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  • Writer's pictureJ.D. Solomon

Successful Project Management Software Needs This One Thing!


A project management software champion should be established before the software is implemented.  Champions ensure succesful implementation, generate excitement for end users, maintain good practices, and create success.
A project management software champion should be established before the software is implemented. Champions ensure succesful implementation, generate excitement for end users, maintain good practices, and create success.

Project management software has many advantages over using spreadsheets for managing capital projects. These advantages are most powerful when managing a portfolio of capital projects. Having an internal champion increases the chance of successful software adoption, maximizes the software's benefits, and fosters a positive attitude toward using it.


A General Contractor’s Testimonial

“JD, it is the greatest thing since sliced bread," proclaimed one of my oldest friends, the founder of a major construction company. "We thought it was a little expensive at first, but the value of having everyone seeing the same information at the same time is worth every penny of the cost.”


He went on to say, “The toughest part is getting the superintendents on board. You know how us old construction guys are – no one wants to change the bad ways they have been doing things until someone can convince them. That is why you need a champion. We have a great assistant project manager who really owns the software. He has driven the entire company to buy into it.”


General contractors realize they need an internal champion to get value from their software investment.

Capital Project Owners

The benefits for capital project owners are even greater than for general contractors. That is because capital project owners manage entire portfolios of projects. Cash flows and resource management are where slack must be created if a suite of projects cannot be understood holistically. Too much slack produces waste and lost opportunity.


Like contractors, the single biggest success factor is finding a project management software champion. Many organizations do not understand the fine point of project (or program) management. Instead of learning, they push the responsibilities to the owner's agents and general contractors. Although owners perceive they are transferring risk, they are actually assuming more risk – especially at the project portfolio level.


Capital project owners often do not make an effort to create a project management software champion.

Project Management Software Governance

Software governance for project management software within an organization involves specific roles and responsibilities to ensure the efficient and effective use of the tool. Here's a bulleted list of key roles and responsibilities within this context:


1. Project Management Software Champion

  • Oversee the implementation and maintenance of the software.

  • Define software governance policies and best practices.

  • Ensure alignment of software usage with organizational project management objectives.

  • Serve as the ambassador to users for regular use of the software.

  • Track and promote benefits.

  • Lead evaluation (business cases) of software upgrades or new integrations.

  • Serve as the software vendor liaison.

  • Stay updated on new features, updates, and improvements.


2. Information Technology (IT) Administrator

  • Manage the technical aspects of the software on the information technology platform.

  • Configure the user access, permissions, and security settings.

  • Coordinate software updates and patches.

  • Stay updated on changes that may impact the network (hosting, interfaces, cybersecurity)


3. Project Managers

  • Utilize the software to plan, execute, and monitor projects.

  • Ensure accurate data entry, progress tracking, and task assignment.

  • Generate reports and analytics to track project performance.


4. IT Support Team

  • Provide technical support for the PMS users.

  • Troubleshoot and resolve PMS-related issues.

  • Coordinate with the PMS vendor for advanced technical support.


5. Training and Development Specialist:

  • Conduct training sessions for users, including project managers and team members.

  • Create training materials and resources for adoption.

  • Organize regular work sessions to promote best practices usage.

  • Advocate for the organization's needs and provide feedback to champion.


Moving Forward

Project management software has many advantages over using spreadsheets for managing capital projects. More than anything else, having an internal champion is the biggest variable for success or failure. Having an internal champion increases the likelihood of successful software adoption, maximizes the software's benefits, and fosters a positive attitude toward using it, leading to improved project management and overall organizational efficiency.


 

JD Solomon Inc provides solutions for program development, asset management, and facilitation solutions at the nexus of facilities, infrastructure, and the environment. Contact us for more information about our program development and project management services. Subscribe for monthly updates related to our firm.

 

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