Project management: implementing innovation through software in your team

19. February 2021 | Reading Time 3 min

Convincing your team of the innovations of a new project management software can be a tough call. Often, tasks have been done according to established patterns that worked well, more or less, for a long time. Nevertheless, especially in project management in highly complex plant engineering, existing potential can be exploited much better with specially tailored software. So how can the team's support be gained for the new solution?

Project management in plant engineering: creating software enthusiasm

One of the most important points on the way to using project management software for plant engineering is to create acceptance for the product. A lot may have been done right in the preparation phase – but if the users do not go along with it despite all this, the successful implementation of the software becomes a much bigger challenge.

The fact that an innovation, such as project management software, is not immediately accepted by the team can happen rather frequently. If no preventive measures were taken in advance, it is possible that the team rejects the software innovation right from the start. Presenting the team with a fait accompli when it comes to project management software is generally not recommended. Instead, it is advisable to involve the users in the consultations about new software at an early stage. This way they can express their wishes and help shape the minimum requirements.

If employees nevertheless show resistance to the innovation, a software demonstration within the team can help to show its advantages. A popular example is the comparison of a previous process and the new, improved solution via the software. This effectively answers the most important question – the "why". User-friendliness can also be emphasised at this point – especially in very complex plant engineering, simplifying processes while maintaining or even increasing quality is a trump card.

Establish project management software as a hands-on experience

Once the implementation of project management software is far enough along, guided training sessions are the perfect way to gain experience with the new software. The training of employees to become key users effectively helps to reduce fear of contact and to lower inhibition thresholds in the team. The key users know the company and ideally the employees as well as the strengths of the software. This also creates competent contact persons for all questions within the staff structure and the users know immediately who they can turn to with their questions. The enthusiasm for the new software is thus automatically carried through the relevant parts of the company.

Project management software is designed to be used throughout the entire construction phase – so the time factor can also help to smooth out any rifts. The more experience the team gains with the software, the easier it is to use. At the same time, key users are enabled to collect feedback from staff and pass it on to the developers. The software is thus adapted to the company's requirements, not the other way around. In most cases, this innovation of introducing software on an individual basis can also be transferred to subsequent projects with minor adjustments. This saves time in the preparation and leads to the fact that the handling of the new solution becomes a habit.

Conclusion: create enthusiasm for project management software

The successful introduction of project management software always depends on the users. The best software cannot unleash its potential if the team is resistant to the innovations. If project managers encounter resistance, it is therefore important to accept feedback. This is the key to successfully establishing project management software.

COMAN takes precisely this approach: the introduction of the software and the associated product landscape takes place in close consultation with company employees. Specially trained key users conduct training sessions, highlight advantages, take questions and pass on feedback to the developers. In this way, the user experience continues to improve, while at the same time, on the staff side, the familiarity of interaction increases. This work is also continued in the ongoing project, resulting in constant optimisation.