The delicate art of change management
João Simões de Abreu, May 10, 2021
In 1930 the Indiana Bell Telephone Company decided they needed a larger building. However, since they were providing an essential service to the city of Indianapolis, they could not demolish the existing eight-story 11.000-ton structure built in 1907. A bold decision was made: they moved the headquarters 90 degrees to make space for expansion. Between October 14th and November 4th, the building was moved about 40 centimeters per hour while all the 600 employees worked inside. Surprisingly, the telephone service was never interrupted, and water, gas, heat, electricity, and sewage continued to operate as they used to in normal circumstances.
The expansion of the Indiana Bell Telephone Company is still a fascinating move in structure relocation/expansion History. It is also a wonder of change management – although the workforce rotated the building, the entire company could remain active.
On the other hand, enterprise software can be far more complex than the rotation and expansion of a concrete building. Although it does not seem to be the case, software such as an ERP or a CRM has countless moving parts. Moreover, to be used to their full potential, these systems must be fully understood and embraced by people – in fact, people are the make-or-break of system implementation procedures.
Investing in an ERP or CRM is often an expensive decision for organizations. In order to make it a fruitful decision, change management must be done correctly. Every internal stakeholder must understand the value of the software; otherwise, it will not be used to its full potential. End-users have an essential role in the adoption of the solution. If they do not see how the software can benefit their work, it will not be adopted and the money spent in vain.
According to Prosci’s benchmark report, a project is six times more likely to succeed when there’s excellent change management. Technology is the easy part – developing a solution, and the installation is not the main issue. The highest hurdle to jump is the resistance to adoption. Change management must be a people-centric approach to be effective.
All this starts with evaluating how the company operates, assessing the culture and dynamics through interviews/ surveys. Understanding how the front-line staff feels about the change is crucial because they are the most affected by these changes. If they are not in the right mindset, change management prepares them for coming adjustments. It is also essential to understand who are the promoters of change and who are the disbelievers.
Quidgest’s method is to promote the benefits the end-users will take advantage of. Essentially, how a couple of minor tweaks on their day-to-day operation will result in higher productivity and better results. This is done via training sessions where the functionalities and benefits are shared with the end-users. Every person in the organization has a role in the transformation process. Here is an example of how Quidgest looks at the different stakeholders and understands their position on this:
|Who||Description of the Stakeholder|
|Board||Stakeholders at this level are directly affected by the change and have some responsibility for the change process. Additionally, there is an expectation that their function requires them to lead the implementation of change, either in one area or on a strategic level. It can usually involve the group of sponsors of the change.|
|Management Team||Stakeholders at this level are directly affected by the change and have some responsibility for the change process. Their role involves facilitating the Change process through support, encouragement, and the ability to influence others.|
|Employees||Stakeholders at this level are directly affected by the change and will be asked to change some of what they do, or how they do it, in their role.|
|Employees of other administrations||Stakeholders at this level are not directly affected by the change but may be asked to provide some support to the change process.|
|Remainder groups||Stakeholders at this level are not directly affected by the Change but it is desirable that they have a basic understanding or awareness of the change so that they feel informed.|
An organization’s track record with similar initiatives is also considered by the task force responsible for the change management. If previous implementations did not succeed, it is crucial to understand what was done and how the end-users felt about the change. Underestimating the previous bad experiences can lead to more resistance and will ultimately undermine the new implementation.
Due to Quidgest’s GENIO nature, changes to the organizational model are substantially faster than the regular technology provider.
Continuous innovation is vital to keep boosting productivity, efficiency and surpassing competitors. Quidgest understands this and all of the systems implemented dissociate the model from the technology, meaning the business rules will remain pristine even in significant organizational shifts. In most technology providers’ cases, such rules are embedded or hidden in the code, impeding a quick and easy change.
Here is an example: if you want to upgrade the technology foundation (programming language) of your system with a typical tech provider, they would have to develop the business rules all over again. With Quidgest, the “skeleton” (business rules) remains intact, and the “muscle” (technology) is changed smoothly, guaranteeing that just like the Indiana Bell building, the operation is active during the replacement.
As stated previously, change management is also about empowering people with new ways of doing their work more efficiently. Through Quidgest Academy, we take this step further by empowering employees and the management team with the possibility of developing their own technology.
The 40-hour G_CORPORATE training course is strongly oriented towards digital transformation. Companies will be able to transform their teams to develop functional and error-free technological solutions quickly. This training is an invaluable asset in boosting and adapting organizations to an increasingly digital market.
No one knows your business better than your employees. Empowering them with the ability to boost change is the recipe for a successful and fruitful operation. Additionally, they will have a proactive role in future changing initiatives.
To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.
Quidgest is a global technology company headquartered in Lisbon and a pioneer in intelligent software modeling and generation. Through its unique generative AI platform, Genio develops complex, urgent and specific systems, ready to evolve continuously, flexible and scalable, for various technologies and platforms. Partners and large organizations such as governments, multinational companies, and global multilateral institutions use Quidgest’s solutions to achieve their digital strategies.
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