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01/28/2011

3 More Ways to Keep Your Project Management Software Tool Updated

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A while back, I posted about five ways to keep your project management software tool updated.  Here are three additional things to consider.

1.  Routine Training

Training should not be a one-time event.  It should be a continuous, long-term strategy.  This serves two purposes: it ensures that new team members are trained, and it ensures that existing team members truly understand the system and your processes.  A good, practical method of doing this is to hold "brown bag lunches" on various topics.  In other words, this does not always have to be full-blown formal training.

2.  Take It In Phases

It is difficult to implement a complex process with a new project management tool right away.  You may have some lofty goals that you want to accomplish with the system.  Start small.  Pick a couple of core goals and focus on those.  When those are accomplished and everyone is comfortable with them, then tackle another goal, and so on.  You need to do this especially if you are coming from spreadsheets or no tool at all.

3.  Don't Be Afraid to Change

You do not know how this will all play out.  You may think your process is going to be one thing, but it may turn out once you get into it that it needs to change.  That is ok.  You should continually be evaluating the process, how people are using the tool, what information is really required, and what changes could be made to improve things.  You should also listen to the users.  I don't mean listen to the inevitable whines and moans because this is "not how we have always done it."  I mean listen to those that have good suggestions on how to make the process and the tool setup better.

All of these will help make the entire tool and process better resulting in better updates and information.





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