Picking the right resource management software for your business is a great start to improving project efficiency. The next step is to implement the tool and get your team onboard. That’s easier said than done.
A large number of corporate software implementations – regardless of the software type or organization size – are poorly executed. The reasons for this are many – lack of a vision, lack of budget, lack of resources and so on.
Research shows that around 31.1% of software implementation projects get canceled before they could be completed. Further info reveals that a staggering 52.7% of projects end up costing 189% of the original estimates. That’s just tip of the proverbial iceberg.
Software implementations very often run into a range of problems, not only wasting resources and time but also missing out key development opportunities.
That’s why, here in this post, we’ve put together a 5-step plan for the successful implementation of your Resource Management Software. Make use of the tips and guidance given here, to get the most out of your new tool.
Keep the Software Vendor in the Loop
The vendor’s job doesn’t end with selling you the software. Instead, they are a key part of the implementation plan. Try to get as much assistance from the vendor as possible.
Another key factor here is to get your employees engaged right from the selection process. These are the people who will be using the software day-in and day-out. So, getting their views and opinions about choosing the right tool is essential.
Make a list of every employee, team, and department who will use the new tool. This includes team managers, as well as employees who log into the software to see the tasks allocated to them.
Get all members who will be using the software to prepare a joint needs document. This lists specific assistance each member requires from the vendor. For instance, a team manager may require help on dealing resource allocation conflicts, whereas a UX designer may need help on altering work time schedules.
Share this document with your vendor and ask the vendor’s team to provide specific training, addressing the pain points of each employee.
Keep a Tight-Control on the Scope of Implementation
The needs document you created in the above step plays a crucial role in both selection and implementation. While selecting a resource scheduler for the team, you can pick one that caters to all needs specified in the document.
Similarly, the needs document helps to keep the implementation on track. It’s common for teams to get side-tracked by the bells and whistles of the software system. They forget to focus on the main requirements.
To avoid this scenario, get your vendor to focus on the needs listed in the document, and then move on to the additional features and capabilities.
Assign a Dedicated In-house Team to Oversee Implementation
Apart from the help you get from the vendor, you need to assemble an in-house team responsible for the implementation process. This team is a crucial step in ensuring the success of the project.
The size and the members of the team will vary from one organization to another. To choose the team, start by identifying the number of employees, teams, and departments that will use the e-resource scheduler.
According to the report “7 Best Practices: Avoid Flunking your LMS Implementation” it’s recommended that you start with a small implementation team. The ideal size of the implementation team is two.
- An administrator – Choose an IT administrator. This person will work closely with the vendor and will act as a liaison between the vendor and your employees.
- Training Lead – This person will be in charge of training employees on how to use the new software, and also help in addressing the pain points, employees face during adoption.
Yes, just two members initially, and you can add more training leads to the implementation team, if required. You can choose one-on-one training or conduct resource scheduler workshops to bring the rest of the team onboard.
Motivate and Encourage User Adoption with a Proactive Strategy
You may have chosen the best resource management software out there. But, all your efforts are naught, if your team members don’t use the software, as it was intended. Remember, the implementation doesn’t magically mean your team members will adopt the software.
You must encourage positive engagement with the new tool, and motivate your employees to get on board with the organizational changes.
Experts recommend that you use the ADKAR change model , for effective adoption. The steps of this model address both skills and emotional incentives to foster a smooth transition to the new system. The steps in this model include:
- Awareness – Recognize the problem, in this case, resource scheduling and management.
- Desire –Incentivize your employees with benefits of the new resource management tool.
- Knowledge – Provide them with adequate training and help using the tool.
- Ability –Close skill gaps. For instance, if you have older managers, who still use manual resource scheduling, provide them with extensive training so that they gain the skills to use the new tool.
- Reinforcement –Measure and Evaluate software adoption and reward employees who have made the transition. This encourages others to migrate to the new system.
Focus on Improvement
Now, that your team has started using the resource management software, there is bound to be some teething troubles. Don’t let the initial setbacks derail you. Instead, focus on continuous improvement and look at long-term goals.
Training is an essential part of this step. Here are a few types of training methods that help different employee requirements:
- Lunch and Learn – Workshop style learning, in an informal setup. Helps in collaborative learning.
- Open House – Brainstorming sessions where everyone gets to share their success stories as well as challenges using the new system.
- Peer to peer –Allow early adopters of the system to help out other colleagues and team members.
- Self-training –Provide employees with tutorials, webinars, and other support documents to learn on their own.
Now, that you know the five critical steps for the successful implementation of your resource management software, it’s time to get started. Before you jump on to step 1, spend some time researching the different resource scheduling tools available and pick the one that works for your business needs.
Remember that successful implementation depends on all stakeholders – management, IT teams, administrators, project managers and the rest of the team. Ensure that you maintain communication with your employees and the vendor throughout the process, to complete implementation and adoption successfully.
If you require any further inputs on how to implement resource management software for your business, shoot us your queries in the comments below.
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