As more and more companies make the most of beneficial technologies, effective change management is more important than ever to ensure success and adoption. Digitalisation involves deeper and broader human impact connected with the change, rather than simply the implementation of new systems and processes.
What is Digital Transformation?
From going paperless to switching your Business Intelligence (BI) tool, enabling AI and automation, or introducing a new CRM Suite, the list goes on.
In general, we define digital transformation as the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business, resulting in fundamental changes to how a business operates, what new capabilities are required and how they deliver value to customers.
What is often overlooked is the cultural shift that is also required to fully embed the transformation across all areas of the business, so that all teams grow in confidence making decisions based on data, experimenting and learning from the successes and mistakes.
Why Change Management is critical to your digital transformation strategy?
Making big changes to existing business processes and culture is often a long and difficult journey, especially when you are trying to adapt ways of working that have been in place for many years.
Failure in digital transformation projects almost always comes down to delivering project in silos, not engaging with the stakeholders or wider audience, inadequate planning, or lack of consideration for the Change Management activities.
At CMG, we use our tried and tested in-house methodology – developed over more than 20 years working with clients – that can be adapted depending on organisation context and challenges or goals, that has been proven to be successful for hundreds of clients.
The common pitfalls and how to avoid them
Lack of vision
Digital transformation is less of a technology problem than it is a transformation challenge. Technology can be adopted and offline processes moved to the cloud. But for true digital transformation embedded across a business leadership must envision the need for change and drive the agenda.
Lack of engagement and communication
The first step of a successful change strategy is a ‘top to bottom’ approach, where engagement starts with senior leaders to advocate the project. Having main stakeholders and senior executives agree to the benefits of the project is one thing. But if the new ways of working are going to affect the wider audience, then they need to be included in the communication, and the organisation needs to get buy-in from most of them.
Many organisations fail to deliver clear communication of the benefits, listen to feedback, and maintain consistent reporting of progress in all areas (not just about staying in budget). The right people in change management roles can help your company to secure stakeholder investment and acceptance of new ways of working. People, and their knowledge of your business, are a key ingredient to foster sustainable change.
Failure to track adoption
It is crucial to ensure checkpoints and safeguards are in place to identify any significant challenges or risk to business readiness, this will help optimise adoption of the new ways of working.
Pre go-live, change may be driven by the project team. As we go live, change needs to be business-led. Change agents are critical in change adoption. It is equally crucial to monitor adoption and assess the areas of improvement, as it will be key to unlock benefits for the organisation .
The best structures, processes and systems will only be successful when people adopt them.
Arnaud Goupil, Manager