Transformation equals change. Organizations going through digital transformation will deal with change on many levels. Systems are changing, processes are changing, and most importantly, people have to change. How well organizations approach change management will have a huge impact on the success of the transformation initiatives. Without proper support of individuals through the transformation, new systems and processes will not be embraced. How do you prevent this? Focus on these key areas and best practices to drive better outcomes.
The first step in any transformation project should be to assess how ready the organization is for the coming changes. Is leadership aligned and supportive? Are there gaps in understanding of the project? How are people feeling, what are they thinking? Is there capacity to support the change? Taking the time to conduct focus groups, stakeholder interviews, or surveys can help change leaders better understand potential obstacles and inform communication strategies.
Working with teams to better understand the impact the transformation will have on their roles is another important step to take. Meet with teams to discuss the transformation, uncover areas needing more attention, and better gauge overall sentiment. These insights will help shape training, fine tune communications, and identify where additional coaching is needed. This analysis will also shed light on teams who are most impacted by the change and may need additional support over other teams.
Communication & Coaching Plans
Effective communication planning is a critical element for any transformation project. Mapping messages to audience needs and identifying the right channels and formats, over the course of the project, is a best practice. Just as we engage our customers, individuals going through a transformation have needs to be met at each stage before they are ready to move to the next. Coaching from managers also plays a huge role in preparing individuals for change and should not be overlooked. When obstacles are removed people have more capacity to engage in the change process.
Training & Adoption
Training teams on new systems and processes is always a critical part of the transformation. By following the best practices above, teams should be are ready and willing participants when training occurs. Don’t think of training as a one-time event. Plan for ongoing support activities to reinforce new practices, make training resources and documentation accessible, and be sure to align individual goals and objectives to the new systems and processes. Otherwise individuals will not adopt the transformation and will revert to old ways of working.
Digital transformation goals can be thwarted by a lack of governance. New procedures and requirements will need to be defined to ensure compliance and keep things running smoothly. Taking the time to document, communicate, and train users is an important part of the overall change management process. Looking for further guidance on how to develop a governance program, follow these steps.
If your organization is preparing for a digital transformation initiative, let us know. Relationship One is always here to help.