WHY CHANGE MANAGEMENT?
When planning a major initiative, it can be tempting to leave Adoption & Change Management off the table, or to create a communications and training schedule and call it change management. The project team and leadership get concerned that involving too many people will slow down the project, randomize users and increase scope.
It’s also assumed that users will want to or at least be capable of adopting the new process or tool with a limited time investment.
While these tendencies are understandable, there’s ample evidence to show that skipping change management actually increases the risk of project failure. (Cost-Benefit Analysis of Change Management (prosci.com)
RISKS OF SKIPPING CHANGE MANAGEMENT
Not fixing the right problem
Leaving key players and stakeholders out of the conversation increases the risk of not solving the entire issue. Too often, technology is seen as the savior of inefficiencies and people and processes are left out of the equation. This approach leads to costly solutions that don’t reduce waste or expenses.
Abandoned or delayed efforts
When a project team has been working in a silo and finally starts to demo and communicate the new solution, the feedback is not always positive. Angles, dependencies, and costs are presented that hadn’t yet been considered.
This can be demoralizing for the project team and has leadership viewing the project as high risk. Depending on the amount of concern raised, efforts are often put on hold until it can all be addressed. Sometimes this means starting over from scratch.
When big changes are coming for a workforce that hasn’t been involved or consulted, morale goes down. Employees may not understand why this initiative is so important, how it affects their daily work, or how much they’ll need to learn in order to remain successful in their roles.
There’s also a ton of knowledge that can be tapped into – tribal knowledge stored only in your employee’s minds. And if any of it is negative, they’re likely to only share it if asked directly and in a safe environment.
BENEFITS OF CHANGE MANAGEMENT
CONSIDERATIONS FOR SUCCESSFUL CHANGE MANAGEMENT
Ensure your sponsor is all in
The most critical piece of all is the committed sponsor. This is not a role that simply approves the project and budget and then can delegate the rest of the work to others. The sponsor must remain visible and involved throughout the project.
Know & widely communicate the goal
What is the true motivation for this initiative? Is it to improve the customer experience, attract and retain top talent, empower employees to work from anywhere? Whatever it is, it must be more compelling than ‘moving to the cloud’ or simply streamlining and automating processes. Give employees something they can relate to and get behind. That way, even if the change is stressful, there’s a cause to rally around.
Factor in the success of previous initiatives
Have your previous projects been smashing successes, or have they fallen flat? Were the tools and processes adopted? Were folks given the time and resources to adapt? Were managers involved in decisions that impacted them and their team?
If your organization has a history of failed, abandoned, or painful projects, your change management plan is going to need to address how this one will be different. There are no good results to be had by hiding from or ignoring past projects.
WHAT TO INCLUDE IN A CHANGE MANAGEMENT PLAN
How will we accomplish this change?
Who, What, Why, When, How
WE CAN HELP
Contact Pivotal to get started with your change management planning. Our consultants and trainers can set you up for success.
5 Reasons Most Technology Projects Fail
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