SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Roger Strukhoff, Jason Bloomberg, Pat Romanski

Article

How To Convince People To Start Using Project Management Software

Work must be done fast and easy

Educated management can start from childhood or at older ages. Earlier is the best. And management can apply to many things: money, work, time etc. Certain kids might have been forced by circumstances to start managing their allowance. This can be a big advantage for them as grown-ups when it comes to finance management.

But what about project management? Many users tend to think that everything can be done using spreadsheets because this is what they used since ever. OK you can do a lot of things with them but not all. When it comes to planning and scheduling projects there are some special requirements that must be addressed with more specific tools. But how to determine people to start adopting such tools?

Work must be done fast and easy

For many people, productivity software does not increase their productivity but rather reduces work effectiveness. Instead of spending the time in solving the problems users spend it with using the software. This is an important point to keep in mind and to make sure the right software is selected. The users need the work to be done fast and easy.

Give an example to users by starting using it

One solution to get the team adopt project management tools is for the manager to start using it. He can delegate tasks and include the coworkers in conversations about those activities. This way they will receive email notifications with assignments sent automatically from the PM system. Over time, maybe some of them will also begin to feel more comfortable in working directly on the assigned tasks instead of replying to incoming emails.

Identify benefits in using project management tools

Another idea is for the manager to identify and point benefits for them of using the tool. More exactly the users must find some benefits for their own and not just for the organization. It has to be a “win-win” situation: both for the person and for the business. “How will this tool make your work easier, your outcome better, your day to day tasks more smooth, save time, be on time, but not in these generic terms but very down to earth and specific to their goals, tasks, responsibilities and duties.” says Carlos Miranda Levy, a Social Entrepreneur.

Or start solving difficulties with it

On the other hand instead of identifying general specific benefits the manager can ask team members what are the individual difficulties and annoying things they encounter that could be solved by using automated processes through software tools. If such a software exist then it will be very likely for the people to adopt it. It is important to not impose a certain solution if that solution is not adequate for the problems that users encounter.

Give them a lot to do

Personal organizing comes with a necessity. The more work you have to do or things to remember the more you need something to help you. This reveals an important clue: people will tend to adopt a software tool by their own initiative when they will be overwhelmed with the amount of work. Does that ring a bell?

Do not change working habits

People are reluctant in changing their working habits. Some of them prefer to use emails at work while others are using spreadsheets to manage tasks. A project management application, in order to be easier to adopt, should mold over these specific habits. The softer the transition the faster the adoption of the new tool.

The most important thing to remember when migrating to a project management software is to keep the user in mind. Make their life easier and they will adopt it.

More Stories By Lucian Loan

Lucian Loan studied at a technical facility and has an MS in Computer Science. He is now working in the software industry for Stand By Soft, a software company that specializes in building desktop applications and components.

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