September 8, 2014 

I know of a company that spent a good deal of money -- somewhere in the neighborhood of $40,000,000 --  implementing an enterprise wide technology system only to abandon its use within one year of its launch. 


The results? Confusion among the employees, lowered morale, decreased job satisfaction and the loss of $40,000,000 that could have been invested in other ways. And an even bigger "hill to climb" to gain buy-in if the company ever decided to deploy an enterprise wide system again. 


Why did this happen? Because change management actions weren't included in the implementation plans so that people were adequately prepared to use the system.


Change. The word often stirs up negative thoughts and perceptions. Leaders are hesitant to call it by name so as to not stir up fear among the troops. Perhaps this is why change management activities are often excluded when implementing modifications in the organization. Or it could be that those implementing the changes really don't know when they should utilize change management actions. The reality is that if the appropriate change management actions are not included, the chances of realizing the anticipated results significantly decrease.



When to Include Change Management Activities in Your Plans


It's really fairly simple and straightforward.... change management is about getting the business ready to adopt the change and is needed anytime an organizational initiative requires individuals to alter how they do their jobs. Below, I've listed some examples of events when I'd recommend that "business readiness" activities be included as part of your implementation plans...


1. When business processes are changing


The demand to do things better, faster and cheaper persists ever stronger. "Operational Excellence", "Six Sigma" and "Lean" initiatives often include the redesign of business processes. Differences in how work moves through the organization, changes in reporting relationships and competencies require that impacted users understand the purpose for the redesigns and be trained to execute on the new processes.  


2. When technologies are changing


Are you aware that in the near future, PDA's, Smartphones and tablets will be a thing of the past? Rather it'll be all about "wearable" devices such as watches, glasses and rings that will deliver emails, connect phone calls and download learning courses.  (As this article was going to print, Apple announced its new iWatch.) Imagine the impact on worker populations - learning how to learn differently, conduct meetings differently and so on! Additionally, new technology systems and applications that enable globalization work will continue to be implemented. Adapting to all of the above will require business readiness activities.


3. When leadership regimes are changing


As organizations continue to leverage each other's capabilities through mergers and acquisitions, new leadership structures and ways of leading emerge. The chances of gaining buy in across the organization are significantly increased when various change management events are embedded in the plans.


4. When workspace configurations are changing


The workplaces of the future will be dramatically different than today's. Collaboration oriented work environments will eliminate assigned seating and cubicles. Workers, when in the office, will sit at any available spot at long tables situated in open, airy, wi-fi workspaces with small group meeting pods peppered with throughout the space. Private offices are replaced by small conference rooms. For people to be productive in these workspaces, adequate preparation will be required. 


Given that significant dollar investments are made when implementing important organizational changes, it just isn't a good business decision if business readiness activities are not included in your plans. Learn more about our services


Tricia Steege
Transformation Strategies

View our profile on LinkedIn

Since 1990, we have been helping organizations drive business continuity, step up performance and grow their internal talent.  We execute change management strategies and provide organizational and talent development solutions.

@Copyright 2014 Transformation Strategies. All rights reserved.