To keep up with ever-evolving industries and continue to grow, businesses must periodically adopt new technologies, update existing systems, and modify current processes. Identifying this need for change is only half the battle. Ensuring that change is successfully implemented and adopted is the other, more complex, half.
There are a lot of myths surrounding the change adoption process and how to effectively achieve transformational results. Here are six of the most common misconceptions:
Myth: The Change Adoption Process Begins at Project Implementation
No matter how simple a change may appear to be, you must proactively manage it before employees feel the impact. Communicating with your teams in advance will not only mitigate post-implementation downtime, but will enable people to prepare for a shift in their work environment. A People, Process, Technology (PPT) framework can help you effectively manage the change before, during, and after implementation.
Myth: The Impact of Change Is Limited to What’s Changing
While the PPT framework allows you to identify change impacts at a high level, it’s important to conduct stakeholder and change impact analyses to define the specific effects.
- A stakeholder analysis identifies individuals that are either directly impacted by or have a vested interest in supporting the upcoming change. Not only does this analysis identify those individuals, but it also provides insight into each group’s differing needs.
- A change impact analysis outlines current-state business processes, including the who, what, where, when, why, and how. A well-executed change impact analysis allows a business to proactively plan for change and promotes informed decision-making as you progress through the change adoption process.
Myth: Communication Is Limited to Before and After a Change
Projects are far more likely to succeed when people comprehend the purpose of change, understand how it affects them and their job, and believe in the importance and benefits of the change. To ensure this information is conveyed appropriately, you need a communication plan. By creating a communication plan prior to project execution, not only are you better positioning your business to communicate upcoming changes and impacts during project implementation, you also position yourself to solidify post-project change adoption.
When developing a communication plan, keep in mind the people impacted by the change. Understanding who is impacted will help you identify the most effective communication vehicles and frequencies. Common communications include project announcements, regular newsletters, and change leadership series.
Myth: Change Adoption and Training Are One-Size-Fits-All
It’s important to consider how the different needs of groups within your company may necessitate different change management approaches. Using the findings from stakeholder interviews and change impact analysis, businesses can identify the most critical change components and pinpoint training needs. Potential training formats include instructor-led, web-based, and supplemental training opportunities.
Myth: Change Management Stops After Implementation
Managing change never stops.
- An important element of change management is measuring effectiveness and monitoring feedback. A powerful tool for collecting this information is a post-implementation survey. Conducting a survey a few weeks or months after implementing a change, depending on change magnitude, allows businesses to evaluate stakeholders’ reception of the change and collect valuable information related to the impact of the change on day-to-day operations. Providing a voice for stakeholders is at the heart of change management, and businesses should not stop listening once the change is implemented.
- Post-implementation metrics are an additional tool for monitoring change adoption. Key metrics may include business operations statistics or system performance. Identifying these KPIs early and regularly reporting on them is critical to measuring the implementation impact and ensuring any outstanding issues are addressed quickly.
Myth: Change Management Strategies Don’t Change
Your approach to change can’t be rigid. Whether you’re adopting a new technology, updating an existing system, or modifying a current process, the needs of your employees will continue to evolve throughout the project. Your change management strategies should be flexible enough to meet those needs so you can ultimately achieve a successful implementation.
Sendero can help you strategize a change management plan that meets the unique and evolving needs of your employees. Fill out the form below to connect with a consultant and hear more about what we can do before, during, and after your company’s next big change.