If 2020 taught businesses anything, it’s that constant change is the new normal. With global lockdowns and shifts to remote work, organizations have been hit with multiple challenges that have highlighted the need for nimble change management to address increasingly dynamic business needs.
But as any IT department knows, obstacles to change management are numerous — from employee resistance and lack of stakeholder buy-in to insufficient training and resources. The stumbling blocks to change management in the IT industry can, at times, seem insurmountable.
We’ve put together six key elements to help lead your IT department to successful change management in 2021 and beyond.
Key elements in successful change management
You know digital transformation is supposed to increase employee productivity, build product or service output, and eliminate repetitive tasking in order to grow enterprise efficiencies and ROI. But far too many IT departments roll out new software or solutions with insufficient communication, preparation, and post-launch analysis.
Conduct evaluations to determine employee needs, and provide plenty of advance notice on roll-out dates for new software and processes so they can reserve time to learn new skills. Once roll-out is complete, make sure your internal team analyzes what went smoothly and what didn’t. It’s important to understand how those new tools and processes are (or aren’t) serving your fellow employees.
2. Train for change management
Another key element of successful change management is training. Not only will you need to make time for training stakeholders, you’ll also need to ensure that different departments have training tailored to their specific needs and goals. Do everything you can to ease the transition into new processes and incentivize departments and employees to take the time to adopt new technologies.
Change isn’t easy, even when you have a supportive IT department and round-the-clock access to technical support from technology partners. Understand you may not be able to roll out a new plan all at once, particularly if you have ambitious change management goals.
Organize a framework for adoption that takes a phased approach to introducing new software tools or enterprise-wide process changes. Be willing to take things one step at a time and consider various department needs.
5. Measure performance
It’s not enough to implement new software or procedures, you must also measure performance. Track if and how employees are using the new tools and set up metrics for determining efficiency and cost savings outcomes. It’s important that success be measured enterprise-wide, not just at the individual department level.
6. Encourage adaptability
If you’ve addressed the above critical success factors for change management, congratulations! You’re well on your way to being an agile organization that can quickly adapt to changing circumstances and organizational goals. But don’t stop here. Even if you have enterprise-wide adoption and success with new technologies and practices, there are still other things you can be doing. Be sure to constantly monitor your gains, adjust technologies when they aren’t providing sufficient value, and improve your approach to fostering stronger collaboration among stakeholders.
Making these six critical success factors part of your change management strategy, will better equip your IT department to navigate market shifts, changes in customer expectations, and adjustments in employee project management goals.
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