In order to achieve success, we must understand and define what success looks like. When pursuing a costly, multi-year business transformation program that will change the way an organization operates, it is imperative to understand the compelling case for change and how it will drive results. Being able to articulate how the new program goals directly correlate with the organizational goals is a key component to a successful change management strategy. After designing and implementing change management strategies with multiple clients across various industries, we have narrowed it down to eight key pillars to focus on and get you started:
Pillars to Successful Organizational Change Management
- Define the Compelling Need: A clear, comprehensive, well-defined, and properly articulated reason for change will allow us to identify how we are going to drive results and achieve success. It is important to state program goals that directly correlate with the organizational goals to ensure our program is a priority, that there are no competing initiatives, and that the entire organization understands how this program will benefit them.
- Understand the Evolving Roles: Conducting and socializing ‘Evolving Role Impact Analysis Assessments’ will help us understand the current organizational elements that need to change. It also helps identify the gap from the current state “as is” and the future state “to be”. This is a key step, and proactively identifies cultural change needs, gaps, and opportunities within the new program.
- Design the Capabilities: Define the tasks needed to complete the work and then map how the system will support it. Define functions, roles and responsibilities, and ensure the right information is accessible to enable correct decision making.
- Define Metrics and Value Realization: To ensure we achieve success, we need to be able to measure where we are today and where we want to be tomorrow. Metrics can be used in three main categories: project health, business results, and user adoption. Change management focuses on user adoption metrics that provide insight into user performance within the system. The metrics also highlights benefits achieved through the usage of the new tool.
- Change Agents, Communication and Branding: Building and embedding ownership and accountability to governance, metrics, and processes is a key effort to ensure successful change. Finding and securing champion resources will allow you to build a strong brand that can garner awareness, advocacy, and can support branding and communication efforts.
- Build Awareness, Trial and Advocacy: Build awareness across the organization to gather advocacy. Socialize ideas, objectives, and identify change enablers and champions. Ally with initiatives running in parallel and leverage other teams to support your program.
- Deliver Holistic End User Training and Support: Focus on creating the “pull effect,” where users are taught the business value of the new system and provided training unique and relevant to their day jobs. Ensure post-go live support is available, as well as training refreshers and webinars.
- Design and Establish the Sustaining Organization: Design organizations to ‘stick’, i.e. understand the business needs and lead better practices guaranteeing continuity and improvement. Establish a governance team that will evaluate and track results, and then apply and implement corrective action plans as necessary.
Corporate executives, sponsors, and decision makers are often tasked to drive business results transformations, and they focus most of their energy on managing and delivering results that frequently translate into new systems and process implementations, leaving the human factor as a second-tier element. However, a system is only as successful as the people using it, and with that in mind, a proper change management strategy is critical to ensure early adoption and cultural transformation. By creating an environment where all the users can fully explain the intricacies and purpose of the program with confidence, with a clear understanding of the results of the program and the drive to achieve those results, businesses can succeed in a major transformation. A tailored change management strategy and plan is a key enabler to manage resistance and ensure a better cultural, process, and system adaption.
For change management and adoption to be successful, it is important that an integrated approach is taken across all areas of the program, ensuring the business understands how the solution will impact them and benefit the company as a whole. These eight pillars will help you get started and propel you in the right direction.