Maximise Technology Adoption with Change Management
From our working to personal lives the only true constant is that our worlds are ever-changing, yet for most of us change, particularly in the context of work is something we would rather avoid. And it is this very human response to change that accounts for many technology initiatives failing to deliver on their expected rate of return.
With Deloitte reporting that some 60-70% of all large scale change efforts end in failure, it can be tempting to avoid undertaking any significant technological change. However, in today's rapidly evolving marketplace, it is those organisations that can quickly embrace new technologies that gain the most significant competitive advantage.
The key to successful technology change depends on how well you equip your team for the change, in particular how well you prepare your critical stakeholders to support their peers through the change. So how can your organisation avoid becoming just another statistic? We recommend following the below three steps to ensure critical stakeholders become advocates and effective change drivers within the organisation.
Identification & Engagement
Before embarking on any digital transformation initiatives we encourage our clients to spend some time identifying key stakeholders across the organisation. Consider organisational leaders and functional managers from key departments such as HR and IT, departments who will play a key role in supporting the change. Consider also those who will be most affected by the change, your front line workers. Are there individuals who could help drive the change from within and provide first-hand insights as to how to improve the day to day lives of your employees through technology adoption?
Once identified, it is important to understand the best way to engage them in the project - consider their current pain points and share how these will be addressed or focus on the opportunities that the new technology will bring. Regardless of the approach taken, ensure this engagement happens as early and often. Providing a safe space for stakeholders to voice their ideas and concerns to ensure the best possible solution is developed, one that addresses potential blockers from the outset and maximises the opportunity for operational improvements.
With multiple voices and views, it is important to set realistic and clear expectations regarding stakeholder responsibilities, project KPI's and communications from the outset. Where stakeholders are expected to handle difficult conversations, participate in solution demos or provide training it is important they are advised of these responsibilities early on and that training/coaching is provided as required to enable them to do the job well. Pivotal to instilling confidence in the project and supporting the wider organisation through the change failure to equip stakeholders with the tools they need can quickly undermine project success.
To ensure stakeholders have the skills and resources necessary, business leaders and managers must first model the behaviours they wish to see. For some this may come naturally, however for many organisations it can prove invaluable to invest in change management and adoption training, to help your leadership team drive a culture of change from the top.
Ensure stakeholders are provided with a safe space to voice their ideas and concerns and ensure business leaders have open and honest conversations with stakeholders, even when difficult. By having these conversations and coaching stakeholders through the process, management empowers stakeholders to overcome potential barriers to change through effective communications.