Create an effective change management system (1 of 3) – Better understand to better respond: Diagnosing change

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66% of change management projects go over budget, are late, or don’t implement all planned functionalities

Source: AtosOrigin

Faced with this striking figure, one thing is clear: it is absolutely necessary to create an effective plan before the start of any change management project. Many companies, however, have limited resources at their disposal, both in terms of budget and of teams, and yet need to launch their program for a large population of employees.

Lemon Learning has written a series of 3 articles to help you drive a successful change management project. How? There are 3 simple steps: the diagnostic phase, the leverage phase (support, training, and communication), and the change management phase.

This first article dedicated to the diagnostic phase is inspired by the Moutot & Autissier method and will guide you through this first stage of launching your project.

Whether you’re dealing with a change of process, system, role, or organizational structure, change management will only succeed if it is based on a well-defined state of affairs.

Analyze the starting point

Before being digital or organizational, change is, first and foremost, cultural. Understanding the cultural system of the environment in which a change is to take place is therefore the first step of any change management project, according to David Autissier and Jean-Michel Moutot. This first step allows you to identify which factors to leverage, as well as which obstacles to navigate. 

Change management can vary greatly from one country to another (linguistic and cultural challenges), from one business structure to another (startup, SMB, large enterprise), from sector to sector, context to context, and simply from one organization to another. With all those variables at play, what are the keys to a successful analysis?

An analysis of the starting point consists of:

  • Identify dysfunction within tools, processes, and teams and the repercussions on operations. At the heart of the analysis is establishing a state of affairs: did your teams find it difficult to familiarize themselves with new business processes implemented within your department? Are salespeople not using all the features of your CRM when with prospects? Do employees find it difficult to use new features of the corporate intranet and often request support?
  • Create a quick mapping of stakeholders and classify these actors according to their level of involvement in the project. Decision makers make the decision to change and initiate it (Top Management); project leaders are responsible for its success and contribute directly or indirectly (project team, business experts, operational managers, training managers, human resources, IT department); users and beneficiaries of the project are the main actors of change (business teams affected by the change, all employees).
  • Identify the risks of change both for managers and for operational teams and employees. These risks can be linked to fear of the unknown, fear of not being consulted or involved in the change, no perceived added value either on an individual or group scale, a lack of skills, bad timing or a possible redefinition of the scope of the position and therefore a loss of power.
  • Identify the expected results and gains. Perceived benefits can vary from one actor to another. When implementing new software for example, where the Top Management sees an opportunity to invest in new management tools, to digitize processes or even to improve efficiency and productivity of employees, operational teams might see it as a way to achieve their objectives and to gain time and efficiency.

Key Tools: To support you in this first analysis, be sure to use a mix of tools that will allow you to measure the change to come, both quantitatively and qualitatively. Options include:

  • Send targeted questionnaires to all project stakeholders via email or with push notifications in the software already in place.
  • Organize workshops or interviews to obtain more qualitative data, where you can make a note of comments, which will allow you to qualify the expectations and fears of your employees to better communicate with them about the project later.

Deliverable: All the information gathered in this first phase can be collected in a single document: the scope. This document allows Top Management to have an overview of project objectives and the resources available. It also serves as the keystone for the project manager. 

Define the change management and allocate necessary resources

After analysis comes the sizing stage, taking into account both the breadth of the change in terms of targets (the number of people, functions and sites concerned) and its depth, that is, the impact of this change on the company (culture, skills of employees or mobilization efforts expected from the various players).

The final step of the diagnostic phase: establishing the project team. At this stage, you should be able to identify and name:

  • A project manager, who will attend management meetings and be in charge of project operations.
  • Representatives in the various groups affected by the change who are responsible for sending feedback to the project manager from the field in order to measure the change regularly and readjust the approach as necessary. They may also support change management actions (for example, communication managers or training managers).
  • Project Management support, external to the company, if necessary. This person’s role is to ensure the solutions meet user expectations. The service provider deploying the new software will, for example, be able to offer this essential link between the company and the solution.

Change management: The Lemon Learning methodology

As a leader in software adoption and change management, Lemon Learning guides organizations through their change management projects and millions of users in their adoption of their most strategic tools.

In today’s world of ever-evolving technology, the digital transformation, and with it the digitization of employee practices, have become key performance points.

Lemon Learning’s methodology: 

  • Interactive guides integrated directly within the tools to guide users step by step and generate consultation rates 7-10X higher than for ready-made content or internal documentation
  • A Learning By Doing approach which facilitates learning in real-life situations thanks to a micro-learning format that truly engages users 
  • A multidisciplinary team to support clients before, during, and after project deployment by offering support and quality content
  • Monitoring and managing change thanks to a comprehensive dashboard including usage statistics and guide completion rates by role and team. Lemon Learning customers can measure the ROI of their campaigns and training.

At the end of this initial diagnostic phase, you have analyzed the needs and risks linked to the anticipated change, put numbers to your project, and appointed managers to assist at all levels. You are now ready to move on to the next phase: organizing training, support and communication systems.

Discover our practical tips to implementing these essential steps in the next article!