Project Management Software Implementation: 5 Pitfalls to Consider
Project management software is a crucial part of effective organization within the company. By providing project managers, stakeholders, and users with tools for planning, scheduling, resource allocation, and change management, the software is allowing them to control costs and manage budgeting, quality, and documentation.
The implementation of such software can encounter some challenges. If you understand the pitfalls involved and how to deal with each, it will enable you to avoid them and successfully implement the software.
Why are Companies Implementing Project Management Software?
According to a study conducted by the Project Management Institute (PMI), for every $1 billion dollars invested in projects in the U.S. in 2017, $97 million were wasted because of poor project performance.
An ineffective project management is costing companies worldwide billions of dollars and is affecting every industry.
The solution to this problem was found in the project management software.
Project management tools are enabling project managers to perform their roles more effectively. They have turned the management sector toward centralization and prompted a change in business philosophy within the tech world.
More and more companies are implementing project management software because they are realizing the value that they can extract from it.
There are numerous benefits of project management software and here are some of them:
- An increase in the level of accountability among team members and management
- Centralization of all projects in one place
- Visibility and transparency into all projects and their status
- Better forecasting and budgeting
- Providing project managers with standardized processes
- Document sharing, scheduling, and communication tools
- Real-time reports and information for better decision making
As effective as it is when implemented, the process of implementing the software can encounter some problems. We’ll address the most common pitfalls in project management software implementation so that you can be prepared and avoid them from the very start.
1. Lack of Motivation for a Change
If the team members are not showing the incentive for accepting the change which is to come, the process will be tiring and exhausting.
The employees may see this change as another take-over by technology which will cost them their jobs. Without having the support of the surrounding team members, the project managers won’t be able to exploit the software to its full potential.
To avoid such complications, they need to motivate their employees from the very start.
Introducing the software isn’t enough. The top-position executives need to explain all the benefits that it carries and how it will improve the company and ease the work process.
Another example of how to motivate the employees is to reward those who use the new software by giving them additional PTO to use after implementation.
2. Not Considering Its Impact on Business
The implementation of software presents a massive change and the project managers need to consider how it will affect their business.
Every business is different and has its strengths and weaknesses so it is important to consider how the software will affect the company’s business in particular before the implementation.
The software is just a tool. The project managers are the ones who decide how to use it and which part of the business needs improvement the most.
A software engineer at PickWriters explains: “The previous processes must be taken into consideration during the implementation process. This helps to ensure all staff members continue to maintain their responsibilities and operate productively.”
3. Weak Communication Plan
It can’t be stressed enough that communication is the key to success in every part of the business. The same applies when it comes to the implementation of the project management software.
The implementation will present a big change in the company so if the project managers don’t communicate with their co-workers about why, when, and how this change will happen, they will get struck by the change and the confusion and chaos will arise.
The leaders need to make sure that they fully communicate their expectations on how the software will increase productivity and which benefits it will bring.
Another important part is to allow employees to express their doubts and worries so that the project managers can clarify all the confusion. This will help the employees to get a complete understanding of what is to come and to accept the change more easily.
4. No Leadership
In order to avoid the above-mentioned pitfalls, the project managers need to show strong leadership which will guide the employees through the change.
If there is no executive-level leadership throughout the software implementation process, the process will lead to a lack of support and refusal of employees to use the software.
This will result in the loss of the investment in the project management software as well as in the deterioration of the efficiency of the organization.
Project managers must show initiative and their leadership attitude which will serve as an example for others.
5. Rejecting the Help of Others
The project managers need to be the leaders but they also need to remember that they are not the only ones who will use the software.
During such change, the mutual support and cooperation is the key to success.
Sometimes the leaders can get caught up in transition and the adjustment and want to do it all by themselves while they could save time if they joined forces with other team members.
They should take advantage of the tools and support they could get from the employees and other project managers if they want to avoid misunderstandings throughout the software implementation.
This step is especially important for companies who are facing the enterprise resource planning software for the first time.
What could happen is that untrained individuals can end up missing a critical aspect of configuring a proper risk analysis within a new software.
There is no need to waste time and money on trying to figure out all on your own when a help from a fellow coworker can go a long way.
Project management software can be vital for any company that wishes to improve resource allocation, reduce waste, and keeps up with the increasingly agile marketplace. However, the implementation process itself demands a lot of attention and dedication, especially from the leaders and project managers who will then need to carry that over to employees.
That is why the understanding of which pitfalls to avoid is essential for an effective transition to a new project management software. By putting the appropriate actions into effect, the company can improve project management expertise and reduce the influence of pitfalls on the implementation project.
Kristin Savage nourishes, sparks and empowers using the magic of a word. Along with pursuing her degree in Creative Writing, Kristin was gaining experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in marketing strategy for publishers and authors. Now she had found herself as a freelance writer. You can find her on Facebook and Medium.