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Tip of the Month: How elements of SI can improve and guide your team’s adjustments and transitions in a climate of Change Management”

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Less than 6 min read Minute Read
April 20, 2024
Tip of the Month: How elements of SI can improve and guide your team’s adjustments and transitions in a climate of Change Management”

While we are all well aware of the term “change management”, many of our users may not realize how the daily use of SI can support organizational and operational changes as a change agent when deployed as a part of an overall change management approach. 

Many teams in our industry will seek the knowledge of outside consultants and market sector experts to assess, begin, deploy, and even manage their necessary “change” architecture. While this could be perfectly advisable for some teams, these resources may not realize that SI may be an existing tool to assist with this process or could even be added to a team’s software arsenal in order to achieve such goals where it is not already in use.

The good news is that SI can easily give your team much needed assistance with this change management approach and, as a result, become an even more compelling platform to ensure such compliance with your team is achieved so that your desired change” can become a reality.

Now speaking of change, don’t forget our recent offering on the fundamental change in SI known as Labor Types. This enhancement merits thorough examination so for those of who missed this prior entry on the aforementioned Labor Types, please click here to catch-up this one. It is definitely worth your while.


What is Change Management?

Well, for the text book definition we can find the following:
The methods and manners in which a company describes and implements change within both its internal and external processes.”a

For how our industry might define it, we could think of something as simple as this: “$$$$$$$$”
Meaning, how can any of these change processes translate into more profit? Great question!

How can SI help with this?

Well for starters, SI could be viewed as a change agent for your overall change management process. Within SI, there are multiple features to assist with instilling and reinforcing directives/policies that contribute to your success with operational transitions and method refinement.

For specificity, here are a few noteworthy ones for just such consideration.

Workflow Rules – By structuring these evaluations to include key company resources based on the criteria of your selection, you can streamline division functionality and reduce unnecessary or redundant communications. This is one of the most beneficial feature additions to the SI platform that enables our users to send and receive various notifications about projects, purchase orders, tasks, service orders, etc. as these executions become relevant during the overall project’s lifespan.

For example, let’s say you are a sales manager, and you need to know when your sales estimators create an SI Project that is above a certain amount or below an established margin threshold. This is exactly the type of data that could be beneficial to know prior to client submission rather than after the fact. Further, in case you’re wondering, yes you can even lock a project along with its reporting capacity if a Project is checked back into the server with certain deficiencies.

What if you are a project manager? It would be helpful to know when all product items are ordered or received so that you could schedule and coordinate site appearance in a timely fashion. As a former Project Manager, this could be just what the doctor ordered I’d say.

There numerous extrapolations to be considered for this usage so for more information, please click here.

Project Rules – Another key component that can contribute to your team’s success with change is to use SI’s Project Rules to establish consistent project structure from the outset that will eliminate deficiencies possibly plaguing your team today.

For sales, it could have several usage scenarios such as linking Revision creation to a Project Status. On the other hand, perhaps ensuring that all SI Projects are created as Quantity-based is your goal. Either way, SI’s Project Rules will ensure that your team always has the necessary advantage for consistent and concise project creation.

From the project management perspective, it could be the convenience of a project being converted to a Unit-based status upon Project Approval in SI. This could be a key component to design/deployment success and huge time saver on large jobs.

To learn more on this feature, please click here.

Project Status – This is perhaps one of the most overlooked and undervalued feature configurations within the SI arsenal. Taking the time to create and add the key steps to this area of SI will, not only ensure that your team is aware of what should be done next in a Project’s timeline, but could also trigger notifications to key personnel as well as determining when such notifications are issued.

For sales, what’s key here is how you want your team to designate their leads/opportunities once an SI Project is created. Moreover, yes, Project creation early in the client relationship can then lend its use towards this and other features within SI per Workflow Rules that coincide with your Project Statuses.

