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Change Management in digital workplace programs: a never-ending story (3/3)

So you've recently implemented a new digital workplace, or you’re planning to do so. That’s great! But how do you convince your employees to embrace the new solution?

In our previous blog post, we gave eight concrete tips to help ensure that end users want to use a new solution, are able to use it efficiently and will actually use it in the future. In this blog post we’ll explain why change management is a never-ending story, and we’ll provide a short three-step exercise on how to break a giant change project down into smaller pieces.

Change management: a never-ending story

Most issues usually arise shortly after the launch of a new tool, since end users still have to get used to the new way of working and haven’t mastered all the details yet. The best approach to this is to collect all of their comments and suggestions, and explain that the feedback will be processed in the next phase. Many issues will no longer be relevant after the initial introduction period.

In this story, it’s important to note that the project is not the sole responsibility of the IT department. The management first has to ensure that business takes precedence over technology. As the IT manager you have broad technical knowledge and are in close contact with end users, so you can advise your colleagues about which steps to take.

So again, IT managers play a key role in this context. They are at the crossroads of technology, which is constantly evolving, and the different generations of people, who are constantly entering and leaving the company. Both people and technology are constantly changing, but not at the same speed. Keeping as much of a balance as possible between these two aspects is one of the most important tasks of a visionary IT manager.

Both people and technology are constantly changing, but not at the same speed. Keeping as much balance as possible between these two aspects is one of the most important tasks of a visionary IT manager.

Get started: a short exercise

We admit it. The tips in this blog post are often quite obvious. Change management seems to be a fairly simple matter, at least on paper. And yet... it rarely happens the way it should: rarely on time, rarely to the satisfaction of all stakeholders. So it's not that simple after all.

The following short exercise can help you to break a giant change project down into smaller pieces, and thus make it more manageable.

Rationalize >> Delegate >> Concretize

  1. Rationalizing is about summarizing the essence of the project. What should the new digital workplace make possible, why is this happening, why is it happening now and for whom is it happening? By giving clear answers to these questions, you can set priorities and make it easier to define the required must-have and nice-to-have actions. As a matter of fact, the key drivers should fit on the back of beer mat.
  2. Delegating involves mapping out who is – or should be – involved in the digital workplace project. Together you’ll have to come up with one concise and interesting story: a story that can be understood by everyone, that fits perfectly with the company's vision and mission, and that doesn't beat about the bush. However, each individual stakeholder will also have to play a specific role in the user adoption process. Don't try to do everything yourself!
  3. Concretizing involves drawing up a brief action plan and estimating as precisely as possible what the digital workplace project entails in terms of time, budget and other resources. Do not underestimate the workload for heavy internal profiles, and make sure you have a backup and a plan B. If necessary call in professional external help.

The last tip we would like to share with you is perhaps the easiest: start on time! Bringing stakeholders together, making them happy, creating a story, getting buy-in, adapting the story until it works and sharing it via different channels, and eventually turning it into a success... these are not rush jobs. By starting on time, you’ll have the opportunity to look for people who are best qualified to take on a role in the process – both inside and outside of the company.

This was the last blog post of our series. Click here to read the first post, and here for the second post.

Want to read all insights in a single PDF file? Download it here.


Digital Workplace Event 24th of October @ Cegeka Hasselt. Hands-on event with attention for the three pillars: the bits, the bricks and the attitude! An afternoon full of concrete tips and real insightfull sessions. Participation is free for industry professionals. Register here..

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