Project Success = On Time + Within Budget … + Full User Acceptance?
At the end of each project I ask clients for lessons learned. The most commonly cited takeaway is the importance of getting the employees who are affected by the project onboard with the new implementation. As one client told me recently about a ClickSchedule implementation, “If our dispatchers and technicians hadn’t accepted the new software, we would have failed. They meant everything to the success of this project.” In other words, it’s not enough to install some software and assume the implementation is a success. We only achieve success in a project if we also help our people adjust to the change. How do we know when we have done this successfully?
Success is the point at which our people have accepted the change and can’t imagine going back to the old way of doing things.
Change is a big deal. Routine and habit are comfortable; change is not. We tend to be creatures of habit, and unfortunately workforce management projects tend to disrupt employees’ routines and daily habits. Change is hard. Therefore, we must develop a plan to help them through it. This sounds great, but how do we, as a team, do this?
When helping clients develop a plan to guide employees through the change and accept the implementation, I ask them to focus on three core components:
- COMMUNICATE: Frequent, two-way communication is critical. This includes both conveying information and listening to their concerns.
- MOTIVATE: While you may be motivated, it doesn’t mean everyone else is. Identify specific motivations for changing to the new way.
- EDUCATE: End users need to be educated on the coming change. Rarely do employees feel that they have been over educated on a new system.
By carefully creating the right plan at the beginning of the project focused on the three components above, and implementing the plan, you can achieve true project success:
On Time + Within Budget + Full User Acceptance = Project Success