How to Roll Out Your New Project Management Software to Your Team
Read time: 5 minutes
So you’ve done all your research, looked into various project management software options, and chose a solution you just know will work within your creative agency.
You are convinced of how great this software is. You know it will help increase productivity, reduce costs, help with your reporting requirements, manage your jobs and so much more. There’s only one tiny problem: your team is anxious and does not fully share your enthusiasm. You need to bear in mind that humans are creatures of habit and not many people actually enjoy change even though they may be happy with the results change brings. You know that if you can get them on board and using the software, it will make your job and theirs a lot easier.
So the question is, how do you get that buy-in?
1. Don’t Assume That What is Important to You is Important to Your Staff
You know that time tracking is a useful tool for helping you to manage your agency’s costs, create more accurate forecasting, improve decision making and so on. This is what is important to you in management, but why is it important for your creative team? Remember that each person has the same question in mind: “What’s in it for me?”
Bear this in mind when convincing your staff of the benefits of the system. They may or may not find the fact that you can monitor your costs that interesting. However, what they will find interesting is that tracking time will help them manage their manager’s expectations, it will give tangible facts when organizing their schedules. It will help them realize where all their time is being spent and can help them prioritize more mission-critical tasks.
Solution: Speak to your team in their language, think about what is important to them and explain how this software will help solve their pain points.
2. Lead By Example
The best way to become a true software evangelist is, (without meaning to sound corny), by “being the change you wish to see in the world”. Basically, if you want your agency staff to use the new project management software, then you need to start using it too. If you want your staff to input timesheets then show how important it is by demonstrating that you put in timesheets also. In general, people do not trust the recommendation of someone who doesn’t have firsthand experience. Imagine the following scenario where Jen needs a new dentist:
Jen: “I really need a new dentist”
Tom: “You should go see Dr. Alice Roberts. She’s excellent and really personable”
Jen: “Oh really, have you been to see her?”
Tom: “Oh no, I wouldn’t go see her. But you definitely should!”
Unless Jen urgently needs an appointment it’s safe to say she will keep shopping around! The same applies to new software. You trust the recommendation of someone who uses the software on a daily basis, particularly if it is someone you respect.
Solution: Assign tasks in the system, teach by doing, show your enthusiasm, and make it relevant by using real-life examples.
3. Have a Go-Live Date – Prep Your Team For This in Advance
The next step to launching is to have a Go-Live Date. This is quite a simple step that many people tend to overlook. It is essential to ensuring a successful rollout. If your team is aware of this date well in advance they can address any concerns or extra training they may require. At Function Point, we always want to help agencies work towards a specified rollout date, this means we can ramp up training and address any roadblocks well in advance.
Solution: Pick a Go-Live or Launch date. Make it specific, e.g. “After March 1st all new jobs must be created in the new system”. Don’t choose a vague timeframe, e.g. “sometime in Q3 we should start using the system” as things can get easily pushed out in this way. Communicate this Go Live Date to your team and ask for their feedback. Are there any barriers to launch? Can these be solved before this date? Etc.
A Last Note on Roll-Out
Remember that a project management software is only as powerful as the content that sustains it. This means that your team needs to be completely on board and prepared to get stuck in by your Go Live Date. Also, remember that depending on different roles & responsibilities project management software will mean different things to different people. Think about what using the new software might mean for your staff — better collaboration, integrated CRM, easier time management and so on. Function Point offers a personalized training program to ensure that everyone on your team has the best onboarding experience possible, and can use the system to its full potential. Bringing in a new system can be a challenge, but with the appropriate steps and training, it will be sure to be an upgrade worth celebrating!
If you want to experience fp.’s project management software firsthand, be sure to book a free demo with us and we’d be happy to show you around.
Brand & Product Coordinator
Marissa was raised on a steady diet of mountain and ocean activities. She’s a product marketer by day, reader by night, and human being by day and night.