I was listening to my iPod, which was set to shuffle, last night and the Queen song, “We are the champions” came on. It spurred my thoughts, believe it or not, around software adoption in construction businesses today.
I talk with a lot of construction companies each year that tell a similar story about the need to get their project management and operations team to move to new software. However, go-to tools such as spreadsheets and documents are tough to move away from for those who have spent hours getting formulas and layouts just right. I think we all have those security blankets. Then there are those of us who have found phone apps that let us do everything we need without a computer. Heck, I can send important email, set-up a meeting, take a job site photo, call the office and kill a few angry birds all in a matter of minutes. So the question is really, how businesses achieve adoption and buy-in of new software that benefits an entire company, not just individual users?
I’ve heard several approaches from different companies, with ideology like “You have to lead by example, “and “It starts at the top,” and “Just use brute force – do it or else.” My favorite was from a Director of Operations at a general contracting firm that said, “Find a champion.” He explained that the champion will be the one who gets their hands on the new software first, maybe runs a project on it, or tests out and defines the workflows then promotes to the team how beneficial and successful it was. Once this occurs, competitive nature typically kicks in for many team members and they start using the software so they don’t get left behind and can take part in the excitement. Some will be curious and start exploring and using the software for all that it can do and others will simply fall in line because they know it’s now part of their job responsibility. Your champion may be someone who just joined the business, or the one who has everyone’s respect, but I bet there is someone who wants to be a champion and they may able to help bring success to your company’s adoption of new project management and operations software. Good luck and go find ‘em!