We’ve all been there. You open your email Monday morning and there are a flurry of messages about a new client. You need to create a pitch deck, schedule status meetings, plan their strategy, etc. You start opening Excel to keep it all straight. But, one Excel sheet leads to a Google doc, leads to a Slack Channel, leads to another Excel sheet. Repeat.

What if, just by opening that email, you could quickly initiate the creation of a meeting, a project overview via Gantt chart, and individual tasks assigned to team members? Many Fortune 500 companies – including Comcast, Toyota, and Anheuser Busch InBev – are turning to modern project management tools like Hive to do just that. 

With the advent of project management technology, companies are scaling at a rate previously unheard of. They’ve cut hours out of their days by eliminating redundant communication, visualizing bottlenecks in real-time, and accurately resourcing their projects. Now that PM software is so advanced, the question is not whether it has the functionality, but rather how to introduce new software to employees.

From our time in project management at Hive, there are four lessons we’ve learned to effectively leverage a platform to make your employees’ lives easier and your company better. It’s time to transfer your team to a new project management tool.

Team Buy-In

The biggest mistake we see our partners make when they’re transferring to a new project management tool is that they shut the rest of the company out from their decision-making process. The key stakeholders and decision makers may have the best interest of the group, but the introduction of the tool may catch the rest of the company by surprise. Avoid this at all costs. When you’re looking to implement a new tool, take the time to survey your team and coworkers to ensure that you’re all on the same page about the functionality and features you need. 

Another tip: try to get a variety of senior leaders on board from different teams. This will ensure that adaptation of the tool isn’t siloed — there’s nothing worse than having teams at the same organization work in disparate tools. It’s not fun for anyone.

Kick The Tires

As you continue down your list of vendors and test out different tools, they can all start to blend together. Many will check-off your top priorities, but finding the tool with the best user experience can be your biggest challenge. An easy way to solve for the best user experience? Encourage your stakeholders, coworkers and teammates to try to execute real projects in the tool or tools you’re testing.

Getting your team on a two-week free trial, into a demo, or into a webinar can be the difference between a mediocre and excellent transition. I even had one client add their grocery list to the tool that her husband had emailed over to her. If you use the tool to achieve something simple that might have been more difficult before, you’ll begin to rely on the product and it’s utility will become more obvious. This is the biggest secret to convincing your team to transfer to a new project management tool.

Choose Wisely

There is a massive supply of project management software providers out there. It can be an absolute headache to find the right fit. When communicating with the vendors’ sales reps, make sure that there is a smooth transition between the Sales and Customer Success departments. The biggest fear I hear from clients is that a salesperson will be fantastic, understand all of their needs, but when they purchased the product, they never heard from CS or Sales again.

One great way to better understand a tool’s CS bandwidth is to read reviews of the tool on places like G2 crowd or Capterra. This will allow you to see in-depth reviews of the tool and understand how teams were treated throughout their onboarding process.

Additionally, make sure that you ask about any hidden fees up front. This will save you in the long run — you don’t want any secret charges to pop-up when you ask for an additional demo or time with a CS representative.

Smooth Sailing

Finally, you want to make sure that your data can be easily transferred from one tool to another, if you’re going from say Basecamp to Hive. When you’re in the process of deciding on a tool, be sure to ask the sales team what the data import process is like. Pay close attention to how they handle this question — they should have simple processes in place to help get you situated in their tool, as people likely ask for their data to be transferred often.

Data transfer becomes more difficult when you’re transitioning from one extremely disparate tool to another, so if you’re not able to get a full data upload, try to prep your teams beforehand to let them know that there could be some manual work before the tool gets up and running. Thankfully, there are ways to incentivize your team to move quickly and efficiently here.

Overall, the switch from one project management tool to another shouldn’t be rocket science. If it is, it’s time to reach out to our sales team — we can get you up and running in Hive in no time.