Now that you know the 10 questions to ask before you buy a Project Management solution and know which solutions meet your needs, it’s time to convince your company’s executives to acquire a new tool. But how can you convince them? To do this, we suggest 7 steps to convince executives to adopt a new tool for Project Management.

If you and your team have found a project management tool and are sure that it will solve all the problems you are facing, you will need to “sell” that idea to the executive team.

Here are the 7 steps that will help convince them!

1) Be the captain of the change:

Implementing a new tool for Project Management may not be an easy task. So if you present your idea to your team or your boss expecting someone to take charge, your initiative will fail right then and there. Be in charge of the change and get behind your idea! Initiatives without leaders always fail.

2) Research and try. Then research and try a little more:

It does not matter if the new Project Management tool is more “fancy” than the one currently used. The important thing is that it works, and this you can only find out one way: using it!

When evaluating any software, watch videos, read user reviews, request a demo or test version and take a “test-drive.”

If the solution provider asks for any money before you even see the product, or just lets you test some functions of the solution, you should ask yourself “what problems are they trying to hide?”

3) Recruit your soldiers:

There is a good chance that other teams or departments will also use the new Project Management tool you are suggesting. Or at least, there is a chance of being impacted in some way with its implementation.

For example, you may have to deal with Rafaela from the engineering department who loves your spreadsheets and will be reluctant to give them up.

So in order for your pitch to be successful, you’ll need team leaders or managers to be on board from the beginning of the process, even before presenting the idea to the executive team.

4) Have a plan:

Adopting a new tool for Project Management is a project in itself. So, treat it with the same seriousness and dedication that you treat all your projects with. Familiarization with the new tool and training will involve the time of the whole company. This time should be properly planned, if not, everything will go downhill.

Create a plan, share it with other stakeholders (executives and leaders) and get their support. This is going to make the difference between a successful or unsuccessful implementation.

If you are not sure how long it will take, ask the solution representative. If he does not know, look for another tool!

Also, try to implement it using an incremental approach or in non-crucial projects. This may be more acceptable to executives and other department leaders.

5) Sell yourself:

Your chances of selling your idea will be greater if executives know you and respect your abilities. The more people that trust you, the more likely they are to accept your recommendations.

Also, keep your target audience in mind. You may be approaching people who do not know or care about the problems you are trying to solve with the new Project Management tool.

Therefore, it is important to adjust your pitch and make it important to everyone on a grand scale. For example, your pitch may focus on “more productive teams, increased profits, reduced spending, more satisfied customers” etc. Show them that you know all the benefits that the new solution has to offer the company in general, and not just your department.

6) Give them a demonstration:

As part of your proposal, show executives how the new Project Management tool works and how it will meet their specific needs. That way, you are not just talking about abstract ideas or concepts.

Schedule the demo of the tool well in advance so everyone who will use it can participate. This way, everyone will have the opportunity to share their concerns and ask questions.

7) Present a business case to implement the new Project Management tool:

Show real numbers and not just optimism. Initially, executives and leaders are looking for Return on Investment (ROI). Of course you will spark their interest using phrases like “this tool for Project Management improves efficiency” or “reduces rework.” But also include numbers like “estimated savings of X thousand Reais or dollars per year,” for example, comparing it to the solution being used today.

Also, be prepared to answer questions such as:

  • What happens if the new tool doesn’t work?
  • How long will we have to use it?
  • What is the cost?
  • Can we go back to the old solution if it doesn’t work as expected?

 

These are questions you need to know how to answer, even before scheduling the meeting. You may have to deal with people who are against any kind of change, so have assertive and concrete answers ready!

Making any kind of change in a company is a big challenge. It does not matter if it is a new tool for Project Management or simply a change in the temperature setting of the air conditioner.

If you have discovered a new solution that you believe is the “best invention since sliced bread,” prepare your pitch properly, be firm and be well informed. And do not let fear of rejection stop your idea from going forward. In the end, everyone wants to make decisions that have a relevant and positive impact on the company.

Gus Oliveira

Author

Gus Oliveira

Gus Oliveira has a degree in Business Administration as well as a degree in Economics from The University of Massachusetts – Dartmouth (USA). Oliveira has experience in the software industry for Business Excellence also in the financial and business development field, working in large companies both in the United States and in Brazil as a financial analyst, business strategy consultant and a senior project consultant.

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