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Understanding Change Management: The 4 Keys to Transformation Acceleration

A Change Management Strategy should be a part of every digital transformation. In this multi-part series, we dive deep into the Apps Methodology for Change Management and how this service should be a part of any digital transformation initiative.

A Change Management strategy should be a part of every digital transformation. However, the sad reality is that 70% of all digital transformations are doomed to fail, because Change Management and training have not been factored in. To help explain just how crucial the role of Change Management and services are, we’re sharing four steps from our proven Apps Associates’ Change Management Methodology, and the value they provide to ensure success for the sizable investments that have been made.

To start, let’s first level set on what Change Management is.

Change Management is a structured process that focuses on the human element of organizational transformations, guiding people through the implementation with targeted tools and trainings. It can be a key differentiator to any successful or unsuccessful implementation and shift in business process based on overall user adoption. If well designed and executed, Change Management can leave your end users engaged, informed and empowered throughout change journey lifecycles. To think about that another way, think of Change Management as the steps we have all taken to help our parents when they get a new smartphone—showing them how to send a text, open a browser window, send an email, and the all-important, where to find the emojis 🤓. In short, how to use this fancy new piece of sophisticated technology they invested in, so they garner the most value (and entertainment) from it — with ease.

Change Management & Digital Transformation

Like helping with the smartphone, if well designed and executed, Change Management for enterprise technology can create the same strategic shifts in business process a company sets out to achieve. However, organizations that migrate to the cloud or invest in modern technology platforms and systems upgrades — e.g., EPM, ERP, Data and Analytics, CRM, RPA, Salesforce applications etc. — often believe that once the move or set up is complete the hard part is over, but that’s just the start. Digital transformation is a notoriously complicated process and what is really needed is a comprehensive end-to-end strategy for change. One that considers the technology and how these new digital processes impact the transformation of human users and how they work. Only then, when overall user adoption has been achieved, and employees feel engaged, informed, and empowered, will the final stages of digital transformation truly be complete. But how is that accomplished you ask?

The key to ensuring 100% user adoption is to help employees understand the positive impact and value it will have on their daily tasks. Whether through eliminating time-consuming steps or giving them new tools to perform more efficiently. A failed implementation isn’t the fault of personnel, or with the tools themselves, but with the training and support (or lack thereof) they receive. Regardless of their technical knowledge, employees should be able to successfully adopt and utilize new tools or software after a change.

Four Steps for Success

When approaching a Change Management strategy, it’s important to focus on current and future ecosystems to ensure the strategy not only brings value but drives results. Here are four key areas of impact that our team of experts have identified to lay a solid foundation of Change Management, while contributing to the overall business shift and value of change desired:

  1. Clear and Targeted Communications. Setting the tone and importance of Change Management with the business, work streams and impacted users is crucial before setting out on your transformational journey. That means talking about who’s who and what’s what. Our Change Management team will conduct a persona mapping exercise to identify who’s impacted and what value this change brings to their role and to the organization. We look to surface how we can arm project teams and impacted user groups with the right information at the right time. This ensures they are bringing users along the change journey and offering a clear picture of what actually is changing, how it will help and why it should be important to them. Ever heard of WIFM? It’s human nature to ask, “What’s in it for Me?” And why is this change so important?
  2. Creating a Sustainable & Achievable Plan for Change. Outlining the clear vision and benefit to the project (i.e., WIFM), with the help of an experienced advisory team upfront is imperative A lot of times customers are already resource and time constrained going into a digital transformation, and Change Management takes a backseat to the project. But, that doesn’t need to be the case. Through a series of discovery and design workshops, the Change Management team can work with those impacted to create and deliver a sustainable and achievable plan for change that brings the most value and impact to what the organization is trying to achieve. By identifying and aligning to the customer’s company culture and current ecosystem, it establishes or highlights an actionable change model that won’t seem unrealistic or unattainable. The goal is to establish best practices for change, without overwhelming or misleading on the true goal of eliciting and achieving transformational growth.
  3. Identifying Measurable KPI’s Within the Project to Quantify Success. When working with a Change Management partner, establishing a clear vision for what success looks like during and after the implementation is crucial to keeping the project teams and business on track and accountable. The most important of these key performance indicators (KPI’s), as it relates to Change Management is user adoption. However, it also crucial to make sure that the project is completed on time, on schedule and on budget. In order to ensure a successful project, training and communications should be included and made a priority for impacted user groups, as well as making sure there are strong measurable KPI’s to ensure users are retaining, engaging and successful in their enablement and Change Management journey. Transparency, accountability and measurability are key!
  1. Engaging and Enabling End User Success. A strong leadership presence that’s in lockstep with an established core Change Management team and change champion group is crucial to any change initiative. Making sure you have the right individuals collaborating and driving the united vision, objectives, and outcomes forward. That all working groups are in line collaborating on driving that clear vision and value of why the change is important and necessary. That also means involving the right people to drive awareness and enable the teams to adopt the technology or new way of doing things. The faster they see value of the new platform, the more successful it becomes for everyone. For users to see and then believe the “what’s in for me,” the more they see the value in making the change the more they will advocate for it it. 

At Apps, our proven Change Management methodologies and advisory services guides organizations through their global designs and implementation initiatives. They ensure that we look critically at every stage of the design, development and deployment phases to confirm clarity for employees around why change is necessary and valuable. Through curated strategy, dedicated and customized trainings and ongoing support, users are shown exactly where value is being added, both to the company as a whole and for individuals.

If you’re interested in learning more about how Change Management advisory and implementation services can help your organization reach 100% user adoption based on your specific transformation investments and goals, please let us know.

Apps Associates’ experts are Prosci Change Management Certified and fully equipped to facilitate both individual and organizational change. Learn more about change management and how we can support your business needs by visiting us online