Changing any part of your organisation can cause confusion and disruption among your employees unless you manage it carefully. People often don’t like change. But sometimes, change needs to happen if you want to drive growth and efficiency. So, an important part of your change or transformation initiative is change management.
What is change management?
Change management is a structured approach intended to help transition individuals, teams and businesses from their current state to a desired, new state. When you help people transition through these changes, you can boost adoption and utilisation rates.
This is something organisations can forget. Then what happens is their new strategy, solution or software doesn’t deliver the expected benefits or value. However, the fault doesn’t lie with the change.
Instead, it lies with how that change was managed.
Never forget people and their motivations for change are one of the main wildcards in business change and transformation initiatives - particularly those that are underpinned by technology (Business Transformation Management Methodology BTM2).
Improved user adoption
Photo by RODNAE Productions
Let’s say you’re upgrading your ERP system. If your employees don’t understand why the upgrade is happening and how it will benefit/affect them, how can you expect them to embrace it? And if they don’t embrace it, why would they use the new ERP system properly, if at all?
Another scenario that can happen is your employees are partially onboard with the new ERP system. They might use it properly in the beginning but user adoption starts to taper off as time goes on.
Effective change management ensures people stay engaged before, during and after the project. Learn more about the steps to ensuring a successful ERP implementation here.
Enhanced chances of project success
According to Prosci’s Best Practices in Change Management, projects that involve effective change management tactics produce six times better outcomes than those with poor tactics. And let’s not forget your change/transformation initiative will have required investments (time, money etc) from your organisation.
Improve the likelihood of your project succeeding and achieving your desired outcomes with change management. This is because you can ensure:
- Your key stakeholders are bought into your vision…
- …and stay engaged throughout the project
- Engaged key stakeholders mean they can drive deliverables…
- …and also spread their positivity regarding the change/transformation throughout the organisation (thus, setting an example to your wider business)
Boosted ROI (and reduce risks)
Without effective change management, you may experience the following:
- Missed project milestones
- Project delays
- Costs adding up (due to delays)
- Needing to redo certain deliverables
- Lost investment
- Missed opportunities
- Reduced employee morale and engagement
Change management will not only help you improve the chances of project success (which we covered above), but it can also contribute to improved ROI. For example, when you’ve aligned the mindsets of your key stakeholders and kept them fully engaged with your vision, they can ensure:
- Deliverables are progressing as they should and completed on time, within budget
- The wider team are engaged with the change
- The right people receive the right training at the right time in the right way
You can’t undertake change on your own. You need a Business Change Management team which you can resource with either internal employees (seconded or internally developed), recruiting or by completely outsourcing.
I’d advise that your change management team is resourced internally because people are more likely to listen to and accept changes from colleagues as opposed to contractors. Whichever approach you take, however, do this as soon as possible so your team can start planning, engaging and assessing the impact of the change on the business.
Photo by Nothing Ahead
What’s the recommended roadmap for change management?
If you want your change(s) to stick and/or to be accepted fully, you need to:
- Align mindsets
- Help employees learn to think differently
- Help employees develop new habits
- Explain how the change(s) can benefit (AKA cover the ‘what’s in it for them’ piece)
- Inspire employees rather than force them to embrace the change
In our roadmap, we cover all of the above, plus the full-time and part-time roles your change management team should consist of. Find out more by downloading the roadmap below.