We all need champions in our lives.
What is the champion’s role in implementing software?
While the project owner and champion can very well be the same person, it’s worth noting there’s an important difference between the two. The project owner is responsible for overseeing the selection and implementation of the project management solution. The champion, on the other hand, actually believes that selecting and implementing a solution will significantly improve current operations and processes.
The point is, the champion’s role is less about checking off project items and more about getting people interested and involved in the selection and rollout of the software. They’re also the person that keeps that momentum and support going well beyond the implementation phase.
What makes a good champion?
A true champion believes that the implementation of the creative project management software is going to change your processes and workflow for the better. Secondly, she or he is an open and transparent communicator who will make sure that both internal and external stakeholders are brought into the selection process and feel valued.
A good champion also reiterates the benefits of the software – more transparency, greater control of resources, less artwork revisions, easy mark up and compare tools, no clunky administration that sucks time out of the day, a place to file and easily locate digital assets, etc. An effective champion is a always a good listener who will take on board important feedback during the planning, selecting and implementation phase.
How do you know when you’ve got the right champion?
Put simply, if your project is underway and your stakeholders don’t know who the champion is there’s a good chance you don’t have the right one. Remember, a champion is vocal and keen to get the message out there that software is going to really improve the management of your creative projects. Conversely, she or he will be the one approaching stakeholders to see what questions and feedback they have at all stages of the process. The right champion has a knack of getting people enthusiastic about the positive changes that software will bring.
Which department should the champion sit in and why?
This takes us back to the fact that the best champion for your business is the person who cares most about the outcomes of implementing software. So while the product owner might be a person in IT or marketing, if the software has been mandated for compliance reasons then maybe the champion needs to sit with compliance. Likewise, if your approval workflow has been missing important legal sign off, then maybe your champion needs to be some in legal who is keen to ensure legal items are checked off before campaigns go to market.
Having a champion for implementing project management software might seem like a ‘nice to have’ in theory, but it’s actually essential for succeeding during the role out phase and beyond.
If you work in a creative team, and would like to learn more about project management software that is suited to your industry, then I suggest reading the folllowing blog post - Project Management Sofware for Creative Teams.