Your company realizes the value that Deltek Project Information Management (PIM) can bring its business. So you’ve made the financial investment into Deltek PIM. Your IT team has spent time and resources to implement the new system. You’ve rolled it out to the entire team. Now you can kick back, relax and reap the rewards, right?
Well, maybe. If your employees aren’t actually using the system—or using it properly—the benefits you hoped to achieve from investing in the system may not be fully realized.
In general, people need to hear and see things a few times before they can commit it to long-term memory. That means that ongoing training and messaging is crucial to your team’s ability to remember the ins and outs of Deltek PIM.
Below are seven tips to increasing user adoption throughout your company.
1) Host Regular Training Sessions
This doesn’t have to be anything over-the-top or super fancy, but regular touch points where you can share with your teams how to do something within Deltek PIM will prove beneficial. Perhaps it’s through 30-minute ‘Lunch and Learns’ or during a short segment in a company meeting. Regular cadences to remind employees that the system exists, the company expects them to use it and best practices for them to get the most out of it will keep Deltek PIM top of mind.
2) Create Quick Tips
Because it’s hard to commit everything to memory, especially if you aren’t using every functionality on a daily basis, creating documents as a quick reference for your teams will help. For example, when someone wants to email a document directly from Deltek PIM, they can reference a quick tip to remind them how to do so.
These reference guides can take on many forms. Johnson Johnson Crabtree Architects created FAQ cards to help users learn the ins and outs of the system. Elevation Architecture created cheat sheets for the main tasks. Use whatever tactic that works for your company to help keep your users stay engaged.
3) Develop a Group of Champions
Not everyone can be everything to everybody 100% of the time, especially in larger companies. So spread the load by soliciting and grooming a group of Deltek PIM champions. Make sure that they understand the benefits of Deltek PIM—and the ins and outs of the system—so they can answer the informal and casual questions on a day-to-day basis.
Bernie Hall at Deltek shares her recommendation of choosing “a champion or ‘super user’ in each office. Make sure each office is represented. Make sure that person gets the communication and support and gets to be involved. That person is the local contact to disseminate info to users.”
4) Encourage Questions
Sometimes, people are hesitant to ask questions for a variety of reasons. They don’t want to appear unknowledgeable, to admit they weren’t listening or to reveal their vulnerabilities.
Rachel Tilleyshort from Elevation Architecture shares, “we encourage people to raise their hands when they can't do something. We have created this culture around asking questions, making it an opportunity around the office to speak up about their struggles.”
Implementing a new system such as Deltek PIM is an opportunity to turn these questions into learning experiences for the entire office.
Do you have users who would prefer to ask their questions via email? Elevation Architecture also created an email address (AskSheldon@) as another means of raising questions.
How to Make Implementation Great
5) Ensure Commitment from the Top
Every single piece of software that is successful in any company has the buy-in and support from the top level executives. Whether they use the system personally or are vocal about their support of it, they set the tone for the rest of the company and employees will follow their lead.
“It's harder for them to hold others accountable if they're not doing it themselves,” shares Rachel from Elevation Architecture. “You need to set a good example; lead by example. To help them be a bit more engaged, I discovered the one thing that annoyed them the most and found a way that Deltek PIM could help make it easier for them.”
If there are executives who simply aren’t using Deltek PIM or have a negative perspective about it, take a look below the surface. Bernie at Deltek shares that “a client asked me to come in and sit with their directors. They wanted to understand why the system wasn't being used in two years to its full potential. Through usage reports, they found that the company was split in half: poor usage vs. good usage. After further investigation, we established the poor usage fell under two directors who weren't using it and that trickled down to their teams.”
How else can you help you senior team show their commitment to the solution and encourage the rest of the company to capitalize on its capabilities? Nick Nieder, director of product management for Deltek PIM, recommends that “if you train them on the top 10 reasons or common questions, they are equipped to address concerns raised from the larger team and encourage others to use the system.”
6) Practice Tough Love
If we’re honest, all of the training and fanfare surrounding the implementation of a new system won’t win over 100% of the employee population. There will always be at least one person who is resistant to change. How do you encourage the likes of those to jump on the Deltek PIM train? One suggestion is tough love.
Brad Bowman from CDG Engineers & Associates shared that “we had a few users that were reluctant to adopt. Over time, they got pushed into it by the project managers. They accepted only links from [Deltek] PIM for documents that needed to be reviewed.” If someone tried to email them with a document attachment, the project manager would reject it and ask for the link through Deltek PIM.
Nick shares that one customer shut down the other ways of working. “They made the network drives read only, forcing teams to publish documents into Deltek PIM.”
7) Share Success Stories
As employees begin using Deltek PIM as part of their regular routines, success stories will come to light.
For example, a client tries to reach a particular project architect to get access to a document, but that project architect is on vacation. Another member of the project team can quickly find that document in Deltek PIM and forward it to the client.
Or a subcontractor is claiming he didn’t receive the latest set of drawings that altered his work, attempting to put the blame on the architect. Deltek PIM’s audit trail reveals that the subcontractor did receive and download those drawings, which will resolve this dispute quickly.
It’s important to share those stories—large and small—so that other employees will better realize the value of having a central repository for project information.
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