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Evaluating and choosing new project management software can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months. But once a decision is made, there’s another key challenge to overcome: onboarding users.  

To help enterprises take the shortest path to value — and enable their users to embrace rather than reject the new project management software — here are five steps to onboarding success:

  1. Set the Right Mindset

Before diving into training and roll-out, enterprises need to set the right mindset by generating enthusiasm from the top. If executives and managers aren’t excited about how things are going to improve thanks to the new software — or worse, if they’re cynical or apathetic — then users will follow suit, and onboarding will be a tedious uphill struggle instead of a smooth, streamlined and ultimately successful process.

  1. Manage Expectations

As just noted, setting the right mindset is the foundation for onboarding success. However, leaders and managers must be careful not to over-promise and under-deliver in their messaging — since doing so will steer the focus towards what the project management software can’t do vs. what it can. What’s more, failing to manage expectations could (and usually does) mean that some users will assume that the project management software will solve concerns and complaints that aren’t reasonable or realistic.

  1. Use Best Practices

While each enterprise has its own unique culture and corporate personality, it’s certainly worthwhile researching and analyzing best practices for onboarding guidance and insights, which could include advice like launching a pilot implementation prior to an enterprise-wide roll-out, creating early-adopter “champions” who serve as part cheerleader/part coach, using a mix of in-person and online training (live and recorded), and so on.

Increase your business agility with Clarizen’s project management software
  1. Create a Plan

Once the onboarding details have been identified, everything needs to be captured by a plan that covers scope, tasks, milestones, size, budget, schedule, resources and risks. What’s more, the plan should be developed by all relevant stakeholders and not just a small inner circle. That is, it should be created both top-down and bottom-up in order to be complete and robust.

5: Get Feedback and Adjust

The onboarding experience will generate insights and feedback — positive, negative, neutral and TBD. All of this data should be captured and analyzed, and adjustments should be made as necessary or desired.

It’s also important to highlight that implementing new project management software isn’t just a technology matter: it’s a change management process. That means leaders and managers should anticipate some degree of apprehension and anxiety, and make adjustments accordingly. For example, based on feedback some users or teams may benefit from more training time, so that they can be convinced that the new software is an ally that will make their lives easier vs. an enemy that will make it tougher.

The Bottom Line

Onboarding can be an ordeal without the right process in place. You want to discover the “short path to value and ROI” versus the “long and winding road to misery.” These five steps can help enterprises cope and allow their users to experience the former, and avoid the latter.  

Accelerate Value with Clarizen Professional Services

Clarizen’s professional services team has helped thousands of customers implement and learn to use Clarizen by:

  • Expertly training teams and delivering a streamlined, easy-to-adopt system.
  • Identifying capabilities that are based on each organization’s goals and objectives, and that are aligned with best practices.
  • Providing content and process guidance to ensure continued success after implementation.

To learn more about accelerating value with Clarizen professional services, contact us today.