The importance of Change Management in Digital Transformation

Business Aspect recently completed a project with a large organisation which embarked on a merger of multiple companies into one, replacing different ERP software systems with a cloud based SaaS solution. 

Change Management was viewed as an imperative part of the implementation process due to the program scale and the impact it would have on all areas of the business. As a critical part of the implementation program, Change Management focused on ensuring that the change from the old method to the new processes and program to were completed successfully.

Change management is the approach to driving adoption and usage so initiatives deliver expected results and outcomes
Applying change management enables organisations to deliver results on each change more effectively and build competencies that grow the organisations' capacity to tackle more changes at one time. (Prosci)

Broadly, three areas of change were required due to the following business changes:

  • Process – Reduce cost and increase efficiency and productivity through improving the effectiveness and integration of the core business processes.
  • Systems – Modernise and simplify the systems environment by implementing a single integrated business system to facilitate good governance and decision-making and retiring multiple disparate and costly legacy systems.
  • People – Support the Organisation to transfer knowledge and increase capability to enable more effective, streamlined ways of doing things at the Organisation, cross-functional workflows and improved communication between units on business-critical information.

High level planning

To guide the project delivery and capability uplift, the Change Manager developed three overarching strategies:

  • Change Management Plan: outlined the approach to managing project changes in process, technology, stakeholder impact, and project benefits.
  • Communications Plan: outlined the communications activity by timeframe, audience, and key messages.
  • Training Management Plan: outlined the approach to up-skilling employees on the ERP system and associated operational processes.

Meeting individual requirements

“However, much of the benefit and expected improvement is tied to people changing how they do their jobs……. the “adoption contribution” of the project: the percentage of a project (sic) benefits that depend on people changing how they do their jobs. For important projects, that number is commonly in the 80% to 100% range. ”  (Prosci)

To address individual’s needs in the use of the new system and associated processes, the Change Manager delivered key artefacts:

  • Business Impact Assessments that included stakeholder analysis and business pain points.
  • Ongoing Communications for the project stakeholder groups and wider management team, including animated awareness videos for cut-through.
  • Packaged training documents as foundation materials for cross-functional in-house trainers including process guides, presentation guides and task guides.

A key outcome of Business Aspect’s Change Management for the Organisation was to ensure alignment of the new ERP system to organisational processes. The alignment served multiple benefits through:

  • A training needs analysis strongly aligned to the processes and roles identified in modelling, building upon a RACI (RACI is a list of all the decisions and decision making authorities against the people in them) analysis and the business impact assessments. This benefited the client’s team as it provided a single source of truth for the client change team to work from.
  • The RACI training needs analysis formed the basis for curriculum and training plans. The benefit entailed the alignment of process roles to employee positions for improved training design and course scheduling.
  • ERP system security permissions were aligned to process roles. The benefit of this was a clear line of sight to activities to be performed, enabled security permissions change control, as well as a framework for managing system security permissions across multiple systems in the future.

Helping the business by developing a Best Practices Framework

Process frameworks are essentially lists of all the key processes performed in an organization, grouped hierarchically to show how they relate to each other. APQC’s Process Classification Framework (PCF) ® is a reliable and robust framework used by hundreds of leading companies worldwide. (APQC)

As the business was a merger of multiple companies into one, they needed a process framework. A further valuable contribution of the Change Management process saw Business Aspect work with the client to assist the understanding of and ultimately acceptance of a best practice process framework to align to. 

This required buy-in and agreement at the sponsor and board level to adopt the American Productivity and Quality Centre’s (APQC) Process Classification Framework. This agreement then provided much needed guidance and structure to the governance of the program, and the technical delivery of the program - from requirements through to design, as well as the Change Management strategy and approach. 

“…..initiatives with excellent change management are six times more likely to meet objectives than those with poor change management. By simply moving from “poor” to “fair,” change management increases the likelihood of meeting objectives by three fold.” (Prosci)

Without adopting this approach, the scale of change and reliance upon people adopting the new ways of working without adequate change and communication management would have negated the success of the project.
 

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About Business Aspect
Business Aspect is a highly respected management and technology consultancy with clients across Australia and internationally. Business Aspect delivers independent and objective advice and project delivery services on business and technology strategy, architecture, risk, planning, design and governance. Key areas of expertise include cloud adoption, geospatial, big data and analytics. Established in 2005, Business Aspect is a Data#3 company, operating as an autonomous consulting business, providing independent and objective advice.

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