by Donna Unitt
Power to the people
The success of an IT project is determined by the organisational change management strategy.
The objectives for the project were discussed in-depth and clearly defined, the new flagship IT system was thoroughly researched, the budget planned and authorised, the supplier carefully selected and the installation undertaken painstakingly over a lengthy period. Despite all that, the organisation doesn’t feel it is seeing the benefits promised at the outset…
The most likely reason for the initially lacklustre performance? The people tasked with using the new technology haven’t been involved from the start. In other words a proactive organisational change management programme wasn’t initiated as part of the process.
Installation needs implementation
It’s very easy to forget that the installation of a new IT system needs to be accompanied by implementation, the latter being the step that ensures that both the new tools and the reasons for adopting them are accepted and understood by the teams on the frontline.
Getting people to embrace the changes required by a new organisational system is the key to a successful implementation and will drive the business benefits and return on investment expected of new technology.
More than that, as businesses face increasing digital disruption, change is becoming the norm - a necessity for survival.
People are pivotal
This means that organisational change management can’t be an afterthought at the end of the project, an ‘add-on’ once the objectives have been agreed behind closed doors; time needs to be invested up-front to ensure that teams are on board. Often these people are the experts; the day-to-day interface with how processes and systems work – their knowledge and experience can play a key part in shaping the changes an enterprise needs to make and then ensuring their adoption.
Significant organisational shifts are unlikely to happen if people are not given the support they need and there needs to be enterprise recognition that it is not an overnight process. Real change occurs one person at a time, one day at a time.
The six-point plan
An organisational change management programme needs to include the following six considerations:
• A Shared Vision makes a case for the change and shows everyone where the organisation is going. It enables momentum to be achieved because teams have a clear understanding of the change, its objectives and benefits.
• Strong Change Leadership provides the compass for key people committed to the goal. Leaders need to be seen to demonstrate their own commitment to the change through their actions and words.
• Engagement is centred around an employee’s involvement with, commitment to, and satisfaction with their work. It requires the strategy to be laid out so that organisations can effectively get people involved in the change as early as possible, as well as provide learning opportunities and clear communication and feedback mechanisms.
• Committed Local Sponsors enable middle and first line management to take responsibility for the change in their area of authority. They can shorten the change journey through useful local knowledge. However, they can also be barriers to change, so it is important that they are empowered to become enablers for the change.
• Developing Strong Personal Connections translates the needs of the organisation into something that people can buy into and ensures that everyone in the party knows why they are taking the journey. It paints a big picture that inspires and motivates everyone to overcome any hardships along the way.
• Commitment to Sustained Personal Performance to support those involved in the change, help them navigate the transition process and adapt behaviours as required. People also need future security; the belief that their job satisfaction will be the same or enhanced as a result of the change.
To find out how Rocket Consulting can help your business embrace change successfully, contact us…
• Digital disruption is becoming the norm; organisations need to be prepared to evolve and adopt a culture of change.
• Sophisticated technology does not deliver business benefits or ROI if the people using it are not engaged.
• Organisational change management is critical for any IT project; it needs to be an integral part of the plan.