Tips for Successful Adoption of Creative Project Management Software

So, you’ve found the right marketing project management software and you can’t wait to roll it out to your team. Considering that finding the right product for your organization is a challenge in itself, you’ve done well up to now.

What happens next? Well, after the time and money you invested in finding the right project management tool, you obviously want it to pay off. So, you implement it and, as is the case with many other companies, you struggle with adoption.

Yet, many companies do get it right. In fact, at admation we recently saw five clients approve over 800 pieces of content and projects in one day. So, what are these clients doing right to achieve that? At its core, they’ve embraced the software completely and adopted it across their business successfully.

The thing is, you can too. So, in this post, we’ll look at the causes of low adoption in more detail and give you some actionable tips you can use to improve it.

Why Implement Creative Project Management Software?

Before looking at why many companies struggle with the low adoption of their project management software, let’s quickly recap why you want to up your adoption and make your implementation a success. In short, it comes down to some of the following benefits:

  • Central, unified platform. It gives you all the information you need on all your projects on one central dashboard. In other words, it lets you see exactly who’s working on what, the status of every project, and what tasks are still outstanding.
  • More transparency. It gives you greater transparency over all your projects, resources, and feedback.
  • Structured resource management. It allows you to allocate tasks and resources quickly and easily which provides you with the visibility required to make your project management process efficient.
  • Efficient workflow approval. Project management for creative teams relies on getting approvals timeously to keep the process moving. Here, the right tool ensures that content, artwork, and other digital assets reach the right stakeholders at the right time for their feedback or approval. This, in turn, allows you to streamline your approval workflows.
  • Improved collaboration. Often a result of traditional, inefficient tools, a lack of collaboration could be a major problem. Here, marketing project management software improves collaboration by making planning, communication, and feedback easier.

What Leads to Low Adoption, and Actionable Tips You Can Use To Improve Software Adoption

Now that you’ve seen why you want your implementation to be successful and what benefits you’ll gain when it is, let’s look at some of the common reasons for low adoption and how you can eliminate them.

There’s Lack of Buy-In

One of the most common issues that lead to lower adoption is a lack of buy-in. It’s often a result of not involving the right stakeholders when selecting the software. This could, for example, then lead to these stakeholders either believing that the tool is not beneficial or even necessary, or that you’ve chosen the wrong tool.

The simple way to eliminate this problem is to involve all the relevant teams and stakeholders in the process from the beginning. In this way, they’ll understand, agree, and commit to the proposed change which then increases adoption once the software is implemented.

Another strategy you can use is to explain the expectations around who the tool is supposed to help, what its benefits will be, and that opting out of using it isn’t really an option.

You Don’t Onboard Properly

Something that often leads to lower adoption is when companies do not invest in a proper onboarding process for new software. And, unfortunately, the old saying, “first impressions count,” is just as true for implementing new software, because once someone has formed a negative opinion about a product, it’s very difficult to change.

So, a vital part of the onboarding process is to give your team the right training, especially if your chosen project management software is more layered and complex. You could, for instance, schedule specific times for training and make supplemental resources like seminars, videos, and content available to your team members. In turn, this will increase the value they get from the software and up the adoption of it.

Also keep in mind that, to increase adoption even further, you must provide ongoing support after the software has been implemented. This will eliminate the situation where team members feel lost, confused, and fall back to using less than optimal tools. In return for providing proper training and support, you’ll get more buyin and a team that is more productive and efficient.

You Have No Software Champion

Although a well-planned selection process involving the right stakeholders and adequate training and support can go a long way in improving adoption, many companies overlook nominating a champion for the software during its implementation. In fact, it’s vital that you do.

So, what does a software champion do? In simple terms, the software champion advocates for the use of the software and encourages other stakeholders to see the benefits of using it. Think of the champion as an influencer for your software that will give your software the chance to be adopted successfully and thrive.

Yet Another Tool

Today’s marketing technology marketplace is massive and there’s a tool for basically everything. In fact, according to research 27.3% of marketers use up to 20 marketing tools.

Although this does give companies more options, it could also lead to application overload. So, introducing yet another new tool that your team members need to learn, and use, could leave them feeling overwhelmed. Before you know it, they’ll fall back to using emails and spreadsheets, or in other words, the tools they’re comfortable using.

To eliminate this you should, as far as possible, integrate your project management software with your other systems based on your specific needs and requirements, especially those systems your team uses daily. You should also aim to eliminate tools that you use less often and have duplicate features. Ultimately, this makes for fewer tools and more efficiency.

Forgetting the Bigger Picture

A major challenge impeding wider adoption is that team members fail to see the bigger picture. Unfortunately, this often happens soon after the software has been implemented. At that stage, many stakeholders commonly use limited features of the tool and feel that the new software doesn’t change anything or provides many benefits.

It’s, therefore, vital that you emphasize the benefits the company will gain through the continued use of the software and as team members use more features. Another helpful strategy is to define some key performance indicators (KPIs) and measure these both before the software is implemented and at regular intervals thereafter. In this way, you’ll show the progress your team makes over time.

The Bottom Line

It’s a fact, creative project management software offers you and your organization a lot of benefits. It not only gives you more transparency over your projects in a central, unified dashboard but also improves collaboration and makes your team more productive and efficient.

As a result, it’s easy to see why many companies invest a lot of time, money, and effort into finding the right solution for their needs. In the process, though, they often neglect to implement the right strategies to increase the adoption of the software. Hopefully, this post helped illustrate some of the tips you can use to make the adoption of your marketing project management software a success.

To learn more about creative project management software or admation’s Project and Approval Management Solution, why not schedule a demo today.

Marketing Project Management Software for marketing teams and creative agencies.