how closely they are met by the platform.

Perform a proper fit-gap analysis and share it with the team. Let them see for themselves.

It adds transparency to the whole process and also displays the true value of the project and task management tool.

Communicate & solve issues during each stage of implementation:

59% of U.S. workers say communication is their team’s biggest challenge to success.

Interactive Communication is the key to any successful project and should flow effortlessly.

Ensure all identified issues are tracked and brought to their logical conclusion.

Provide a platform for the team to get together, hold regular checkpoint meetings and share feedback on the usage and adoption levels.

This will give you deeper insights as to what is wrong, where and will enable faster resolution and increase the value of the productivity management tool manifold.

Don’t duck out on training

Constant support and training are very important.

Do hash out your training and support agreements with your technology provider early-on.

User confidence increases when the teams know help is always around the corner.

Try to get as much help content available in terms of

  • Tutorials, videos
  • User manuals and guides
  • Guided tours, demos
  • Online portals
  • Support forums etc.

Remember that not all are self-starters or adventurers. Some need more hand-holding than others.

And it is your responsibility to see to it that all stakeholders get the support they need to use and benefit from the software.

Lead from the front and they will follow:

Buy-in has to come from senior management to adopt, implement and validate the project management software.

If your team thinks that using the software is optional, they revert to old practices, which defeat the whole purpose.

This requires a change in culture.

Start off by implementing the tool to improve the way you and your team communicate and track projects.

Take measured steps and try to gain as many quick-wins as possible. Identify the key activities that consume our teams’ maximum time and see to it that the tool is capable of reducing it.

Give them their time back or help them find the relevant info with ease or enable brainstorming and faster resolution on their project issues.

They will love the whole concept of project management.

It will then be a matter of time when they begin to see the value& will automatically adopt the system.

Be cool and nurture your team:

You are already asking a lot from your team, right?

They have been doing things differently but now you want them to learn a new system.

Possibly your teams get frustrated as they change their daily work habits, and productivity slumps. Transition is a slow-moving process.

You need to be patient with your team, and make sure they have access to someone who truly knows the software.

If you don’t nurture them into using it, then they become defensive and never will embrace.

Set meaningful milestones and help the teams reach them. Help them map their processes, use cases to the tool and run them on their own.

Pat them on the back when they are able to do so.

Be available, be present, and answer questions.

Conclusion

With adoption rates for new software as low as 30%, getting your team to use any new tool is a tough job.

Most implementations fail to start due to lack of transparency, not enough participation and user interaction.

The usual suspect in such cases is people’s natural resistance to change.

The most important factor for the project management implementation to be a success is getting your team to believe in its potential, see it as a value add and use it to the maximum.

Focus on your team and not just the software alone. Gift your teams a clear path to innovate at scale, accelerate project success and increase customer satisfaction.

Stay connected, Stay in control, Stay ahead with Orangescrum

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