5 Ways to Get Users to Follow Your Local Project Methodology [+ Template]
“The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress.” Charles F. Kettering, Inventor (1876-1958)
According to research conducted by the Project Management Institute, organizations waste an average of $97 million for every $1 billion invested, due to poor project performance. In a separate study, the PMI also found that only 58% of organizations understand the value of project management, leading to failure in over 50% of projects.
The absence of a consistent approach to project management has numerous impacts on organizations, including:
- Projects delivered too late or over budget – if at all!
- Failure to meet original goals or business objectives, leading to inadequate Benefits Realization.
- Poor stakeholder satisfaction.
- Lack of change management processes, resulting in low user-adoption.
Getting a project management methodology in place will help to get this situation under control.
You’ll also need to consider how to get teams to use your new approach. After all, people will resist change for many reasons! If you don’t make it easy for them to adopt the new approach, they will inevitably revert back to old habits. Try these five tips – and a free SharePoint template – to get users to follow your local project processes.
5 Ways to Get Users to Follow Your Local Project Methodology
1. Develop a project methodology
Tell me if this scenario is familiar. You have lots of projects underway. You have many project managers with different levels of training and experience. Each one is using their own approach to project management. In addition, project plans are being managed in email and Excel with project documents are floating around in obscure file locations.
The longer this continues, the harder it will be to make real, positive changes to project outcomes.
The first step to getting projects under control is to develop your local project methodology. Consider the projects you manage and the experience of the team managing those projects. Then, figure the process that fits your situation.
2. Provide tool support
Once you have a project methodology in place, find a tool that supports that process, and most importantly, allows you to start where you are ready.
The tool should guide and help project managers with templates and configuration appropriate for the present time. Too much functionality will hamper usage at the start. In many cases, teams will be overwhelmed by too much functionality and will slip back into old habits.
If your organization is using SharePoint, the free template from BrightWork is a great starting point. The template is a pre-planned project site to help you initiate, plan, track, and report on a project in SharePoint. The site is easy to use – regardless of SharePoint or project management experience.
The Free SharePoint template includes:
- Getting Started Tiles to help you plan and set up the project
- Project Homepage for ‘at-a-glance’ project updates
- Quick Launch menu
- Tasks List
- Project timeline and Gantt charts
- Issues List
- My Work and Work Reports
- Project Status Reports
- Document repository.
The free template provides the project management essentials you’ll need to experience some quick wins and prove the case for project management.
3. Offer end-user training
Before you even start to roll out a new project methodology, communicate the coming changes with the team so they know what’s coming.
If you are deploying a new tool, make sure people know how to use it effectively and efficiently.
Be sure to create training materials for each of the key roles (team member, project manager, senior manager) and deliver this training in a way that suits your team.
Informed and trained users will be more willing to adopt the new methodology you are trying to implement.
The free template is based on a five-step project approach with guidance and tips provided in the project wiki.
4. Get feedback
After the methodology (and tool) have been in use for a while, get some feedback from end-users.
What do they like about it? What don’t they like? What would they change?
A feedback session with the team will help you determine items to be adjusted. Some of the items will be adjusted immediately and others will be added to some sort of prioritized backlog.
5. Continuously improve
The process doesn’t have to be set in stone – it should be continuously evolving. Hopefully, you have a vision of where you want to get to with your project management, so keep going towards that place where you are successfully and collaboratively managing projects.
Listen to the feedback, needs, and requirements of the users.
Building up your process bit-by-bit will enable you to achieve the level of project management you desire at a pace your team can handle.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in August 2016 and has updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.