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We at BearingPoint encounter this question occasionally in discussions related to technology transformation. The need for change management is often underestimated as it is not perceived to deliver concrete outcomes. However, the implementation of a new solution and its functionalities inevitably impacts business processes, roles and responsibilities, especially when standardizing business processes and moving them to cloud platforms.

Assigning dedicated change management resources is easily overlooked due to a lack of understanding of the transformation scope. Limited time frames often prevent the creation of holistic change plans and coordination of all various engagement activities that are needed to lead a transformation successfully. Change management is then seen as an additional cost item that is easy to cut out from a project budget, even though its cost is usually a marginal part of the overall expenses.

Insufficient change management can result in zero value of the project if the business benefits are not realized. There are several publicly known large implementation projects – especially ERP related – that have not achieved their goals and targeted benefits while the total costs have been even hundreds of millions. In the worst-case scenarios organizations abandon the new solution and return to the old one.

Change management takes into account the people aspect and their attitude towards the set initiatives. It is defined as a structured approach to transitioning individuals, teams, and organizations from a current state to a desired future state. BearingPoint’s framework starts from analyzing all areas affected by the change and related stakeholder impacts. Our detailed analysis provides a clear understanding about the organization’s needs that enables the preparation of a holistic change management plan including targeted communication and trainings. We finalize the transition with proper handover activities, which enable business to continue as usual with the new processes implemented.

By managing the change systematically through comprehensive and well-planned activities, resistance is minimized, and engagement within the organization is increased. Usage of a proper change methodology enhances user experience and facilitates the adoption of new tools and practices. The targeted business case benefits are realized as improved performance in addition to effective utilization of new innovative technologies. Successful transformations may even create an opportunity to initiate a wider organizational culture change.

BearingPoint’s Change Management team has successfully supported several organizations in global transformation programs and projects by applying our framework with a pragmatic approach and a positive attitude. Our next blog post will focus on key areas of our change management framework.

Authors

Annukka Tirronen, Senior manager
Petra Poikela, Senior business consultant
Karoliina Jaskari, Business consultant
Kaisla Pakkanen, Business analyst