Nothing is worse than having a stranger come in and tell you how to do your job.
Ten years ago, the iPad and Oculus didn’t exist, let alone include technology to create immersive virtual meeting experiences. Coworkers couldn’t DM each other on Slack or Teams, let alone migrate to a fully digital work-from-home scenario practically overnight. Lyft hadn’t launched as a ridesharing company, let alone become a player in driverless car technology.
When it comes to technology, change is constant, and advancements will continue at unprecedented levels, forcing businesses to work hard to stay competitive. But companies must consider their people when upgrading a system or implementing new technology. Marrying the technical side with the people side drives successful change adoption and successful outcomes, yet so many companies fail to recognize this.
According to Gartner, the typical organization has undertaken five major firmwide changes in the past three years — and nearly 75% expect to increase the types of change initiatives they will undertake in the next three years. Yet half of all change initiatives fail, and only 34% are a clear success. Failure is often a result of a combination of variables, such as resistance to change, ineffective processes and a lack of institutional and leadership support. Failure to take employees along the change journey also risks project delays, budget overruns, rework, lost productivity and higher turnover.
But there is hope. Companies that incorporate excellent change management in their initiatives are six times more likely to meet with success. To ensure that success, working with a technology partner that incorporates change management into a project from the outset is key. When done right, change management should be a natural process between partner and client initiated in the beginning of a project to ensure the successful transition from the current state to the desired future state.
Change can intimidate and frustrate employees, but companies can mitigate that by working with a partner to prepare, equip and support employees, so they can engage, adopt and use that change successfully. Two key elements are at the core of a successful change management strategy: Change management begins on day one, and communication is key.
Start from the beginning
At Blueprint, change management is part of the Business Analyst (BA) practice. BAs are the first on the scene of any engagement, and hit the ground running to quickly understand what’s truly involved in a project. Perhaps a company’s data estate includes a legacy on-premises server that’s created siloed data and multiple sources of truth, making actionable reporting impossible. Or maybe a company’s processes include excessive manual data entry and retrieval, leading to errors and delays. The BAs begin by interviewing employees and conducting surveys to understand the current system’s positive aspects and its pain points. They map the processes, incorporate employee feedback and work right along with the technical teams to develop the solution.
Many people incorrectly believe that change management consists mainly of delivering documentation about on a new tool or service at the end of a project. By establishing early familiarity with the teams and processes involved at the beginning of an engagement, the BAs can identify crucial sponsors and people managers who can help gain employee support and mitigate resistance. Nothing is worse than having a stranger come in and tell you how to do your job, so the trust that comes with that level of early involvement is key.
Communication can't be an afterthought
People want to feel they’re part of any change taking place. For that to happen, they need to feel heard, they need to understand why the change is necessary and they need to understand what’s in it for them. That’s where that early BA work comes into play – by understanding the current state and the desired future state, the company can be clearly communicate why the change is necessary and what it means for employees. Maybe it will mean more time to do their tasks or eliminating a bottleneck so people can work more efficiently, relieving stress and required hours at their desks. It could also mean more revenue for the company, which can translate to higher wages and increased job stability. Whatever the change, change management is the tool needed to navigate the journey successfully.
At Blueprint, the BA team will craft a communication plan with the sponsor and conduct interviews and surveys to understand everyone’s communication styles and how different people receive information. They can even write the necessary emails or blog posts the sponsor needs, create training materials and provide training assistance.
Blueprint Technologies includes its proven change management methodology in every initiative it takes on — from helping companies get the most out of their Microsoft Office 365 package and developing applications to eliminate manual processes to migrating data to the cloud and establishing a modern data estate that allows a company to unify its data to make smarter decisions. As technology changes continue to accelerate with the rise in AI, machine learning and robotics, companies must include a robust change management strategy in any effort.
At Blueprint, we design, develop and implement solutions with adoption and usage in mind from the beginning. Let’s talk about how we can help you ensure your next major effort is a successful one.