Change management is an important process which plays an essential role in software implementation.
It is a structured approach for ensuring that changes are thoroughly and smoothly implemented, and the benefits of change are achieved.
The focus is on the wider impacts of change, particularly on people and how they, as individuals and teams, move from the current situation to the new one. The change in question could range from a simple process change, to major changes in policy or strategy needed if the organization is to achieve its potential.
This is particularly relevant when deciding to automate a process like expense management which is a business process that affects a high number of employees.
Businesses should conduct change analysis and design a process with proper tools and techniques. The process will aid in minimizing the impact on the staff and the business itself.
Here are some points to consider before choosing and implementing new software:
- Identify the current process and what changes are required
- Create a process map and incorporate the changes in it
- Plan the change and project activities
- Communicate to the stakeholders and address their involvement
- Assessing training needs driven by the change; planning how and when this will be implemented
- Planning, addressing and Implement the change
- Collect and analyse feedback
- Diagnose gaps and manage resistance and ensure that the staff involved and affected by the changes understands the process change
- Implement corrective action, regularly measure change indicators, and celebrate success
- Measures to provide post implementation support
Change management works predominantly in 3 phases:
Understanding and preparing for the organisational change is as important as reinforcing it.
The final consideration is the actual implementation process itself. Do you DIY or outsource this task?
If you go down the DIY path then it’s essential you have the expertise and available resources in-house of not only change management but the time to fully understand the new solution.
DIY implementation for the mid to bigger businesses is fraught with problems that range from delays to frustration by your team because they simply don’t have sufficient knowledge of the solution – with the result of only a partial deployment and not reaping the full benefits. Or worse still the project is stalled or canned entirely because the people involved get caught up in other business critical tasks.
If you decide to use a solution provider that has a full implementation service (and this is highly recommended) then make sure their process includes:-
- Assistance with change management
- Advice on best practices
- A structured implementation methodology with proven success
- A process that involves clear communication both written and verbal
- Agreed delivery time-lines for each step of the process
- Consultation sessions and workshops for each step
- Interactive and personal training program