As a business owner, you likely know that you are going to need to have your employees work on several projects. However, since they likely will not be working on just one project at a time, you need to have a way for them to keep everything from each respective project perfectly organized, so you do not have to look like an idiot if one of the customers call wanting to know how their project is coming along. Thanks to project management software, you will easily be able to answer all of these questions in the most professional manager possible, which will keep these customers coming back to you for future projects, and they may even send you referrals.
The first thing you need to do is to set realistic expectations regarding how your employees will use the software. You need to realize that there will be a slight learning curve, so you should not expect employees who were not the greatest communicators yesterday to be the best communicators the first day you get the software. In other words, the software will make a big difference after the learning curve has been overcome, but it likely will not happen overnight.
Once your expectations have been set, and the employees agree that they are reasonable, you need to train your employees. You should give all of the employees a brief overview of what different aspects of the software does, so they do not feel like they are performing rocket science. Then, you need to instruct each individual team on very specific aspects of the portion of the software they will be using the most frequently.
After the training has been completed and the employees are beginning to work with the software, you should have good communication programs in place. All of your employees and teams should feel free to ask you, or other members of management, about any questions they may have without feeling dumb.
You will also want to get feedback from your employees. Do they have any questions about the software? Do they think it is easier to manage their projects with this software? While some of them may come to you with feedback, you should ask them because some employees may be afraid to speak up.
Finally, after the software has been in use for a short period of time, you should perform an assessment. You can do the first part of the assessment on your own by looking at aspects, such as how quickly the employees are catching on and if they are staying on task better. However, you should also ask each employee to assess the program anonymously, so they feel safe in giving their honest opinion.
Project planning software can make projects go a lot smoother, which means happier employees, customers and more money in your pocket. However, you need to have a solid implementation program to ensure proper usage.