Improve Your Digital Change Management Process in 6 Steps

Sep 20, 2018 | Insights

For some companies, change management involves throwing things at a wall until something sticks. Needless to say, this is not the ideal system for implementing new technologies. As companies undergo digital transformations to remain competitive and to survive, mastering change management is essential. Because companies only reap the rewards of change after it has been implemented at the individual level, a successful change management process involves getting people on board in all levels of the company.

1. Ask Questions First

It’s easy to get excited about new technologies, and you may already have a new project in mind, but is it the right one for your business model? Before doing anything, make sure your idea solves a business problem. The best way to do this is to conduct as many one-on-one interviews as possible to get different perspectives on what could propel the company forward. Find out what the problems and pain points are in departments relevant to your solution. For example, if your idea involves upgrading a product or service, talk to customer support and sales and marketing teams. They should be familiar with customer pain points. See if your solution aligns with them. If it does not, it’s best to re-think the solution so that it aligns with business needs.

2. Get Executive Buy-In

Once you think you have a viable solution that gives your company a competitive advantage, present your findings and some relevant KPIs and metrics to the executive team with projections on how these could improve. Having the company’s leaders on board with the solution and the reasons behind its implementation is essential. Throughout implementation, there will be rough patches and periods of uncertainty. If employees see a lack of support from leadership during these times, skepticism will spread throughout the company.

3. Form an Implementation Team

Form an implementation team that includes leaders and/or interested parties from each department that will be involved in implementing the solution. Having everyone in the same room will help ensure you haven’t missed a step which results in a more accurate timeline. Team structures will vary depending on the proposed solution.

4. Ensure Sufficient Allocation of Resources

Look over your implementation plan with those in charge of budgeting for their departments to get more detailed cost estimates. Ensure leadership understands the costs involved in completing the project. Change makers face enough adversity without having to worry about budget issues.

5. Spread “The Why”

As your team is working on implementing this change, many employees will have questions and doubts. Make sure everyone understands the why behind the digital transformation. Answer any and all questions. Unanswered questions will only spread doubt through the organization. People are most resistant to change when they don’t understand the need for it.

6. Evaluate, Adjust, Repeat

Designate at least six weeks or so after the launch as beta mode, and get as much feedback as possible during this time. Meet with departments and customers that are affected by the solution and take note of what is working and what isn’t. Make adjustments as needed. Once stakeholders agree the solution is working well, officially launch the new solution and continue to record results. Measure these results using your original KPIs.

For further reading, check out CIO’s article on effective change leaders: