Project management software is used by numerous organisations across the globe to seamlessly plan and track their projects and programs.
Requirements differ from one organisation to the next, so project managers need to be smart when choosing and implementing a project management software system. Surprisingly, it has been noted that up to 3 out of every 4 software packages launched in organisations fail. Although there could be a number of reasons behind this statistic it tends to mostly come down to the way in which the software package is implemented.
Below are a few simple tips to keep in mind when introducing a new software system into an organisation. These will help ensure that your Project Management Software Implementation is successful.
1. Is this needed? – At first it is important to establish if there is a real need for a project management system and whether your organisation will benefit from it. Project management software can be extremely powerful and provide multiple benefits in areas such as time management and cost control.
2. Who do I need to convince? – Not everyone is going to be enthusiastic about project management software and therefore you may be required to inform some people on the benefits of using PM software and more importantly establish the return on this investment (ROI).
3. Involve the rest of the team – Once you have the unsure people reassured you need to focus on the entire group. Many organisations tend to involve the project teams and forget about preparing the other key players such as the stakeholders and business partners. Assuming they know what the PMS system will bring to them won’t be enough, they need to be educated to ensure a higher understanding is achieved.
4. Review your current processes and procedures – All current processes and procedures used within an organisation need to be reviewed and refined, if needed, in order for them to be integrated into the proposed project management system. If gaps are identified within the process then a new process should be drafted up.
5. Training and on-going support – Full software training for every user is essential. Many implementations fail at this stage due to lack of or inadequate training. Once training has been given, the organisation should provide some on-going support via an expert.
6. Commence with the roll out – Once all of the above have been addressed, you can now proceed with the roll out. Communication is of upmost importance at this stage and some communication tips to keep in mind in the initial few weeks would be:
- Keep a list of any important actions that has taken place for future reference.
- The entire implementation team should make an effort to meet at least once during the day for a quick briefing.
- Arrange follow up meetings that involves everyone and discuss any issues that may be affecting the roll out and the future success of the PM software.
The success of the project management software implementation process depends heavily on how effective the implementation team are in terms of investigation, communication and support. Any implementation, big or small, requires a certain level of cultural change in the organisation and will bring some challenges to the table. However, having a solid process in place will help make the transition as smooth as possible.