Just because you purchase a project and portfolio management system, does not mean the software will update itself. You need buy in from your team members if you are going to have a successful implementation. This is where the 'people' piece comes in (mentioned in my last post). No matter what software solution you implement, whether it is an ERP, a CRM, an accounting system, or a project and portfolio management solution (PPM), you will need your team's help to be successful. Your team will need to log in, update tasks, post comments, add documents, collaborate on issues and possibly enter time.
No software implementation rolls out perfectly. There is usually a bump in the road. There can sometimes be a project team member that is a 'squeaky wheel,' who does not want to login or change the way he or she works. In our experience, the 'squeaky wheel' people are usually the ones who do not want the transparency, visibility and accountability that a portfolio and project management software solution provides. Why? They are usually the team members whose tasks are behind schedule. Project Insight and other project solutions show which team members are lagging. Be aware that if you have resistance, the resistors may be your most vocal antagonists.
Resistance - It's not futile!
The best thing to do is to plan for resistance. Even the most cooperative team members can find change difficult. We advise customers to develop a 'carrot' or a 'stick' program that will incentivize team members to attend training, learn the application, and start using the software. First, ask yourself if your organization and team members will respond better to a carrot or stick program, or perhaps a hybrid combination of both.
What's a 'carrot' program?
An example is an advertising agency with over 400 team members using Project Insight. Their culture is young and fun. They wanted to provide positive incentives to get everyone to enter time. What they did was hold a friendly competition among departments and measured time entry. The team that had the most accurate time entries sent it by Friday at 4pm won the prize - a pizza party!
They measured compliance with team members entering time on a weekly basis. Then they sent out an email to the entire company announcing each team's compliance percentage. For example, 88% of Department A's team members entered their time correctly on Friday. Department B's team members had a 95% compliance, so Department B won. Because the organization's corporate culture is edgy, young and fun, this type of carrot incentive program worked for them.
What's a 'stick' program?
Another professional services customer of our software used Project Insight's expense entry features. One of their issues prior to using our solution was that team members waited too long to send in travel and expenses associated with their customer implementation projects. This impacted their bottom line in a severe way. For example, the customer would be invoiced 30 days after the engagement, then the team member's expenses would come rolling in. As the final customer invoice already went out, the organization had to absorb these costs.
When they launched our software, the leadership stated that all expenses had to be entered in Project Insight and submitted within 30 days, or else the team member would not be reimbursed. The result? It only took a team member one time to learn the hard lesson of not getting his or her expenses paid back, then compliance was gained.
If neither of these examples fits your culture, then maybe a hybrid approach is called for. That is the purpose of this blog, to invite customers and partners to submit their own ideas and experiences about what works and does not work. Examples do not have to be Project Insight specific, as we believe that successful software implementation tips are transferable.
Do you have any incentive programs that have worked for you? Send us your stories!
Read the next blog post on the importance of leadership!