What Is Change Management ?

Digital Adoption Guide

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What Is Change Management?

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In business, especially a well-established business, the only real constant is change. Whether speaking of ongoing projects, goals, initiatives, or basic operations, every organization sets out with strategies in place to get where they want to be. Yet, those strategies are consistently evolving due to rapidly changing consumer/client demands, so changes must be implemented in order to stay efficient and relevant.

Organizational change these days tends to involve some type of digital transformation. Even though digital change is set in motion by CEOs or CIOs, it is the employees that have to adjust the most during these transformations. Adapting to new digital processes or technologies.

If the employees that make up the workforce are not able to adjust to digital changes, overall objectives set forth by the company can be totally unreachable. For successful transitions, employees need to be able to embrace new technological methodologies or digital processes. Therefore, change management when migrating to new software platforms or solutions is a vital part of actually reaching the desired results.

Change Management with Digital Adoption Explained

In the most basic terms, change management is a conscious plan, discipline, or guide to support individuals through change, prepare individuals for an oncoming change, and equip individuals with what they need to get through a change. Change management shows up in many avenues outside of business, but when used within a business, it is most often about guiding the full workforce through a transformation. The goal of this form of management is always about driving a successful outcome on every level.

Change management in regards to digital adoption is all about managing a major digital change within a workforce. Many examples could fall under digital adoptions or adaptations, such as:

  • Migrating from reliance on one software program to another
  • Updating a heavily used software solution to something more efficient or effective
  • Trading an outdated digital work interface to an interface better suited for modern work processes

4 Telling Facts About Change Management

Drastic technology changes have grown to be a common thing for businesses, but without change management, business owners with big plans may never get full advantage of a new technological solution. While often dismissed, managing change should be just as important as the planned change itself. Here are a few facts that prove why that is the case.

1. Effective change management means meeting benchmarks more effectively.

Change management has a direct, obvious relationship with actually meeting the objectives of a transformation project. In a study performed in 2018, change management company Prosci discovered study participants that had excellent change management plans were six times more probable to reach benchmarks and objectives compared to those with poorer change management plans. While this particular study looked at change as a whole, the same could be true with the adoption of new digital processes or technologies within a workforce.

2. Schedule adherence is a critical part of change management.

One thing often lacking with digital transformations within a business operation is having a predetermined schedule for when the transformation should be complete. Having a schedule of what will happen and when gives management and leaders a good guideline to follow with employees when it comes to learning new processes. Prosci found in their aforementioned study that 69 percent of companies that made use of change management processes actually finished their intended projects on or ahead of their predetermined schedule.

3. Employee resistance is a big stumbling block for intended change.

Employees are accustomed to doing things the way they are trained, especially when it comes to the technology used at work. Therefore, it really should not come as a surprise that employee-resistance can be a huge stumbling block for companies trying to make changes. This leads to question: how can company leaders prevent the resistance to change that is so prevalent with the average workforce? One key answer is to include employees so they feel they are working toward the greater good with a common purpose, and good change management is a big part of that.

For example, if you plan to migrate to a new software solution for everyday workflow, you can’t just say, “Here’s this new software. It’s great. We expect you to learn how to deal with it.” Instead, change management would involve including employees on the decision to make the change and then utilizing the best digital adoption solutions to keep them involved.

4. Change initiatives often fail in business.

The Harvard Business Review found in one study that more than 70 percent of transformation efforts fail. While there may be a lot of contributing factors, proper change management from the onset of a planned transformation could potentially be at the root of this staggering statistic. With digital adoption solutions from a company like Epilogue Systems implemented initially, business owners have a greater chance of seeing good followthrough from employees when they want to adapt to a new digital platform, software, etcetera.

The Three Necessary Components of Effective Change Management with Digital Adoption

Effective change management with digital adoption is not a once-and-done process. Three very necessary components must be present in order for change management to be successful.

1. Prepare Employees for Change

Preparing employees for a digital transformation is all about offering them information and making sure they are involved in what is to come. Many company owners skimp when it comes to this necessary part of change management. But in doing so, they isolate employees and make them feel as if they are being forced into change without prior knowledge. To be successful in the end, providing a clear explanation of why the change is needed for the company is ever-important. Likewise, you should be explaining how a new solution will change how employees perform their daily work processes.

2. Equip Employees with Tools They Need to Make the Change

Equipping your employees for change means handing them the tools and knowledge they need to proceed and succeed as the new digital solution is implemented. Training here is the key, which is why a good digital adoption software solution like Epilogue Opus can be so valuable. Programs like Opus allow you to:

  • Generate content and training modules for eLearning
  • Create insightful user manuals or useful simulations
  • Optimize in-application support for the user

By working through a good digital adoption strategy, employees are less likely to feel completely overwhelmed when new software or a new digital solution goes live. They will have spent time getting familiar with the new technology through their training, which can take a lot of stress out of a major transition.

3. Support Employees Through the Change

Every individual can perceive a big change in a different way. You may have some employees that jump right in, show little resistance, and seem excited to learn. You may also have some employees that feel annoyed with a digital change or seem uninterested in doing things differently. In any case, the third necessary component in change management is to support every employee right where they are, no matter what mindset it is that they have.

You have to go through some “individual” change management to be a good supporter during a major digital transformation, which can involve a combination of psychology and patience. For instance, employees that seem most resistant even with preparations and the right tools may be struggling because:

The individual is not at a time in their life when learning something new sounds interesting

-or-

The individual does not feel as though their voice about the change is being heard

Sometimes, all it will take to get more resistant employees involved is a little one-on-one attention from the right voice within the company.