In the span of two years, Shelley Media Arts has grown from a one man operation to a 13 person organization and growing. If you have to deal with company stress, this scenario is a great one to have, but it is not without its challenges. Ultimately, what worked for one person did not work for the group when it came to efficient project management.
We are less than 30 days out from selecting Teamwork, and already loving our choice. The transition was not stress-free and included several starts and stops, but in the end, we have not only made a successful program transfer, but we have streamlined the details of our job processes.
For me, the beginning of a project like a program transition is the most overwhelming. The list of things that need to be accomplished seems never ending. It can make me convince myself to just settle for second best, but that’s not possible when a program needs to be utilized company wide. I’ve compiled a list of takeaways from our program transition to Teamwork that will hopefully encourage you to take the leap for the greater good.
We focused on functionality for the group as a whole with our selection. Since the majority of us work remotely, the important factors included a program that didn’t need a lot of training to begin using, would load quickly, and were all inclusive. As I researched programs, I included keywords “streamline”, “user-friendly” and “easy.”
It’s also important to consider what your employees are saying. Ask the people who will be working on the setup and execution of projects to be actively engaged in the switch. The last thing you want to hear is that the program choice is not useful.
It’s logical to assume an investment of time is needed for your transition. I suggest you assume 30-days will be used for set up. If it takes you less time, then great! But expecting the process to take 30-days will allow the person doing the transfer to feel less rushed.
Teamwork offers a 30-day trial. This allowed us to begin using the program immediately, but to engage at our own pace. We started with an introductory webinar. Since we didn’t need to stop using our previous program, we set up one client and worked through our daily tasks. This let us confirm the program would work for our needs as well as fine tune set up. This choice reduced our set-up time by hours.
The project management program we transitioned from had had an initial set up for one person to use and had additional sections built out as tasks were delegated out. Before we made the switch, we first discussed whether edits within our current program would solve our efficiency issue.
Once a transition was agreed upon we paused to ask why:
Asking why helped us realize that some of the established systems could be edited. It confirmed we were doing some things really well and working in efficient ways we needed to continue.
Asking for help gave us insight into how Teamwork interactions would work. They have a very thorough help section within the program, but you need to know what you are searching for. My help emails were responded to quickly and thoroughly. This was important to me and sharpened my program learning curve.
In order for your project management program to work for everyone, it needs to address as many daily situations as possible. If all thirteen of us needed clarify assignments before starting, our delegator would never get anything else done.
Embraced features of Teamwork that were new, but we also knew not every new bell and whistle would help us be efficient. It took time to learn about Teamwork features, but once we understood an application, we could think through each person’s tasks and consider what would be beneficial to increase productivity versus which things could add unnecessary time and steps to a process.
Features within any project management software will help some people while proving unnecessary for others. We spent a significant amount of time discussing how we approach our work. I believe we were successful in building the best program we could because we were brave enough to speak honestly with each other about our needs and be inclusive with the setup process.
Onboarding is a detail heavy process which when done well can set your employees up for success. Taking the at the beginning of the journey, asking why, and being inclusive will go a long way towards a smooth transition for your whole team. Having the right project management software for your company will be a key aspect to smooth expansion roles as your company grows. If you are looking to switch programs, I hope these tips help. Do you use Teamwork? Let us know what your favorite features are!
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