So you’ve gone through great pains to find the perfect project management software, but you can’t get your team to use it! Frustrated, you try to use it yourself and hope others will follow your example, but without the rest of the team onboard updating it is a waste of time.
If you don’t understand why your team isn’t using your project management software, you’ll have a much more difficult time winning them over. For all you know, they have some very valid concerns that you need to address before they cooperate.
It Doesn’t Fit the Process
You may be so wowed by your glitzy new toy that you’re blinded to the fact that it doesn’t really fit your workflow. By introducing the project management software, you might actually be adding more steps to an already laborious process and creating more work for everybody, hence the quiet refusal to use your new tool.
An ideal project management tool makes life easier all around, especially the team. Check to see how the tool fits into your teams work process first. If they’re happy, you’ll be more likely to get automatic project updates without any fuss.
People Aren’t Adequately Trained
Just because you managed to easily figure out the project management software doesn’t mean that others will, too. New technologies can be intimidating, even for people in the software sector. This fear leads people to shy away from new tools and makes cooperation more difficult.
Establish some training sessions for your troops so that you can get them acquainted with your new system. Recruit the fast learners and have them teach their team mates. Not only will this speed the learning process, but it can also function as a good team building exercise.
It’s not just lazy people who get set in their ways. Team members can be so used to a process that it becomes something of a comfort zone. After all, why switch to a clunky point and click project management software interface when you can zoom through a spreadsheet using hotkeys and macros in 5 seconds?
The problem is that refusing to shift tools because of “comfort level” is somewhat selfish. Other people will not have the same comfort level as they, or have an efficient enough process to match it. In keeping their personal productivity levels up, they are bringing the team’s productivity down. Show these team members how your new software would benefit everyone, and cater to their sense of fair play and team spirit. Also, it won’t hurt if you can showcase some really cool features in the new product that will speed up their workflow as well!
If you want to ensure consistent and appropriate use of the new project management tool, you’re going to have to implement some hard-line policies and stick to them. Anyone who works with databases will tell you that the tool is only as good as the information in it. If even one person decides to go their own way and misname files, forget to log hours, or tick off tasks, it could mess up the whole system.
Implement some hard-line policies for data entry and update procedures, then adhere to them with an iron fist until it becomes second nature. If you think it will help, meet with the team and provide some perspective on why you’re being so strict. If you can win them over, your team will eventually become self-policing, relying on peer pressure to keep everyone in line.
Image credit, hackett, Flickr