Expecting facts out, without putting facts in
Project management solutions can be very powerful, but they aren’t magical. In order to crunch the numbers and produce useful insights, you have to provide accurate information in the first place. While this can seem like a waste of time to collect information, it is most difficult to collect accurate information the first time. Once information is in the system, keeping it up to date is far easier as the system does the heavy lifting.
If you want to know how much profit you're making on a project, you first have to provide information like how many hours were spent at what hourly rate, what resources were used and how much did they cost, and how much the client has paid. While this seems like a lot, some initial set up in a good system can make it much easier and faster by saving and consolidating information.
For example, you only need to put in an item and its cost and sales price once and you can use it again and again and again. Taking the extra time at set-up will help you in the long run to get powerful results from your project management system.
A new project management system should make it easier to do the things you are already doing, right? Not necessarily. A good system will make it easier to achieve your business goals, but they might not always conform to the current way you do this. When implementing a new system it’s important to be flexible with what you may need to change to work with your new tools to get the most out of them.
Make sure you go in with a good understanding of your current business processes and how they will fit in the new system. Doing things the same way just in a new system won't always work. Be flexible as you map your processes to the new system and be willing to make changes to achieve the best results when needed.
Some of your processes might become redundant under the new system and need to be removed, some things like timesheets may be radically different. Lean in to making changes to get the best results.
Rushing in without planning
It can be very exciting to upgrade your business system as it often comes as a major growth step with exciting new opportunities. However, you need to be wary of rushing in without planning ahead. There is a lot of data and processes that will need to be collected and considered, and this process can’t be rushed.
You will want to create a checklist of the data you will need to get the features working that you would like and start mapping your processes. When you do this, you are likely to find bottlenecks that can help you see where you are going wrong and what can be improved. This can help you select the right solution that can actually help you solve these problems. It also means that you are more able to measure the new solutions effectiveness.
Forward planning and a timeline for your roll-out can also help you to train your staff and prepare them for the new processes. If you have a better idea about how the roll-out will occur, you can communicate it to your team better.