However, let’s say at the outset that you want to know when your team has submitted a bid to a client. Well you could very easily have a Project Status called submitted to client. This status execution could then, not only be tracked as a Project value, but also as a lead/opportunity value that can generate data for SI’s Business Analytics (for more on that click here).

For project managers, that all success for such usage (whether related to change management or not) centers around this usage and evaluation. Again, key here is ensuring that the accurate steps are present in your status list to ensure proper and timely attention when desired.

I regularly encourage teams to add their own lingo or in-house terminology for these statuses instead the usual industry jargon. This way, there is a sense of familiarity and ownership of the mechanism.

So let’s say, as a PM, that you want to know when a job is closed (won) so you can begin to prepare accordingly. No problem, simply create the appropriate status that reflects such a designation, perhaps client approval, and you’re on your way. From there, not only will you be potentially notified, but the Project could also then be locked pending your approval. This is referring to Project Statuses and Workflow Rules working in tandem but it’s not unrealistic to achieve this.

For more details on Project Status in SI, click here.

New Project Required Fields – This could also be read as mandatory data inclusion. Here we can set the tone at the outset of Project creation in SI. Meaning, multiple data fields are now accessible in this mechanism to ensure that your team does not leave out that critical data that can make or break the overall project’s success.

From the sales and/or sales management perspective, wouldn’t it be great to know the estimated close date of a new bid or perhaps even the project start/end dates? Of course it would.
What about a budget number? Whether real (client given) or just a best guess on behalf of your estimator, this data is worthwhile to have as early as possible in the bid process for analytics as well as down the road to serve as a barometer of how your sales team is doing against the spread (as they say in Vegas.)

On the project management side of the isle, how about getting the project’s primary point of contact at the outset of the job’s creation? I know I always appreciated this and would engage accordingly, either prior to the close or of course afterwards, to ensure our team’s closing and deployment success.
Beyond this, there is the ability to add site and billing address requirements in order so that all involved company parties know where to send the bill and the goods!
A Project’s Custom Fields can also be repurposed for unlimited usage scenarios that go beyond any reasonable attempt to list in this article.  So for more on that, click here.

A Perspective
While organizational and operational change can be (and is usually) difficult, one cannot say enough about the benefits at the end of that road that contribute to team efficiency and ultimately company profitability. As you may or may not know, I am often asked about best practices and preferred methods with regard to the use of SI in order to achieve such organizational changes. I would be remise if I did not say that the use of such listed (and not listed) SI mechanisms will go a long way to ensuring your team’s ultimate success, and management of that success going forward, after you endure the said change management process.

Now, as a matter of my own professional experience, SI can be the change agent you seek to go along with your team’s desired improvements and, the earlier you begin that usage (or deployment), the sooner those success returns can begin.

Now ultimately your team will need to evaluate whether or not SI is the magic you seek but suffice it to say, I’m a believer in its ability to be exactly that which ye seek.

In Summation…

-Use SI as a change agent in your team’s change management agenda.
-Leverage SI’s Workflow Rules for timely and efficient communications.
-Fashion your new Project rules as a mechanism to elicit the addition of key data pieces that ultimately contribute to the deployment’s success.
-Create appropriately worded Project Statuses so that all involved have a sense of ownership and inclusion.
-Use the above suggestions to increase your revenues and solidify the change (improvement) you seek!

With all of that said, there’s still plenty more in store for you with SI and forthcoming product releases so keep an eye out for future updates.

As always, we are reviewing your Feature Requests to determine our best step forward and next course of action with future SI product releases so…“keep’em coming”!




In closing…

For more information on these and other features of SI v20, please see this link: D-Tools v20. You can also review our other videos and our usual support documentation.

You can also get more detailed information about v20 via our upcoming webinars and by enrolling in SI training with our PSG team. Please see this link here for our recent What’s new in SI v20 webinar.

And don’t forget, that’s why we are here…to ensure your success with our product! Be sure to check back here next time for more on v20!!!

Doug

aAdapted from Making Change Work: Practical Tools for Overcoming Human Resistance to Change

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