4 Keys To Setting Up A Winning Project Management Software

If you type something along the lines of “percentage of software implementations that fail” into a search engine, you may be surprised by the numbers out there – 65%, 68%, 72% and even 75% according to some research. And if you dig a little deeper as to why these numbers are so high, you’ll see results such as “unrealistic expectations,” “lack of an executive champion,” “resistance to change,” and “staff involved too late in the process.”

When we (happily) sign your agency up as a new FP customer, we truly want to see you succeed, and we do our best to make that happen through our training, support, and ongoing success efforts.

So, how can your agency beat the statistics and successfully implement an agency project management software solution like Function Point? Here are 3 recommendations based on my experience.

1. Let’s Start At The Very Beginning

Let’s really begin at the beginning. Software implementations fail long before you even select the software. Before you start setting up demos and viewing contracts, make sure your agency truly knows what it needs. Get a list of requirements organized – include everything and anything you’d like that software to do.  And be as specific as possible. You want the software to make your agency processes faster or better? How much faster? What does better look like?

Get Your Priorities Straight

Once you have that list, prioritize it.  Don’t know how to start? There are lots of methods out there including getting the staff to vote, or rate requirements by their business value, likelihood of success or difficulty to implement. Another popular way is the MoSCoW method, where you sort your requirements into one of 4 quadrants – the Must haves, the Should haves, the Could haves and the Won’t haves.

2. Know Your Options

So now you have your requirements, and you have them prioritized. From here you can start seeking software solution options. These options can then be assessed against your requirements. Which solution offers the greatest business value? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each solution? Maybe you create an in-house panel to judge your leading software options based on factors such as UI, OS compatibility, the support system provided, and whether it’s a system that’s continually evolving. Not doing your research is like choosing to walk through a door that looks pretty, seems like it works, and hoping for the best. With the proper preparation, you can eliminate the feeling of “simply making do” with the workflow management software that you’ve chosen.

3. Include Your Team For The Ride

Once you pick your agency project management software solution, your work is not yet done. No matter how great the software is, the software can only do so much. One thing it cannot do is make your agency ready for the changes new software brings. Agencies are made up of people, and people can be resistant to change. Ask yourself: how successful has your agency been in the past when implementing big changes? How able and willing are the staff that will be leading this change? How open are the rest of the team members to this change? What forces are supporting the change and how can those be strengthened? What forces are restraining the change and how can those be reduced?

Make sure your agency truly knows what you need from the agency project management software, and that the priority of those needs is shared by your whole team. To drive change, ensure each person at your creative agency understands why this change is needed, what’s in it for them, and why it’s important to the agency.  There’s no magic formula to selecting and implementing a software solution, but there is plenty you can do to increase your chances of success.

This article was contributed by former Function Point team member, Amanda Truscott.

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