A friend of mine recently told me that she was struggling to get all the team on the same page when discussing project issues.
“The company is very e-mail heavy and there’s a lot of discussion going on. I must admit that the people on the team offer extensive knowledge and great support whenever I need some help. However, they are used to operating in one particular way. Every discussion is email based and even though we are sitting in the same room, we tend to write two-page emails.”
But, let’s be real: with so many tasks at hand, no one has the time nor is willing to read endless email chains.
“As a result, we easily get caught up in a vicious cycle of who said what and when. The lack of communication is slowing down the work processes which can be uncomfortable and frustrating especially if there are a lot of changes to the project.
So, being a huge fan of project management software, I often find myself spending a good deal of time copying all the discussions up into a collaboration tool. I know it’s a huge waste of time and money but I just don’t know how to get my team start using the tool.”
Unfortunately, this scenario has become quite common. While trying out a new project management software is a godsend for people who hate emailing, it is also a big burden on those who got used to other mechanisms like chat apps. The last you want to do is push your team members to start using a tool they don’t feel comfortable or safe with. On the other hand, you can’t invest any more of your time into poor communication because it is leading your project to inevitable failure.
Be the leader of transition
Persuading your team to start using the project management software doesn’t have to be a painful process. What you need to do is show them the true value it would add to the entire organisation.
Now you are thinking “Easier said than done!”, right? Yes, getting people to understand the real benefit the collaboration tool has to offer can’t happen overnight. But, the easiest way to persuade them is to give an example by start using it yourself. Find a colleague and do a quick demo with them. Explain them that a good project management tool can save them a load of time and streamline the processes so they can focus on real work. Pinpoint the main benefits PM software offers to your team:
1. It helps you manage tasks with ease
Role-play the app support guy and show them that they can easily organise their tasks and avoid being buried in never-ending to-do lists.
With ActiveCollab, they can have a clear overview of all their tasks and who is doing what in a project at any given time. Go to My Work section where you can easily review all your tasks, updates and comments made by the rest of the team.
This should help your team prioritize their tasks more easily and keep track of all their roles and responsibilities across departments.
2. It triggers discussions and keeps them at one place
There is nothing more powerful and inspiring than getting your team join their forces and brainstorm some new and creative ideas how to handle issues they come across on daily basis. The last you want is to let those ideas go down the drain. In ActiveCollab, your team can use Discussions to chat, upload files and mention team members they consider relevant for the subject in question.
The best part is that all the thread is safe in one place. If you help your team realise that staying up to date with their work they will no longer have to worry about forgetting things or misplacing files and documents, you will surely win them over.
3. It helps you control all your deadlines
Juggling multiple projects and looming deadlines is a real challenge for every team. A good way to ensure that you complete all your tasks within specific timelines is to have a Calendar where you can view due dates on all your tasks, see which tasks overlap and create custom calendars.
If you explain to your team that by having a precise overview of all the tasks they are working on and have full control of their work, you will give them the peace of mind and enable everyone to drive in their own lane.
4. It provides you with an overview of all your project activities
Handling many things at the same time can cause frustration and put your team under a lot of pressure. In ActiveCollab, they can see the timeline of all their activity, the history of everything they have been working on, what they have completed and what still needs to be done.
5. It allows you to organise your files seamlessly
Help your team stay organised by keeping their files in one central place. By pointing out that the file storage will help them reduce their busy work and focus on things that matter, they will be able to keep their progress top of mind without breaking the flow.
Finally, keep in mind that old habits die hard and that not everyone on the team will be delighted with trying out the new app. You need to give them enough time and space to get accustomed to it and figure out the way they can bring it to their advantage. Also, be there for them and guide them every time they need help during the onboarding process.