Why Change Management is Critical To Project Success

From critical system upgrades to digital transformation initiatives, managing the human side of change is critical to the long-term success of any project. Catherine Finn, Head of Change Management at Storm shares some insights on the role of change management in realising business objectives.

The author of this page: Catherine Finn
Catherine Finn, Head of Change Management Oct 07, 2020

When a project requires a change in human behaviour, from how to work, to where to work, focusing on the people side of this change from an early stage is important. Communication, leadership, coaching, training, supports and measurement all play a vital part in ensuring project success, with the Global leader in Change Management Prosci reporting a direct correlation between change management and project objectives.

*Prosci: Best Practices in Change Management 10th Edition.

More Than End-User Training

Consider the scenario, it's 4 pm on a Wednesday afternoon and John has just received an invitation to attend document management training. John wonders if he really needs to attend, after all he is really busy with quarter-end results and does not want to attend a 2-hour training session on how to manage documents. Sure he has been managing documents for many years...

What John doesn't know is that a new document management system is being rolled out across his company. For the business, this new technology will streamline operations while improving day to day operations for employees. The new system will provide John and his 3,000+ colleagues with the ability to manage documents more efficiently with capabilities such as automatic version history and on-demand file access via smart devices.

Unaware of the potential benefits, John views the training as a waste of time and decides to decline the invite.

Helping employees embrace change

Although an important part of change management, user training alone is not enough to ensure return on technology investment. Communication, leadership and support are key components of any effective Change Management initiative.

Think again of John. Hearing from his Chief Operating Officer on the importance of implementing a new document management system and the benefits to the business, would have helped John better understand the importance of change. Similarly, by demonstrating an understanding of how John and his colleagues currently manage their documents and the limitations they face, the management team can effectively link the benefits of the new solution for employees to their business pains - helping create a desire to use the new system. By involving John and his colleagues in the process and better understanding their role, the project team could have avoided scheduling training during a particularly busy time for John and his team.

These are some simple examples of activities that can support your organisation in managing change and in driving the adoption of new technologies. It is also important to take steps to sustain your change. We will look at this in a later blog post.

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