Change, although it’s happening around us all the time, can be uncomfortable. We get used to certain methods, we master particular practices and those become habits. Unfortunately, we can become stuck in a rut this way, and risk maintaining routines that have become inefficient.
The same can be said about relying on outdated project management tools. To remain competitive, your organization needs to be equipped with current technology software and solutions. Adopting new project software is no small task (or investment), so it’s critical that you prepare users for the transition.
Ensuring a successful rollout
Essentially, you want to show value and a return on investment as early on in the process as possible. Each person using the software needs to see that it’s better than what they’re currently using, and that ultimately it will make their jobs easier.
To achieve these aims:
1. Prioritize communication
Before you even begin the rollout, be sure to inform users of the planned change. Share the vision so that everyone gains an understanding of why the new software is being introduced. They need to know how the change will impact them and their work, as well as the ways it’ll improve processes and support your organization’s objectives.
They’ll also need to know when the changes are scheduled to take place, and what they need to do to prepare for the transition.
Communication shouldn’t end there, though. As the rollout progresses, it’s important to keep users in the loop with any milestones, changes or updates. Ensure that they know who to reach out to or what resources to refer to for queries and support (we’ll talk more about this in the training section). Everyone should be well informed about how to leverage the platform for maximum effectiveness and benefit.
2. Appoint a change manager
To ensure that everyone is on track and all moving in the right direction, it’s advisable to have an individual (or team) take up the responsibility of “changemaker”, ideally as their primary focus. This person, whether a project software head, internal communications manager or HR professional, would take the lead in managing the transition.
Their responsibilities would include overseeing the rollout timeline, getting users engaged and managing the adoption of the platform. To effectively carry out this duty, they need to fully understand the benefits of deploying new project software and should communicate these, along with other important information as mentioned in the previous point.
3. Get everyone on board
As important as it is to have a leader managing the process, the responsibility of implementing change at all levels can’t be left to one person. Managers and team leaders can support the change manager by driving the required message down to their teams, helping to evangelize the new platform and its benefits.
Host regular meetings with managers and team leaders to ensure that teams are using the software and to discuss any feedback received. Users should have the opportunity to share their feedback as this gives you the chance to make any necessary adjustments, where feasible, during the implementation process. Getting all stakeholders involved in the very early stages of such a change will promote acceptance.
4. Offer training sessions
Some might fear, for example, that they’ll lose control when using a new platform and for this reason might resist the change. It’s therefore important that users get to know how the software will, on the contrary, help them enhance control.
They need to understand what the software can do for them and how to make the software do those things for them. Training sessions are a great way to convey this information, to further educate users about the platform’s functionality and to demonstrate its practical application in their workflow. It’s important to remind users who or where to turn to for help if they get stuck along the way. Viewpath, for example, has a number of resources (including videos) that help users get started and make the most of the platform.
These sessions can also be used as an opportunity to answer questions and to receive feedback or have discussions about the platform.
5. Keep motivation high
During a period of change, it’s important to keep morale high as this encourages participation and a unified effort to reach your organizational goals. To achieve this, it may be necessary to motivate users along the way.
As mentioned earlier, don’t stop communication as soon as the rollout is over. It’s important to let users know about the value that their involvement has produced. Letting them see the results of their contribution is a great way to encourage users and keep them engaged.
Hosting a special event to thank everyone for their cooperation, participation and efforts leading up to and during the adoption process is another way of expressing your appreciation and boosting morale.
Introducing new project software may take some effort and careful strategic planning, but at the end of the day the change will be worthwhile.
The right software, like Viewpath, helps your organization remain competitive by providing a collaborative space where you can plan, track and report – powering your projects.