Identify and recruit the right change agents to support the change process. Include an executive sponsor, the IT team, a project manager, the HR function, stakeholders from directly affected departments and end users.
Discuss problems with the current system and solicit feedback from employees. Combine this feedback with the business justification and increase buy-in from your end users ahead of the project.
Present the big picture to all stakeholders, outlining and illustrating how change will help achieve organisational goals.
Employees want to hear about change from the CEO and their immediate supervisors/management. Break down the big picture to show how changes will benefit people directly in their day to day work.
Give early notification of change. People can then prepare and also raise any potentially disruptive issues. Allow enough time for training, too so that end users can gain a good understanding of the new services and learn how to fully benefit from them.
Eliminate unforeseen issues by using a small group to test ahead of the large implementation. Include a cross-section of end-user profiles.
Identify change champions within departments. Give them the power to lead change within groups of end users, identifying local training needs and acting as conduits for structured feedback.
Solicit feedback throughout the project lifecycle from all areas of the business. Highlight friction points that can be addressed through process, training or by simply listening to the concerns of users.
It is unrealistic to expect employees to adjust to change immediately. There will be a learning and adoption curve of months. Training needs to be available over this whole period, not just in the days ahead of a rollout. Users need to be able to learn about new services as part of a structured learning path, initially focused on bringing all users up to a new baseline. End users should then be able to access training on demand as they delve deeper into their new services.
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