One of the biggest challenges, a project manager can face in a new team, is to change things for the better and let this changes take effect without the resistance of the team.
One of the most frequent examples is when a project manager decides to introduce a new tool for project management. Twproject team has helped several project mangers facing this challenge and, in time, we develop a strategy to make this all work without too much effort.
This moment of change, even if it is felt like very stressful, is actually a great opportunity for a company to improve its strategy and organizations.
So, what if you are that project manager? What if you really want to change things in your company organization with a new project management software?
Fix your expectations:
One of the most important things you need to do, before introducing a new software, is identifying your goals. You have to answer these 2 questions:
- Which are the main reasons that bring me to search for a project management tool?
- Which are the key features of the tool I chose?
these very simple questions can let you analyze what you are missing in your team now and which are the milestones you want to achieve in the future. Here are some examples:
“I really need to let everyone see what they are working on, stop wasting time with e-mails, pointing out problems and delay. The software I’ve chosen has great dashboards with the list of active assignments by priority.”
“I started searching for a project management software because we really do not know how much our projects cost. We wanted to track time and extract reports with resources costs. We chose the software that lets us manage resource costs easily, together with a time tracking tool”
Once you have your goals in mind be realistic and set some small achievements for your near future. Having realistic expectations is very important, actually it is a key point, if you expect to achieve unrealistic goals you will immediately face a sense of fail in your team, and this will bring the software to fail.
At the same time, if you do not communicate your expectations, no one will understand how much helpful will be this change and they will abandon the software.
No one said it was easy….
Team communications, change is for the better..
The other key point about introducing a new software in a company, is to let everyone know, that this will actually help everyone working better, not just the project manager.
This, in some cases, is very difficult.
If you are the project manager of a cohesive team, maybe this will not affect you, but now I’m talking to all those pm, having a big team to manage, maybe a distributed one, with several people working in different ways. So, how to let them feel that changes are for the better?
It is not a software to control who is working and who is not. It seems a bad thing to say, but most of the time, these kind of software are felt like tools to control. They are not and you have to tell them clearly. It doesn’t matter if in the future you will get amazing reports of all worked hours, or if, thanks to the software, you will be able to see who is overloaded. The reason for changing is not to control, or at least it shouldn’t be ;-).
Be your own pm and organize your work better. Once the project manager has created the structure of the task, with dependencies and time frames all the team will be able to check their priorities, organize their to dos and manage their work in autonomy. If you, as pm, are able to let them understand the utility of this new responsibility you will have them on board.
These are just two examples of what you can point out to your team to let them know how helpful can be a project management software, let them know that is a tool for the whole team.
Get the best from the software
Following this easy yet effective strategy to introduce the new software in your company you will get in time amazing results. If your team will use the software, inserting and updating data with no effort, you will get something like:
Inserting estimation and worklog -> team workload and cost tracking
When the software is well introduced you will start inserting projects charts, assigning your resources with estimation and hourly costs. Thanks to this, and having your team inserting worklog you will be able to see your resources workload, control tasks progress and check costs, all data updated in real time.
Managing teams and agenda -> meeting and documents sharing
If you start using a shared agenda, you will be able to share appointments and create meeting easily according to task work-groups. check unavailability and the same connection will be created to easily share documents.
Read more here about managing distributed team agendas.
Using task checklist -> self management and responsibility
When a pm software is introduced, it can give you also the possibility to track to-do lists connected to projects. This is a very useful way for all users to organize, prioritize their work, finally they will stop using notes on the desk and no ideas or messages will be lost.
If you feel that your team needs a more structured way to work, it is probably time to introduce a project management software. Yes, it will be a big change but you can really get results if you follow our strategy. Our software, Twproject, can really give all the results mentioned above, all those features in one software only.