5 Strategies for Introducing Your Services Team to New Project Management Software

5 Strategies for Introducing Your Services Team to New Project Management Software

As your Professional Services Organization grows and evolves, the software and tools you use to be successful will inevitably change over time as well.

Eventually the time will come when your simple time and expense or basic project management software will no longer be sufficient for running your business effectively, and you will need to consider implementing a more robust and comprehensive project management tool such as a Professional Services Automation (PSA) solution.

However, changing the tools your employees have come to know and be comfortable with can often be challenging. It usually helps if you can encourage your team to be excited about the new software by showing them how valuable it will be in helping them do their job more efficiently.

Here are 6 strategies to consider when introducing new project management software to your team in order to gain their support and make the transition as frictionless as possible:

#1. Talk about it early and get your team’s buy-in

It’s important to remember that you never want to blindside your team with new project management software. Make sure they know new software will be coming as early as possible (even before you determine which software to purchase). It can also help to get team members’ feedback on features they’d like to see in the software. These conversations can help warm them up to the idea of a new software solution while getting them excited about the new functionality they’ll be able to take advantage of.

Be wary, however, about asking your team which software they’d like you to implement. By doing so, you’re likely to receive a wide range of responses making it nearly impossible in the end for you to select one that will please everyone. Instead, ask your team members ahead of time which features they’d most like to see. You can also offer them a list of potential features to rank in order of importance. Let them know you’ll use that feedback to find the right project management software for the team as a whole.

#2. Make sure the software you select is a true replacement for existing tools that are important to your team

Make sure your new software is an ample replacement for whatever tools your team currently uses to manage similar tasks. If a team member doesn’t feel that the software fulfills his or her needs, they’re more likely to continue relying on their old project management methods instead of making the switch.

You may be trying to replace 2 or more tools with 1 new and more comprehensive tool, but be sure to double check that the new tool will have all of the functionality that is crucial to your team’s success and that you aren’t taking away any important capabilities from them. Adding new functionality and creating easier ways of doing things is a plus, but be careful that you’re not eliminating capabilities by sunsetting software that is imperative to the team’s performance while offering no suitable replacement.

#3. Have the basics set up before you introduce the software to your team

The setup process for a new project management tool can be time consuming. Having basics in place, such as team member logins, project information, client information, etc., before introducing the software to the team can help things go more smoothly. It will make the migration process to the new software seem less daunting and will also provide real-world examples for your demo/training instead of hypothetical ones.

Remember that the less tedious setup your team has to do before they dive in and start using the software, the more likely they are to quickly adopt it and begin using it to its full potential.

#4. Make sure everyone receives appropriate training in advance of migrating completely to the new software

Each member of your team likely has different levels of comfort with technology and differing abilities for learning new software. Tailor training experiences based on the comfort level of your employees. Some may prefer to attend a web-based training with a support rep or a detailed in-house training session. Others may prefer to watch a couple of online tutorials then explore the software themselves. Whatever the method, what’s most important is ensuring each employee gets some form of real training. This helps to create positive first interactions, enables them to more effectively use the tools, and helps them to hit the ground running when it’s time to migrate to the new software.

It may also be beneficial to select 2 or 3 people from your team who are eager to learn new software, and generally adopt to new technology easily, to become in-house experts on your new project management software. These individuals can help the implementation process by answering questions that your other team members may not otherwise have reached out to support to ask, and can assist you in training the rest of the team.

#5. Allow a sunset period with the existing tool and give enough time for your team to switch over to the new software comfortably

It’s important to fully detach from the previous tool(s), but not immediately and not without warning. It can take time to fully move all of the information over and to migrate to the new system. It can also take time for your team to adjust.

However, as much as it’s important to allow time for adjustment, it’s equally important to have a hard stop date. With advanced warning, your employees can adjust and transfer information without feeling rushed. They are also less likely to hang around in the old system for their own convenience.

Set this stop date while in advance and make sure everyone on the team knows that they should ask the necessary questions and request additional training if they need to, in order to ensure they are comfortable with the new software by this deadline.

Is your team considering a more comprehensive project management tool?

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Klient Software Delivers Next Generation Professional Services Automation (PSA) Suite

Klient Software Delivers Next Generation Professional Services Automation (PSA) Suite

New innovations provide professional services organizations the easiest way to manage differentiated services with one unified platform.

Klient Software, a leading provider of professional services automation software delivering an intuitive and modern solution for professional services organizations today announced the latest release of Klient PSA, built 100% native on the leading cloud platform from Salesforce.

Introducing the Next Generation of Professional Services Automation

Klient PSA provides service organizations with a flexible, modern professional service platform that is quick to set up, easy to learn and can be customized to meet their needs today and in the future. New innovations for Klient PSA include:

Resource Management

It provides brand new functionality to easily search and compare both internal and external resources with an intuitive kanban style interface, comparing and filtering resources based on criteria including availability, rates, skills, teams, locations, practice and more –  enabling resource planners to search, compare, and propose multiple resources for further evaluation or booking to projects.   New Effort-Based scheduling allows resource planners to schedule based on percentage of work – taking into consideration any caps on project hours or time periods.

Proposal Management

The enhanced proposal management module enables the synchronization of project data back to the project after proposal updates or versions have been created – automatically synchronizing changes including resources, rates, costs, billing, and more.   Now you can create a Contract with a click of a button directly from a Proposal, including the creation of contract lines and project billing.

Contract Management

The new contract module delivers a complete contract management solution to track service contracts including contractual agreements, project billings and revenue methods, with the ability to create any number of contract lines to support multi-billing project scenarios or contracts that make up multiple projects with various billing and revenue models.

Punch Time Reporting – the latest release includes support for punch time entry – including the ability to automatically track clock in/outs on project and tasks, options for editing of punches, and complete support for mobile time entry to include punch time reporting.

Invoicing

The latest release include several new configuration enhancements including custom fields on layouts, summarization of multi-project invoices, support for line item taxation,

Expenses

Enhanced expense processing for those customers using multi-currency processing, now displaying the Exchange Rate used on the transaction with the ability for the user to override the posted Exchange Rate with the actual exchange rate imposed at the time of incurring the expense.

Integrations

New and enhanced integrations now deliver a seamless and real-time synchronization of project and billing data with 3rd party accounting and productivity suites including Sage Intacct, Sage Live, Oracle NetSuite OpenAir, Xero, QuickBooks, Microsoft NAV, Zendesk, Slack, and JIRA.

Curious to see Klient PSA in action?

Looking for a Klient PSA deep dive? Schedule a free demo with our team.