People-focused change management

Change management

The implementation of any new technology into an organisation is a significant business change. However, if you don’t bring your staff along with you, there is a chance that your efforts will be met with resistance or even failure.

True business change can only be achieved by balancing technology change with the impact on people.The two go hand-in-hand, and delivering one without addressing the other frequently results in poor adoption or even rejection of the new technology.

As organisations implement the new ways of working associated with the move to the cloud and technologies such as Microsoft 365, achieving high user adoption is more important than ever. If a new implementation is to be well-adopted, users must be at the heart of the change process. They must be consciously and deliberately engaged in the process as active participants, not as an afterthought. That means taking them on the journey with us, right from the beginning.

Bring your people along on the journey

By approaching the human aspect in a deliberate and positive way – through a programme of managed business change – you can ensure new technologies are well-adopted, and highly adopted solutions will deliver the efficiencies, the productivity benefits and the Return on Investment your programme is seeking.

We must recognise that IT exists to provide a service to the business: today, every member of the business is a technology user, and today’s users are very adept at knowing what they need.  The “build it and they will come” attitude is therefore no longer an effective approach to rolling out change. Today, if users are not considered when new software is deployed, they will typically seek out alternative ways of getting the job done – resulting in a failed implementation and potentially the use of uncontrolled and ungoverned ‘shadow IT’.

IT-imposed change may resonate with the enthusiastic “early adopter” minority of the user base, who are highly receptive to change and innovation. But the significant majority – who are likely to be ambivalent, at best, about the change – need to be carefully informed and convinced of the benefits.

The upside is that, once they are onside, business colleagues who have bought into the new technology will work in your favour. Not only will they understand, adopt and use the systems more readily, but they will help others to do the same. A good programme of business change can therefore become self-sustaining.

Tried-and-tested change methodology

Tried-and-tested methodologies exist, such as ‘ADKAR’ by ProSci, which can be used to help deliver change in a reliable and predictable way. By following a structured programme of people-centric technology change like this, the technology  becomes better adopted, to the benefit of the business.

ADKAR is a logical approach which, while framed as a business model, is based on simple common sense. Importantly, it also aligns well with a software solution implementation lifecycle.

The ADKAR Methodology

Change is only successful once each individual achieves five outcomes (A,D,K,A,R):

Awareness

“I am aware of the change and why it is happening”

Desire

“I support and want to engage with the change”

Knowledge

“I fully understand the objectives and why change is necessary”

Ability

“I have the ability to realise the change”

Reinforcement

“I am supported in sustaining the change”

Ultimately, by engaging your people in your Cloud/Microsoft 365 change journey, rather than imposing change on them, your programme will be more successful. You will save time, effort and money in the long term, and set your organisation up to be highly effective practitioners of modern cloud services and solutions.

CompanyNet are experts at implementing business change that considers your people as well as the technology. If you would like to discuss how we can help you get your own change programme right, get in touch.

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