Lessons Learned Implementing Viewpoint’s Project Management Module
Be careful what you wish for! I got what I wanted, to be the guinea pig of the implementation of Viewpoint’s Project Management module as I detailed in Lesson #1. I really had no idea where to start, so I went back to basics. I got a legal notepad and pen. I wrote down a list of all the functions that our Project Management team did using a computer. Next to each function, I wrote what software we used to perform it (Excel, Word, Outlook or existing PM software). I wrote down things like Drawing Logs, RFIs, Meeting Minutes, Change Orders, RFQs, etc. I set my first goal, which was to target the functions that we performed in our existing project management software.
With my target list, I started one function at a time. I would literally create, for example, a Submittal in my old software and then go step by step to perform the same function in Viewpoint. I would then look for the variations in the steps or any missing/additional data. I learned how to create custom fields for any additional data that we needed in Viewpoint. There were not a lot of custom fields needed, but having this ability was a game changer & gave us increased productivity. For example, we added a custom field to RFIs that allows us to identify RFIs by division #, thus making it easier for our pre-construction team to review subcontractor quotes.
After I nailed down the first function, I would move on to the next one. I tackled it one step at a time and I practiced each function in the sample company. I called Viewpoint Tech Support (among the best tech people ever!) and they walked me through any rough spots. I also hit the F1 key in every form and every field to read the help guide. The more I read, practiced, and tinkered with it, the more I realized the power this software would provide us.
At times, you may feel like I did, that I was recreating the wheel, but it ended up being great for our company. This transition is an opportunity to review workflow, fine tune your process and in the end make your staff more efficient. Slowly but surely, we got rid of the majority of our Excel and Word usage by streamlining those functions to Viewpoint. My advice is to go out and re-create your wheel!