Tools are only as good as those who wield them. What good it the project management software if no one is willing to use it?
What does it take to convince a team to change its ways?
It takes a while to change a team's habits, and I have yet to see a team who is not at first put off by having to report to a system.
However, patience has its limits. If using the project management
software is not enforced, it will be difficult for the team to change.
If a new system is put in place to manage projects, one should make it clear that the data has to be up-to-date and the reports produced from the system.
Support from above
If management is truly supporting the project management software (and using it themselves), chances are better that the new method will take hold. Again, requesting that reports be produced within the system will get the project team to use the system, and learn to like it.
A good tool
Any tool has to bring benefits over the old method. Is it the email notifications? Is it the Gantt chart? Is it the ability to easily know how good someone is at estimating time for a task? If the team has something to gain by using the new tool, they will be more open to trying it.
A team that works together
If your project team is at each other's throats and not working together, they are very unlikely to adopt a new method as team. You will have more success having a successful team use the tool first, to demonstrate its benefits – and get more people advocating in from the inside.
Let the good times roll!
Any tool can have a very positive impact on a team. However, tools cannot perform magic. When a team is broken, no system or software can replace some good old people management. When a team works well together, a good tool like a project management system can make a world of difference.