It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change

Charles Darwin

As the socioeconomic world constantly evolves, it is critical for businesses to adapt and transform how they operate to meet the ever-changing customer needs and to remain competitive in the marketplace. In order to do so, businesses must constantly evaluate how they operate and deliver to their customers.

This fluid environment pushes constant adaptation or transformation from organizations driven through key investments into People, Process, and Technology. 

The ability to adapt and change to the ever-changing requirements is important because it:

  1. Pushes enterprise-wide technology innovation to increase efficiency and automation
  2. Encourages companies to constantly reimagine business processes that marry with the technologies
  3. Enables new skillsets for staff to become more agile and collaborative

This will help to improve an organization’s top-line and bottom-line results, while still driving customer satisfaction.

With that being said, one of the most overlooked elements in a transformation is often the most important one, change management. How you manage the transformation and communicate the way it will impact cross-functional stakeholders, your global supply base, and your customer base is crucial to the success of the change.

Six key factors in a successful change management program

In a leading change management program, each of these pillars should be addressed before you kick off a transformation.

1. Defined Scope & Objectives

  • What is the scope of the project? (i.e., Technology Stack, Business Process Areas, Business Process Owners, etc.)
  • What are the 3-5 measurable objectives that indicate success or failure?
  • Create alignment and transparency cross functionally
  • Definition of key objectives and understanding how you will tactically measure success (i.e., what datasets are needed, what is the reporting cadence, what is the action if certain areas are lagging?)

2. Early & On-Going Leadership Engagement

  • Define the individual or group of leaders that will champion the change from inception to on-going management
  • Define the leadership and change agents across the different departments that will champion the change
  • Leadership buy-in for proposed change and recommendations

3. Holistic Communication Plan

  • How do you segment all the stakeholders across this change so you can tailor a change/communication approach? (Internal - Stakeholders, Departments, Leadership; External - Suppliers, Customers, Partners)
  • What is the communication narrative for each of the stakeholder groups?
  • Develop a communication playbook and roadmap
  • Define the types of communications needed (i.e., Project Awareness, Training Awareness, Go-Live Notification, etc.)

Why communicate the why?

By communicating the ‘why’ of your transformation, you have an opportunity to engage buy-in from your stakeholders as well as identifying early adopters vs. resistors[NM3] 

4. Enabling the Organization

  • What is the testing approach? (i.e., Agile Testing/Sprints, UAT, SIT, etc.)
  • What are the key topics that require detailed training?
  • What are the training needs across each of the stakeholder groups?
  • What are the training channels available? (i.e., Company Intranet, L&D Curriculum, Video Trainings, Job Aids, ILT Training)
  • How much time is required to train internal and external stakeholders?

5. Supporting the Organization

  • Do I have the right roles established to support steady state? Do I need to create net new roles or create hybrid roles to support?
  • Have we established a feedback channel for all stakeholders?
  • How will we manage troubleshooting? (i.e., Support Structure, Ticketing System, User Provisioning, User Access, Employee Onboarding, Change Control)
  • How will I support changes to process, organization setup, technology setup?

6. Keeping Track of Success

  • How often will I report on the success metrics?
  • Determine how you will tactically measure success (i.e., what datasets are needed, what is the reporting cadence, what is the action if certain areas are lagging?)
  • How will this be reported to executive leadership?

By addressing each of the pillars of change management, you will bring a tried and proven approach to executing your change management program to support the broader transformation across your People, Process, and Technology.

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