You assessed and tested several project management software options to then finally decide to go with OpenProject. This process might have taken you a few weeks, months or even longer in order to make the right decision. Nevertheless, the implementation will determine the success of your decision. You need to convince your users to adopt OpenProject. Successful implementation needs thorough preparation to make your project team accept and use the new project management software.
Be prepared to put in place a change management process that will guide the project teams through implementation. Also note that any software adoption rate is going to vary, depending on your users’ willingness to learn and embrace a new technology.
We have put seven parts together for you to ensure a successful adoption of OpenProject.
1. Implementation plan
It sounds self-explains but we would like to remind you to create an implementation plan. This includes planning the actual implementation, e.g. with a Gantt chart. IT also entails choosing a team that will support you in the implementation phase. Depending on your organization’s size it could be one person or a team that is committed and will speak in favor of OpenProject to convince other users of its advantages. Make sure you define the following roles for the implementation:
- Rollout responsible
- Responsible for training
- Internal OpenProject expert
- Lead users
- Communication responsible
OpenProject offers plenty of feature modules. Think about the option to start the implementation phase with only a small set of modules and adding more modules at a later stage. This could help to not overwhelm the team and get them started slower. Just consider how open your team is for change and consequently how much you can expect from them.
2. IT support team
Set up and integrate an IT support team from the beginning. The support team needs to be part of your decision making as they have the expertise about the integration of OpenProject into the existing IT environment. They will be able to consult you also of how to grant access to OpenProject, how to set it up etc. Encourage your IT support team to also make use of the OpenProject support if you chose the OpenProject Enterprise on-premises or cloud edition. Alternatively, you can connect with the OpenProject community to discuss problems or share best practices.
Communication is probably the most important part for successful adoption of a new software. You not only start communication when launching OpenProject but ideally weeks and months before. Create a communication plan to prepare everyone, get them excited and let them slowly buy into it. By doing so, make sure you communicate the benefits of OpenProject for the users ( it will provide a better overview, save time etc) and also give them the chance to give feedback and ask questions; communication is not a one-way street.
The following could be part of your communication plan:
- Email sequences
- Lunch & Learn sessions
- Town Hall Meetings
- Updates during team meetings
- FAQ sheets or one-pagers
4. Lead users
Recruit a team of internal champions that you think can act as early adopters of OpenProject. They should be introduced to OpenProject first and get an in-depth training so that later on they can help other users when they experience difficulties. Moreover, if you manage to deeply convince your internal champions of OpenProject, they will then also speak in favour of OpenProject and help spread the word.
OpenProject is very intuitive and easy to use. You can start without a training while using the OpenProject documentation with its powerful search function to answer your questions. If you nevertheless would like OpenProject to facilitate a training or to conduct a train the trainer session, our consultants are happy to assist. The following links will help you to find what you need:
- OpenProject documentation
- OpenProject certification
- OpenProject training
- OpenProject custom trainings
Nevertheless, in order to engage the users with OpenProject, it could be useful to call in an online or in person training event. It can help the users to interact with each other and for you to demonstrate the benefit of the use of OpenProject. Ideally, you have the lead users participate in the training to present themselves and for the users to know whom to contact in case of concerns.
6. Internal promotion
After having pursued your communication plan, launch and training, you should follow up with an internal marketing plan. This will help acceptance by all users. You could use posters, an email campaign, and even contests to boost the continued application of OpenProject.
7. Self-service support
How do you handle your users’ questions about OpenProject? Of course, you have the lead users and your IT support team as well as the OpenProject support or community forum available. But in order to free these valuable resources, you should create awareness for the OpenProject documentation that contains user and admin as well as installation guides. OpenProject also offers video tutorials on its YouTube channel. On top, you can create a Wiki in an overarching project in OpenProject that everyone has access to. It can serve as a central repository with FAQs, quick tips, training videos, FAQs, troubleshooting articles etc that are more specific to your organization.