One of the challenges in implementing PPM software is to make it stick and to overcome any barriers to change.
Implementing any software is a change project and PPM is no different. There is no point in picking great functioning software if the users don’t like it. If they don’t like it, they won’t use it.
Having implemented our PPM software, PM3, at many clients over the last 10 years, there is one software requirement that has a disproportionate effect on whether the software sticks or not; it has to look good!
Many tenders that I read and respond to focus on a list of requirements and there is usually one about the user interface. It is, however, considered by most customers to be low down the list of key requirements whereas it should be near the top.
Of course, each software product needs to be assessed against the functional requirements but just as important (or even more important!) is the look and usability of the software.
If the software is not ‘beautiful’ and is clunky and cluttered, it will be consciously or even sub-consciously picked on by any doubters as a reason why it’s no good.
A few years ago, a PPM vendor may have got away with good functioning but unwieldy and unattractive software.
Now, however, users are much more mature and demand good-looking software. If the software is ‘ugly’ or clunky then this will create a negative impression and any activities to overcome change barriers will be wasted as users will not be able to get past the look and feel.
At Bestoutcome we have some first-hand experience of this. We have marketed our PPM software, PM3, for a number of years with reasonable success. Two years ago, we embarked on a total User Interface redevelopment.
We engaged User Interface experts and carefully mapped customer journeys.
When we released the software with the new interface our existing clients were delighted, but we also began winning more tenders and new customers. These new wins were partly, or even mainly, down to the new ‘beautiful’ interface.
Many of our competitors had not redeveloped their look and feel and their software was starting to look jaded and out of date.
It may seem superficial, but when selecting PPM software, looks do count.
If you select beautiful software with the right functionality, not only will you overcome barriers to change, but you will get your project managers and the PMO to love using the software and in the long run you will get a better return on your investment.