Change Management: It Ain’t What You Do…

Exploring the IT industry’s problematic relationship with change management, understanding why effective user adoption is more important than ever in a cloud-ready world, and looking at some methods and techniques available to those enlightened souls who wish to deliberately and positively deliver change and user adoption.

Bananarama and The Fun Boy Three were definitely onto something back in 1982, when they joined forces to record their version of Sy Oliver and Trummy Young’s 1930s classic ditty. What they probably didn’t realise was that almost 40 years later, the song’s central message would be used as a lighthearted device to illustrate effective ways of managing change in the IT industry.

Build it and they will come?

You see, the IT industry has always had a bit of a problem with change management. “Build it and they will come!” has been the prevailing attitude of IT departments through the years.

It’s been fuelled by a misguided belief that users will simply use the solution put in front of them. And all the evidence points to the fact that, unless they simply have to use it, they won’t. Instead, they’ll seek out an alternative route as the ‘path of least resistance’ – and you’ll have a failed implementation on your hands, thanks to poorly-managed user adoption.

Erm, no they won’t

The ‘build it and they will come’ adage betrays a fundamental arrogance which has been prevalent in the industry for decades. It fails to recognise that IT exists to provide a service to the business; that the business contains users of technology, and that users are very adept at knowing what they need, and what they don’t need. IT departments simply haven’t been providing the tools and technologies their user bases demand; if you need any further evidence, witness the rapid growth of ‘shadow IT’.

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The Importance of the “Intelligent Customer”

The customer is always right. Right? Wrong. A supplier-side perspective on ‘the intelligent customer’.

In May 2017, Audit Scotland set out a number of principles to follow for customers in pursuit of a successful digital future. One of the principles was simply to:

“Be an intelligent client.”

The target audience for the recommendations was the public sector in Scotland. But the recommendations apply much more broadly than that – in the private sector, and way beyond Scotland’s shores.

In 2012, Audit Scotland had set out the main attributes for being an “intelligent client”. These were:

  • Organisational capacity in technical, commercial and programme management skills
  • Appropriate governance controls in place
  • Skills in scenario planning and options appraisal
  • An understanding of how proposed solutions can meet the demands of the business
  • Arrangements to share learning and experiences across and outside the organisation.

But these attributes all feel very dry, functional and transactional. They speak nothing of the customer-supplier relationship, of the emotive connection – a meeting of minds, mutual trust and professional respect.

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Digital Transformation – Ingenuity and Empowerment in the Public Sector

Learn how Registers of Scotland and the Scottish Housing Regulator delivered digital transformation by empowering their businesses and allowing ingenuity to flourish.

Picking up a theme from an earlier blog article, What is Digital Transformation?, this recent observation from Tom Meade, Digital Director at Registers of Scotland, really resonated with us:

“We don’t look at it as digital transformation; the IT doing something to the business. We view it as business transformation; the business deciding what it wants to do with its IT capability.”
Tom Meade, Digital Director, Registers of Scotland, ‘After 400 years, the sprint’

Almost 3 years ago, Registers of Scotland (RoS) approached CompanyNet with a business problem. A significant legislative change to the Land Registration Act had just been announced. This mandated that Registers of Scotland must allow a defined set of Land Reports to be transacted online with its community of eServices business to business customers, by a fixed statutory deadline in December 2014. The deadline became known within RoS as the “Designated Day.”

This legislative change had forced RoS to seek out a digital solution to deliver this statutory requirement. And so the Reports Portal service was born.

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Let it Flow – Scottish Water taps into information as an asset

Scottish Water provides vital infrastructure on a national scale. We take a look at how, as part of their digital transformation, they are taking control of a major asset: information.

A photo of a waterfall
The Loup of Fintry Waterfall, used under Creative Commons

Water is one of our most vital assets. As a publicly-owned company, answerable to the Scottish Parliament and the people of Scotland, Scottish Water is responsible for providing 1.34 billion litres of drinking water and taking away 847 million litres of waste water every day.

Scottish Water has long recognised the value of its physical assets, which are instrumental in discharging its responsibilities to Parliament and the people. Of pumps, plants or reservoirs, and the people who operate and maintain them.

But it’s only more recently that Scottish Water began to fully realise the intrinsic value of its information as an asset.

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