Looking back, in the pre-pandemic world the term ‘change’, in the business world, was associated with improvement, and refinement.
Fast-forward to 2022, change is existential. It is not only important but crucial for the survival of any organization. The business world, today, is under continuous disruption where constant change is the only way forward.
Whether your organization is hit by a crisis or is in a situation that demands quick change, it is recommended that you follow these change management best practices to not just keep up but also thrive and succeed in the long run.
Change Management Best Practices
- Explain your change vision
- Encourage internal stakeholders and external collaborations
- Deconstruct the change efforts
- Regularly test, measure, learn, and improve
1. Explain your change vision
Your change initiative should be aligned with the vision of the company. It will help your employees to understand how it will impact their future. The vision should include values and guiding principles.
It will help the organization to prepare a change management plan of action that will not only help you to define business processes but also enable the organization to analyze the resource gap.
Ideally, while declaring or explaining the change vision to the workforce, the organization should mention the mission statement and why it is there in the first place.
In this disruptive world, change is happening rapidly. That means when an organization is adapting to the changes, the vision could be unclear or imperfect. Some of your employees might feel excited while others may be unable to cope with it.
So, it is also important to have a framework and relevant tools in place that can help your employees to effectively handle the change.
2. Encourage internal stakeholders and external collaborations
When a crisis hits, often the management gets occupied with handling the situation and getting the business back on track.
But long-term success depends on the swiftness with which the employees adopt it.
The management can create a brilliant framework, plan, and roadmap to drive change and manage the crisis.
But it won’t be successful if internal initiatives and innovation are missing. It is important to promote innovation and ideas so that internal stakeholders step up and manage change effectively.
Having employees who are ready to take responsibility to efficiently deploy the designed initiative will reduce the response time and ensure that the plan becomes reality.
Companies should help the internal stakeholders to coordinate with external advisors of change. This will bring in a new perspective and help the employees to see the change in a different light.
This type of collaboration is ideal as the internal stakeholders understand the business better while the external advisors understand the process of change. When these two groups collaborate and work together, a perfect plan can be designed which can help the business to stay competitive in the market.
3. Deconstruct the change efforts
Large-scale enterprise transformation initiatives are often time-consuming because of their complex structure, with a rather distant end-goal. Dissecting the change initiatives into micro-objectives will help drive well-defined outcomes in a short span.
It also allows organizations to run multiple micro initiatives parallelly with several small teams. These teams have experts from different backgrounds who can give their input and drive the change initiative towards success. It also helps the organization to identify the problems that they might encounter even before initiating their change process.
For example, a leading beauty product company that sold its products through a multi-level marketing channel decided to go with Salesforce cloud. Their internal team of experts realized that the adoption of new processes and application would be challenging. This meant that they have to replace over 30 legacy applications in over 34 countries.
The Salesforce rollout across the organization was even more challenging because of language barriers. The size of implementation added to the complexity, as this rollout would impact over 3 million users globally.
Training is not a viable option to ensure successful adoption as every user in a different location had different needs. Customizing training for those users would cost millions of dollars.
So, the company dissected the change process into 4 phases. In the first phase, they made sure that the rollout of Salesforce would only impact 10k users and deployed a generic training program along with a Digital Adoption Platform. It helped new users to easily navigate through the complex processes. This way they were more focused on the sales rather than the new Salesforce interface.
In the next phase, the rollout happened for over 100k users and the subsequent rollout saw even more users. This way in a phase-wise manner they deployed the solution for over 3 million users and the Digital Adoption Platform ensured that this complex change is adopted seamlessly.
This change initiative helps us to understand that change started at a micro level can be monitored effectively and handled better. The outcome generated from it inspires the whole organization and all the stakeholders involved can come on board when the plan is well-defined and is deconstructed into different phases.
Organizations must start asking whether a change is incremental or exponential. Then they have to identify what behavioral change is needed. In our example, users were expected to use the new Salesforce cloud in line with their objectives and accomplish their goals.
The project team must reimagine the new processes and must document the resources that they need in different phases. In this case, adoption was challenging and they went with a Digital Adoption Platform which solved their problem post the implementation of Salesforce.
4. Regularly test, measure, learn, and improve
When change is deployed in a phase-wise manner, they need to be tested and measured regularly to ensure that the organization is headed in the right direction. If the change efforts deviate, it is necessary to analyze the trend and revamp the parts that are not working.
Post this, you have to choose the best possible path that can lead you to desired outcomes. When the organization is measuring change, they have to track behavior, experience, value, adoption, and results.
Pilot projects must include 1/25th of your users. The insights from the pilot projects must help you to optimize and improve the change process and deploy the rollout across the entire organization.
The standard results from change can be expected only when it is adopted by over 50% of the user base. The desired results are generated only if 80% of users are onboarded with the changes.
The game-changer, however, is investing in a Digital Adoption Platform that will help you take a data-driven approach, all the way. It also enables you to create goal-based trackers that help you to monitor how the users are achieving their goals.
It helps the organization to continuously measure, learn and improve their change initiatives and set their employees for success.
Salesforce change management best practices
- Plan a strategy before implementing
- Involve leadership in the change
- Define the scope of the change
- Communicate the change to employees
- Prioritize customer experience
- Test the change and execute it
- Provide ongoing training and Support
Manage change by evaluating the practices that best suit your organization. Whether it is involving the top executives in your organization in the change initiative or prioritizing customers’ experience, choose these practices based on the requirements of your organization.
Read more:– Best Practices for Salesforce Implementation
SAP change management best practices
- Define workflows and responsibilities
- Make data-driven decisions
- Communicate the change effectively to your employees
- Overcome change resistance with proper planning
- Automate mundane tasks
- Execute the change
ServiceNow change management best practices
- Resolve conflicts before implementing the change
- Assess the risk of implementing the change
- Ensure that necessary parties are notified about the process.
- Communicate the benefits of the change to your employees
- Use the CAB (Change Advisory Board) Workbench to schedule, plan, and manage CAB meetings
- Execute the change
These best practices and change management strategies provide direction for your change initiatives. A Digital Adoption Platform can assist you in your initiatives by helping employees adopt change quickly without much resistance.
The way ahead…
Irrespective of how complicated the change initiatives may be, it is important to have a change vision, encourage collaboration, deconstruct change efforts and improve the change process. Doing so will help the organization to prepare for any disruption and manage change effectively.