Beam me up Scotty! We need Change Management for our digital transformation project

We live in exciting times where our social and work communications are looking more and more like an episode of Star Trek. We carry powerful tablet devices that are able to analyse complex information from billions of people and we wear devices that help us communicate across the globe whilst tracking and alerting us on our health.

The pace of change is increasing; the stats show that Instagram is predicted to hit 1 billion users this year, faster than it took Facebook to reach these figures. So with this in mind, most companies assume that their employees will simply adopt and embrace technology in the workplace in the same way. However, there is a fundamental difference between choosing to use a social media app to communicate with your friends and family to be being told that you must use a specific tool or entire new Software as a Service (Saas) to do your job. 

Switching it on is not enough

Many companies, large and small are failing in delivering such a digital transformation program and this is rarely due to their ability to deliver the technical change but rather because they have not considered the 'people side of change'. There is often an assumption that if the digital service is simply available, that people will use it.

We see from the studies of human behaviour that our natural response to change is resistance, however compelling the vision of the new ways of working may be. We should never underestimate the comfort of the current state.

We see many business cases that have been developed based on infrastructure cost savings.  Whilst these can still be delivered, they create a mindset and governance that is biased towards delivering a technical change. However, when it comes to digital transformation, the focus must be on the business value derived from people working in more productive ways

To help identify the value enabled in a digital transformation project, you should explore your key change measures i.e. time saved or the ROI as your users adopt new ways of working, such as:

  • Collaborative working
  • Effective meetings
  • Faster Decision Making
  • Content creation
  • Innovation

Ultimately keep in mind that if people don’t change the way that they work then using the new digital service won't deliver the value or benefits expected and maybe even worse, you will have wasted a lot of time, energy and money on a failed programme. So simply switching it on, is not enough!

In summary

  1. Build your business case based on the business value derived from people working in new ways and not just technical cost savings
  2. Establish a project structure, resourcing and governance model to manage this as a people change project i.e. enable business discussions focused on delivering value through people in addition to the technical delivery
  3. Develop and use ways of working scenarios to define and measure the business value delivered through the project

If you’d like to find out how CMC can help build your business case for change management, take a look at the range of courses we have to offer. Or, if you would like to speak to one of the team about how we can help you with a specific change impacting your organisation, then please get in touch.