The complexities of creative projects are often misunderstood. Much more goes into the creative process than many clients realize and lack of processes can quickly lead to an overwhelmed creative team. In our department’s case, the workload quickly got to the point where we felt the implementation of project management software.

While it’s easy to get excited just thinking about the efficiencies project management software can provide, it’s also important to be realistic. Here are four truths we discovered:

Truth one: Do your homework! In today’s market, there are so many options to choose software that can be completely customizable to your needs. Don’t make your decision to purchase a software tool solely based on the brand and how elaborate the software is marketed by the vendor. Make sure that you include the entire team on the decision to purchase the software and request free demos from more than vendor.

Truth Two: We have the software now what? Once you buy project management software, it is easy to sit back, relax and breathe a sigh of relief, thinking that the daunting process of manually managing projects is over. This cannot be further from the truth. Implementing a project management tool is a project that includes phases and ongoing revisions. Since you will likely be customizing the software to fit the needs of your organization, it is imperative to have access to quality customer service and remote support. Trust me; you will need this more than you know.

Truth Three: Old habits are hard to break – Trying to introduce a new system to an established way of working is not as simple as you may think. You must give equal attention to training and change management – for both the creative team and the clients.

Truth Four: The system is just a tool – If you automate a bad process, it’s still a bad process. We have learned that it is important to focus on improving our business processes, and then leverage the technology.

Bringing in a new system can be a challenge, but by acknowledging the hard truths and vital steps it takes to implement and sustain it, we know that without a doubt this will be an upgrade worth celebrating!