The 10 commandments for successful change management

gestión del cambio

For the most part, your employees are creatures of habit, navigating the same routes every day. They practice time management, take the fastest route to work, follow cues to cross the street, and read signs for instruction. Their navigation of digital tools is very similar.

But what if things were to change? Take the following scenario:

You deploy new software company-wide: a customized CRM to optimize sales processes, an HRIS to streamline HR flows, and a procurement management system to improve purchasing follow-ups.

Lo and behold, your sales team persists in using their trusted spreadsheets, your employees continue emailing leave requests to their manager, and your business teams simply aren’t convinced by your new Procurement IS. How do you overcome employee resistance to change? 

70 percent of change programs fail to achieve their goals, largely due to employee resistance. (Source: McKinsey)

Successful change management begins with support solutions. At Lemon Learning, we have digital adoption down to a science. The infographic below outlines 10 practical tips to make your change management project a success. The magic formula? Training, support, and communication! 

1. Adopt a well-crafted change management methodology

Every good project starts with great planning. And for good reason: 66% of change management projects are either late, over budget, or lack planned functionalities. (source: Atos Origin). It makes the planning phase crucial to architect your project: auditing existing tools, future tools, business processes, and the actors involved before deployment.


2. Anticipate employee resistance 

Unfortunately, planning alone isn’t enough for successful change management. Take into account the personas, habits, and behaviors of your users on a human level. If so many change management projects fail, it’s wise to address employee resistance. “Why is it better than my existing tool”, “Where is the added value”, “But I’m not tech-savvy”. First, understand the resistance so you can take action, brainstorming all possible objections to change.  

3. Clear communication before, during, and after project deployment 

Communicate before deployment in anticipation of employee resistance, during project deployment, and on all subsequent updates to keep everyone on the same page.

1 in 3 projects fail due to ineffective communication (Source: Project Management Institute)

4. Engage all project stakeholders

Change management is everyone’s business! Quite simply because it involves all the players in your organization: from business teams to IT, to Human Resources and even project teams. Engage all your teams for company-wide alignment, ensuring no one is left behind.


5. Adapt and personalize messages and support

What’s the scale of your deployment? 1,000, 20,000, or maybe even 100,000 employees, each with different levels of authority, digital competence, and work experience. It’s a mammoth challenge to personalize support for each user! But what if we told you the key… lived inside your existing tools? Digital adoption solutions such as Lemon Learning allow you to customize your support and training content from inside these tools in just a few clicks. Regardless of the language, the business department, or level of user authority.


6. Train your employees throughout the project

Who said user adoption takes weeks? The secret to successful digital adoption is all in the timing: making sure your users migrate to the right places at the right time, with complete autonomy to learn at their own pace. And all of this directly, inside their existing tools. 


7. Interact with employees from the bottom up and from the top down

Successful software change management doesn’t stop when it is deployed. For your change management to be sustainable, you need to interact with your users! Now, it’s possible directly from your tools, most notably through push notifications. Communicate new features, congratulate your teams on their quarterly results, or distribute surveys: the possibilities are endless.


8. Measure the impact of change management and employee performance

Running a project without measuring its impact is similar to walking in the dark: you don’t know where you’re going or what obstacles you might face. When it comes to user metrics, software change management is no exception. As a project creator, you have the flexibility to adapt projects based on their user performance to reach your objectives faster. Whether it’s time, budget, quality, or proficiency, the metrics are at your fingertips. 



9. Tune into your employees

Because they’re the first to be affected by the changes you implement, your users are also your most loyal allies. So keep an eye on them! 

Only 1 out of 26 users complain while the rest abandon the tools (churn) (Source: Estaban Kolsky) 

10. Keep the discussion going

Congratulations! You’ve successfully deployed your projects. But don’t stop there. The real key to successful software adoption and change management is to just keep going. There’s no secret to keep the fire burning: make your project an open topic for discussion, ask your employees about their existing tools, and find innovative yet quantifiable ways to measure their feedback. In the long term, why not… normalize their opinion the next time you roll out software? 

Want to know more? Download our practical guide on new tools for change management, including change management 3.0, Chatbots, interactive guides, and adoption solutions. Or get in touch!