Everyone has a different way to stay organized, and every team has a different way to communicate. Project management tools aim to keep both the individual and the team informed and on track. However, implementation of a new project management tool can be incredibly difficult when your team is already set in their ways.
According to a study by The Access Group, reliability, ease of use, and ease of integration are the top three requirements project managers look for when deciding which software to implement company-wide. And since 87% of high-performing companies use project management software, it’s probably a good idea for your company to consider moving towards adopting a new tool to help projects run smoothly.
Finding the Right Platform
The key to successfully implementing a new project management tool is to first choose the best software for your needs.
For example, at Gain, we use Trello for its flexibility. We use boards and cards to organize what we’re currently doing, what is done, and what we need to do. We also have an ongoing list of bug fixes and future goals that we can move cards to and from.
For us, the key was being able to define each category or board as we go. Other tools will want to define this for you or make you do it beforehand, so we found that Trello’s highly flexible technology really helped us achieve our goals.
Most likely you’re going to have to test out a few tools to figure out what exactly you want and don’t want, but take your time in that process. We recommend trying: Basecamp, Asana, Jira (if you’re working with a development team), or Blimp. Once you find the tool that works, it will be worth all of the effort.
Getting Everyone to Use the Tool
After you find the tool that you want everyone to use, the work isn’t quite over – you have to get everyone on it.
There’s always going to be someone complaining about having to change the way things are done, so here are some tips on how to make this process smooth.
- Mandatory Training Sessions: While project management tools make work more productive, sometimes they can be hard to understand. By making training sessions mandatory, you ensure everyone across the company understands how to use the technology. You can split training sessions by junior and senior level staff or by roles such as developers and marketers, but the important part is that everyone completely understands how to use the tool effectively.
- Appoint an Implementation Team Leader: Questions will arise on how to use the platform, so appoint 1-2 team leaders that your staff knows they can go to with questions. Make sure these team leaders really like and understand the new software so that they can help others use it and get excited about its benefits.
- Layout the Benefits in Numbers: If a team member knows they will save 3-4 hours per week by using this project management tool, they are more likely to buckle down and use it. Most likely the software you choose has data points like this, so use it to entice your staff to adopt its use.
Patience will be key to making sure your entire company uses the new platform, but it will become easier as you go along. Also making sure that new team members understand that this is the tool used company wide and receive adequate training will ensure it becomes a permanent fixture at your company.