Organisational Change Management
A modern paradox is that change is a constant in 21st century life, be that in the workplace or at home. Organisational Change Management focuses on a range of methods that allows us to minimise some of the negative impacts that change can engender.
Core to Eurosoft's values is recognising that people are the greatest influencing factor on success, be that connected to a large IT enabled change programme or a small tactical development to an existing process. We believe that implementing a software solution to an unprepared or unwilling business community is unlikely to achieve the expected business benefits.
Organisation Change Management – Its Role in Improving Overall Business Performance
Impacts of Change on Business Performance
Change Management Reduces the Dip in Business Performance
Businesses embark on change initiatives of all types, generally in the form of projects, with the expectation of ultimately improving business performance. However, experience indicates that during any change initiative, business performance dips during the project lifecycle caused by a combination of the following 2 factors:
1. The re-allocation of experienced resources to the implementation of the change initiative results in less experienced staff filling positions new to them.
2. The inherent uncertainty that any change causes, results in an overall dip in the effectiveness of the business teams.
Eurosoft believes that by engaging with the business community early and consistently, the overall dip in business performance is reduced as colleagues become clearer as to how they will be supported through the change.
Essentially if we focus on trying to answer the question “What’s In It For Me?” for all affected by the change, we go a long way to reducing the negative impact of change on the individual and therefore reducing the overall negative impact of the change on business performance.
Following the implementation of a change project, businesses take time to fully exploit the deployed solution and ultimately achieve the expected business benefits.
Eurosoft's experience in the area of Organisational Change Management leads us to believe that by using a range of techniques such as delivering targeted training to business users based on business scenarios from their day to day activity, increases both the speed of acquiring the skills to use the new solution and also the pace at which learning is applied post go-live.
The step change in pace of adoption of the new solution ultimately reduces the time taken to return business performance to pre-project levels and consequentially the pace at which the business capability reaches the expected increased level.
Eurosoft has substantial practical experience of proactively managing this challenge by pragmatically applying a range of Organisational Change Management principles. Core to this approach is recognising that whilst we are all individuals, our behavior when faced with particular situations and challenges is typically predictable. By being aware of the likely responses to situations we can then either plan to avoid the negative impacts that change can have on our colleagues or more commonly minimise the impact.
Furthermore a key role aspect of the Eurosoft approach to Organisational Change Management is to provide a voice of the stakeholder groups (employees, customer, suppliers, etc.) within the project team, ensuring these stakeholders needs remain high on the list of priorities. In return Organisation Change Management provides “the voice” of the project to those stakeholders, providing a consistent and regular source of information about the project’s progress.
Eurosoft believes that Effective Organisational Change Management focuses on the 3 following interconnected areas:
- Communication – We look to understand what message(s) need to be conveyed about the planned change to the various communities affected or stakeholder groups interested in the result of the project/change. Experience tells us that communication is generally considered early on in a project for employees and then the messaging goes quiet until close to go-live.
Eurosoft looks to implement the more affective approach of agreeing a Communication Strategy and supporting plan that looks to maintain regular contact through the project or change timeline. Within that strategy we look to understand the evolving messages that are required as the project progresses as well as considering the broader stakeholder communities affected by the change such as Customers and Suppliers.
- Education and Training – This stream of activity focuses on providing the skills necessary to exploit the opportunity provided by the project/change. In the early stages of a project it is key to ensure the project communicates clearly with those who are likely to be affected by the change and describe how they are going to be supported through the change and to ensure that this support is wherever possible tailored to meet their needs.
Eurosoft believes that support in this context goes beyond the traditional view of classroom based training to provide the technical skills of using a new solution i.e. what buttons to press, which in itself is crucial to success but also to consider the broader support network provided by colleagues and management who may have been more involved in the development and testing of the new solution and are therefore likely to have a greater understanding of how to use it. The Eurosoft approach looks to provide early opportunities for any new solution to be demonstrated to the business community to help remove any mystique surrounding it and provide that group with the opportunity to raise any concerns they may have about the impending change.
- Transition to the New Solution – The Go-Live day for any project is one that carries great excitement and to some degree, trepidation to those affected. A key area that this stream addresses is ensuring that the project team understands and accommodates any specific business issues when migrating from the current solution to the to-be state.
For example, “How will a Sales Order received before go-live be delivered after go-live” or “How will a Customer Advisor find the necessary information in those first few days after go-live should a customer raise a query about a payment made 2 months before go-live”.
In addition, this stream of Organisational Change Management activity looks to ensure that at a local level the new processes are understood and that appropriate support provision is made available to the business users for matters not directly connected with the new “computer system” such as, “Where do I locate the paper for my new laser printer”.
Eurosoft's experience is that these local implementation issues are often overlooked and cause early unnecessary frustration to the adoption of the revised solution.
This is just a flavour of the types of activities the experienced Eurosoft team consider putting into practice in a pragmatic way that leads to a rapid adoption of change by your business teams and ultimately delivers a fast track to the early realisation of business benefits. Please contact us for more information.