Getting Prepared for Your New PPM Tool – 6 Expert Tips To Accelerate Your Implementation Time

Getting Prepared for Your New PPM Tool

We need a tool! 

We need a system that will make sense of this for us 

We need help figuring this out 

How do we track this? 

How many times have you said or thought the thoughts above? I’ve heard these comments countless times from many customers over the years but when asked what the expected outcome is from said tool or system, the response is usually unclear at best

The right PPM tool can help address all these statements and more but, the question then becomes, how do you go about setting it up correctly for your organization?  Well, read on for 5 excellent tips to help you achieve that!

Here’s a list of expert tips to consider while you prepare for your PPM implementation:  

  • Outline Your Main Goals for Implementation

    • What are gaps or pain points that you have now that you’d like to address?   
    • Decide on the expected outputs.  What do you want from a PPM tool?  Even more importantly, what do you need from a tool?   
    • What will a successful implementation look like? Set these goals and consult them to ensure that you stay on track and aligned to the original vision. 
  • Create a list of criteria to consider & prioritize for your implementation.

    • This prioritized list of Must Haves and Nice to Haves will help drive the phases of the implementation. 
    • Will project initiation & prioritization/selection be part of the implementation?  How will priority be determined?  How will budget, scope and capacity/resource utilization be evaluated?  What metrics are required to guide those decisions?  Are there approval steps and permissions that I need to consider?  What are the KPIs to be tracked?  Most PPM systems include reporting capabilities so it’s important to ensure that the right data points are part of the inputs so that they can be measured and reported on. 
    • Do I want my PPM software to be cloud-based or locally hosted?  There are management considerations to make here. 
    • How many users will be using the platform?  Will they be internal employees only or external clients or both? 
    • Do I care about how the user interface looks?   
    • Cost of the PPM tool as well as any licensing, customization or integration costs 
    • Consider on-going management, updates and changes to the platform post implementation.  Will this require professional services hours or can this be managed internally 
    • Envision the training needs of your teams.  Factor this into the phases 
    • Start small and work in phases.  A Big Bang approach is seldom suggested and will take much longer to roll-out.  The change impact to the organization will be greater as will the training effort and adoption curve.  Implementing and releasing smaller pieces of the overall solution as part of a phased approach is usually more effective and more positively received.  This approach will also allow the implementation team to gather feedback and learnings and apply to future phases going forward as well as make adjustments to the criteria or priority, if necessary 
  • Gather Processes

    • Know your current processes.  Are the processes documented or formalized?   
    • Pull together the current processes, understanding who is using them as well as the inputs and outputs of each of them.   
    • Are they being followed today?  Understanding existing processes or establishing new ones will help guide the implementation.  Current, lean processes are an important input of a successful workflow within the PPM.  It’s a good use of time to see if they are as efficient as they can be. 
  • Gather User Input and Feedback

    • Involvement of user champions should be leveraged to represent their voice when implementing a PPM.  Simplestraightforward steps, views and even labels make a big difference to the end user and adoption of a new system 
  • Create A List Of Your Integration Needs

    • Is there information in other systems that you’d like to include?  Is the new platform replacing legacy tools?  If so, review and decide on what data, if any, will be migrated to over.  It’s important to ensure that any data that will be migrated is accurate and robust – you’ve heard the term garbage in, garbage out – either take the time to cleanse the old data or leave it out altogether.  Integration of data will also help to minimize the need for users to consult multiple systems to complete steps in a process.   
    • Single source of truth.  Many organizations have different versions of the same information in multiple places which can lead to duplicative efforts and confusion.  Integration of this data will help to leverage the required information while maintaining a single source of truth. 
  • Create Your Change Management Plan

    • This is also referred to the people side of change.  The importance of change management and planning it into your implementation plan cannot be underestimated.   
    • Pull together a team of user champions to provide input and feedback.  The champions will facilitate user views, needs and feedback throughout the implementation.    
    • These champions will be part of the communication plans, internal marketing campaign and even training of the new system.  This will positive affect user adoption and support of the platform 
    • Learn more about Change Management here from Prosci. 

At Kolme Group we care and want to help you get the best out of your PPM Tool. Join Kim Essendrup for a Free, 15-minute consultancy to discuss your
PPM Tool implementation needs and best steps forward

 

Tanya Mancuso Author
PPM Consultant , Kolme Group

Having faced many of the same challenges our clients face, I have walked in their shoes and use my skills and experience to guide them through the process to a successful close. I have 20+ years of experience in project management, implementation and management. I thrive on turning chaos and complex issues into simplified and clear processes. I am a PMP, Lean and Agile Project Management certified professional.