Importance of Change Management for Successful Digital Transformation
Why Is Change Management Important For Successful Digital Transformation
Digital transformation in companies has been gradually increasing over the last decade or so. However, COVID-19 rapidly accelerated the need for digital solutions as it swept across the globe and forced many organizations to work remotely.
As the world returns to a new normal, companies are still looking to digitize to improve their operations and enhance efficiency. So, how can we ensure that this change is implemented effectively throughout an organization?
Let’s look at how and why change management will be a crucial player in your digital transformation.
What Is Change Management?
Change management is the process of facilitating change through different levels throughout an organization. Now that doesn’t sound very easy. But, if we do it correctly, the benefits are far-reaching.
The focus is on the people within the organization and the new roles and responsibilities they will face. Change management empowers those involved to facilitate change within an organization. It is the driving force behind seamless improvements throughout an organization without losing the faith of employees and management.
The Role Of Change Management In Successful Digital Transformation
Digital transformation is a wide term that we see more and more frequently. As mentioned, COVID-19 has forced many organizations to adapt their organizations to fit the digital world. The fourth industrial revolution picked up its pace before the pandemic hit the world, but now it has come to the forefront of running any successful company.
With more of the world’s population interacting remotely via electronic channels, you will be left in the dust if you do not adapt your organization’s strategy.
The use of technology allows organizations to streamline redundant processes, reduce costs, and improve customer interaction. Many reliable, tried-and-tested processes are no longer viable in a world with so much technology.
So, organizations need to take some risks when becoming more digital. The risks may seem daunting, and many may be resistant to change. But, if managed correctly, digitization can benefit the organization significantly. As the expression goes, “out with the old and in with the new!”
Proper change management here is so important. It helps to get the workers and employees on board by ensuring they have time to get to know the new systems and platforms. They will also better understand why the change needs to happen.
For example, you can start small by getting your workers to use a safety app for training. Then, you can start implementing other digital processes, like reporting incidents and show how it makes the process more efficient.
Ultimately, having a change management strategy in place can help organizations adopt digital solutions more effectively. Then, through effective digital transformation, an organization can become more agile in its problem-solving and processes.
How To Implement A Change Management Strategy
Now we know why change management is important. But, how does it work? Here is a basic outline of how you should implement change management.
1. Prepare for Change
It would help if you defined what you want to achieve throughout the change process. The easiest way to do this is to ask yourself what outcome you are hoping for. Once you know what the outcome you desire is, then you can start dividing the work. With the end goal here being digitalization, the outcomes should be linked accordingly.
Different people within the organization will need to handle different parts of the change. You need to ensure that you define their roles clearly throughout the change process. This will ensure that everyone knows what they need to do at each stage of the process.
When facilitating a change throughout your organization, it is important to know what it will take to achieve your goals. This is especially true when transitioning into a digital working environment. Besides the technological changes, there are also procedural processes that you will need to amend.
2. Manage the Process
The people involved in the change need to know what is expected of them. Not only do they need to know their roles, but they will need assistance in preparing for the changes that they need to make.
These changes can be very daunting for some workers. Many of them might be very used to the old processes and may feel less confident adopting new ones. So, it is vital to support all the employees throughout the change process, so they know that you are in this together. The easiest way to achieve this is through engagement with employees to see how things are going.
By engaging with your employees, you can paint a picture of the progress made in different areas of the organization. It is important to know where your people are in the process and where they may be getting stuck. This way, you can provide the necessary support and resources to help them progress.
Once you have gained a better understanding of what your organization has achieved so far and the effectiveness, you can start to look at adjustments. Where areas have fallen short, you can adjust your strategy accordingly.
The great thing about going digital is that these adjustments are often easy to make!
3. Sustain Desired Outcomes
As with your second step, you need to see where you are now. Have you achieved the desired outcomes laid out at the start? This is a pivotal question to ask as you need to know where you are in the process of digitizing your business.
If you have managed to achieve your desired outcomes, you now need to ensure that these outcomes become the standard in the future.
There are checks and balances that you can put in place to ensure that you sustain the change that you implemented. The easiest way to implement these checks is by giving responsibilities to people in different departments. You may need to restructure some sections, but through cultivating an ownership culture, you can ensure the change is consistent.
Different Roles During Change Management
1. Senior Management
Senior management should be responsible for communicating the fundamental changes that going digital will have on the organization as a whole. These communications highlight how the organization will change and how this will improve the business as a whole.
This will help your employees to understand why you are implementing change. In turn, this helps to align your employees with your organizational goals.
2. Lower Management
As line managers and direct communication points for employees, lower management should communicate the direct changes on employees. This means how the employees’ roles will change through the implementation of technology.
As previously mentioned, some people will need to adjust their skill sets. But, as a result, upskilled employees will then keep adding value to the organization.
Optimization is key, and the employees will be driving the change needed throughout the organization. Good communication with employees ensures that they adopt change effectively. Without valuing your employees and giving them the tools to succeed, you will not have much success in digitizing your business.
Any change in an organization will be difficult, and changing from old processes to more modern ones is no exception. Through an effective change management strategy, organizations in all industries will be able to embrace technology.
Organizations that can implement a change management solution that works will reap the benefits of digital transformation for years to come!
It is important to remember that digital transformation is not only for now but will facilitate growth in the future. So, to stay relevant, organizations will need to keep adapting.