In the Technology Age we are constantly bombarded with new initiatives, new technology and the latest Shiny New Toy. Generally our leaders set us on a course of technology adoption with minimal consideration or involvement from those individuals that must use this Shiny New Toy. As a Technology Provider we find this consideration (or the lack of) a critical point for the success or failure of a given endeavor. Management teams that support the use of a project or organization level Change Management strategy can dramatically improve system adoption, investment realization, employee satisfaction and performance. In the sections below you will find multiple approaches that have been successfully adapted and used in technology engagements. The specific model is not important, but using one may just be the key to consistent success.
Navigating organizational change at a project level cannot be done in a vacuum. It must consider and involve the full project team and any external influencers. Consistently articulate and support the relationship between the project team and related business resources. Define the roles and responsibilities. Work deliberately to create a partnership with a singular goal in mind—delivering the intended results and outcomes of the project.
There are a number of change management models that can be uses to successfully assess and implement a change. Each of these models include a number of activities or practices to follow in making organizational or technology changes.
McKinsey 7-5 Framework
The McKinsey 7-S Framework, developed by Thomas Peters and Robert Waterman is a popular approach. It provides methods for assessing the current state of an organization, the future state and what needs to change. It addresses seven key factors: shared values, strategy, structure, systems, style, staff and skills. With a technology change this structure could be used to address impact on the business team based on its core values, skill sets, strategy, etc. The objective is to look at the various aspects to gain an overall perspective of the change and its true value.
Kotter’s Eight-Step Change Model
A second type of change management model is Kotter’s Eight-Step Change Model, developed by Harvard Business School professor John P. Kotter. This eight-step process is fairly simple and straight forward. It focuses on acceptance and preparation for the change, rather than the specific change. The idea here is to ease the transition into a new approach.
Last but not least is the The ADKAR model, created by Jeffory Hiatt (founder of Prosci). The ADKAR model uses a bottom-up approach which focuses on the individuals that need to change. It’s not a strict set of steps, but more a set of goals used to effectively plan for a change. It focuses on the individuals’ needs rather than the technical aspects to achieve success.
Change management at the project level is important for benefit realization and value applied to a particular initiative. It is a structured approach to create logical strategies and processes to improve employee adoption and usage. It is a way to help achieve the intended benefits, realize ROI, mitigate cost, risk and create value. It is an important tool that can make projects and initiatives are more successful.
Take time to explore the various models and take what is valuable to you. Stay flexible when following a model and adjust the approach to your team, rather than following it too rigidly. At a personal and organization level the way change is perceived and accommodated is unique based on your cultural norms. There is no right or wrong approach, having one is the key.
Feedback is always welcome. We would love to hear how your organization approaches change management with technology projects.
Have change management questions? Contact us today!
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