When you decide to implement new software systems and business processes, expertly guiding your team through these changes is crucial.

The tools and methods involved in this effort are collectively known as organizational change management (OCM). Change management is about more than making announcements; it’s about preparing employees to embrace change so their discomfort doesn’t get in the way of their ability to adapt.

Today, we’re sharing seven change management considerations that you should keep top of mind as you introduce new processes and technology to your organization.

Change Management Considerations to Guide Your Project Planning​

1. Does Our Organizational Culture Align With This Digital Transformation?​

Cultural alignment is critical when initiating any significant change within your organization. Before embarking on a digital transformation, you should assess whether your company culture supports continuous improvement and understand the cultural attributes that will facilitate or challenge the transformation.

Our ERP consultants often conduct an organizational assessment before a client begins ERP implementation. This helps the organization determine how accepting employees will be of the new software and how capable they will be of adapting. 

Among all the elements we assess, culture tends to be one of the strongest indicators of how difficult the human aspect of digital transformation will be.

For instance, we have found that a collaborative culture with open lines of communication is a strong indicator that employees will successfully adapt. In these work environments, information flows freely across all levels, which helps ensure all stakeholders are on board and engaged.

Change Management Case Study

The client recognized their need for more comprehensive change management, so they asked us to fill in the gaps. We developed a robust communication plan to supplement the vendor’s communication approach.

2. How Comprehensive is Our Communication Strategy?​

Effective change requires a comprehensive communication plan that details how you will articulate project information and expected benefits across the organization. This plan should detail how you will disseminate information and how you will engage with various stakeholders, from frontline employees to top management.

A key aspect of employee engagement is using feedback mechanisms to allow employees to voice their concerns and provide input on the changes. This not only helps in mitigating resistance but also in refining the change process based on real-time feedback.

To further tailor your communication, consider the specific concerns and informational needs of each stakeholder group. For instance, the sales team will require information on how new processes will affect their workflows and customer interactions. 

Continuous communication throughout the project lifecycle, including post-go-live, ensures that all parties remain informed and engaged. 

3. Have We Secured Executive Support?​

In our experience, executive support is one of the top predictors of project success. This means more than just approval; it means active and visible participation from throughout the transformation process. 

Executives play a pivotal role in allocating resources and influencing widespread acceptance among staff. They must be fully engaged, demonstrating their commitment by endorsing the change and participating in decision-making to ensure strategic alignment. 

For example, in a manufacturing company, the CEO might conduct bi-weekly town hall meetings to discuss the progress of the software implementation, address employee concerns, and celebrate successes. 

By participating in the change process, this CEO demonstrated a commitment that resonated throughout the organization. Leading by example can be very motivating to any workforce, no matter the industry.

4. Are We Investing in Targeted End-User Training?​

End-user training ensures that all employees feel competent using the new systems and processes. Training should be customized to address the unique needs of different user groups, taking into consideration their specific roles and how the changes affect them.

For example, a food and beverage company might implement a new manufacturing ERP system and design training that specifically addresses the unique workflows and needs of production floor staff. 

Additionally, to support ongoing learning, the company might set up a digital portal where employees can access training materials and tutorials to enhance their comfort with the system over time.

5. How Prepared are We to Handle Resistance?​

Resistance to change is a common challenge but it can be managed through proactive and tailored interventions. 

Developing a resistance management plan involves more than just identifying potential resistors; it means engaging with these individuals and groups to address their concerns.

One effective strategy for proactively addressing concerns is to identify influential employees with enthusiasm for the change. These employees can promote the benefits of the new software, provide peer-to-peer support, and gather feedback for continuous improvement. This approach mitigates resistance and fosters a sense of ownership among employees.

Our change management consultants help clients develop resistance management plans to identify potential sources of resistance and outline strategies to address them. The telltale signs of resistance we typically see include reduced productivity, absenteeism, vocal dissatisfaction, and passive non-compliance.

6. How Will We Reinforce and Sustain the Change?

Change reinforcement is essential for sustaining long-term adoption of new processes and technology. 

This might mean regularly celebrating milestones or continuously monitoring adoption to identify areas needing further support.

For example, a financial services company might find that its customer service department is struggling with adapting to a new CRM system. The company could schedule regular feedback sessions to gather insights from these employees and use this information to refine training materials.

7. Are We Addressing Ethical Considerations in Our Change Management Approach?

Ensuring ethical practices during change management is crucial for maintaining trust and integrity within your organization. This includes transparent communication about the changes and their impacts, fair treatment of all employees, and safeguarding employee data and privacy.

Organizational changes can disproportionately affect different groups within the organization, so you may need to take steps to mitigate any negative impacts.

For instance, if a new system automates tasks that were previously done manually, the company should consider providing training or redeployment options to affected employees rather than simply phasing out positions without support.

By proactively addressing ethical considerations, you can sustain employee morale and commitment during transitions.

Learn More About Successful Change Management​

Change management is a multi-faceted and ongoing process that requires strategic planning. By addressing these key considerations, your organization can navigate the human side of digital transformation. 

Our organizational change management consultants can help you achieve digital transformation success by engaging all impacted employees and key stakeholders. Contact us below for a free consultation.

About the author

Avatar photo
Panorama Consulting Group is an independent, niche consulting firm specializing in business transformation and ERP system implementations for mid- to large-sized private- and public-sector organizations worldwide. One-hundred percent technology agnostic and independent of vendor affiliation, Panorama offers a phased, top-down strategic alignment approach and a bottom-up tactical approach, enabling each client to achieve its unique business transformation objectives by transforming its people, processes, technology, and data.

Posts You May Like:

What Does an ERP Consultant Do? [Roles and Responsibilities]

What Does an ERP Consultant Do? [Roles and Responsibilities]

In the rapidly evolving world of business technology, enterprise resource planning (ERP) consultants play a pivotal role. Bridging the gap between business needs and technological solutions, these experts help organizations enhance efficiency and enable strategic...

Trends in Supply Chain Management: 5 Recent Developments

Trends in Supply Chain Management: 5 Recent Developments

Amidst the evolving landscape of global commerce, companies must stay current on the forces shaping supply chain management. Today, we aim to prepare you for successful software selection as we explore the latest trends in supply chain management. These trends are...