It is a daunting task to implement company-wide changes, especially with large teams. This must be done carefully and carefully.
Even in forward-thinking companies there is resistance to change.
It is not difficult to get your team to accept a new project management tool.
There are many strategies that you can use to convert technical skeptics to keen users.
Now you have your system in place. You have done your research, compared, and demoed a few project management tools. You can now relax. It’s not so fast.
If your team isn’t using the new project management tool, it won’t be of any benefit to them.
These five steps will help you successfully implement a new PM Tool. However, before you can do that, you need to understand the reasons for resistance among your employees.
How to deconstruct resistance to change
You can’t just give a new PM tool to your team and expect them all to use it.
A productive workplace requires flexibility and adaptability. No matter how the changes impact your working environment or your software system, transformation is essential to keep your business moving ahead.
However, these necessary changes will always be met with resistance. Paul R. Lawrence, a Harvard Business Review contributor, wrote that employees resist not technical change, but social change. This is the change in their human relationships that usually comes with technical change.
What is the cause of this social change? How can we overcome resistance?
Lester Coch, John R.P. and their 1948 study “Overcoming Resistance to Change” found that employees were key to smooth workflow transitions. French Jr. discovered that employee participation was key to smooth workflow transitions. Four groups of factory workers were given a new workflow. Each was taught or exposed to it in a different manner.
The first group was told about the new workflow, and asked to continue using it. The fourth group was consulted about the issue and worked with their managers to create a new workflow.
The first group was unsurprisingly negative and experienced a decrease in productivity and an increase of resignations. The fourth group, on the other hand, quickly adapted to the new workflow. They also saw an increase in productivity.
These examples are from decades ago, but the fundamental principles of change management have not changed much.
We know that change resistance is reduced when team members are respected and given influence. How can this theory be applied to introducing project management software across the company?
We spoke to a variety of project managers and team leaders who shared the following five tips.
How to implement a project management tool
1. Turn your managers into ambassadors
Change is easier to accept when you have a friendly face
Your management team is the first step in software adoption. Your senior and middle managers will be more likely to adopt software early, which will make them more likely to be change ambassadors.
Ambassadors don’t have to be IT professionals. It may actually be more effective if ambassadors are not IT professionals and can explain the software’s advantages in non-technical language.
You must recognize that each member of your management team has a set of workflows for their projects and teams in order to get them on board. Alan Zucker, founder of Project Management Essentials, states that this is the greatest challenge when companies implement new software.
All levels of management and all teams in an environment that does not have an enterprise tool are able to create their own, slightly different, plethora of tools.