Change Management Techniques to Ensure Successful Adoption
It’s go-live day, and after months of design, development, testing, communications, and training, your organization has finally onboarded to your new shiny solution. This means your change journey stops here, right? Not quite…
According to Prosci®, a leading organization in change management capabilities and research, while making a change is hard, sustaining a change can be even more difficult. Over the course of the software delivery lifecycle, change managers sequentially build awareness, desire, knowledge, and ability around the organizational and systematic changes associated with a technology transformation. But what about the “R” of the ADKAR® model? Reinforcement is the final building block of successful change adoption. Successful reinforcement is the result of each individual in the organization practicing, and gradually mastering new system and operational processes following go-live.
Post-Implementation Activities Your Change Management Plan Should Include to Support Reinforcement
One way to assess reinforcement needs is to develop visible performance metrics and accountability mechanisms. Implementing user adoption dashboards is a way to achieve this. The insights gained with such dashboards will be helpful to understand what is working well, what areas may require additional training or communications, or if management direction and intervention may be necessary. Adoption statistics should always be tailored to the end users based on their role and use case for the new technical solution.
Post Go-Live Change Management Activities
Performance metrics and user adoption dashboards often highlight the business processes where additional training is needed. Indicators that suggest a need for additional training include low engagement for a particular activity (e.g., submitting an expense report), or frequent errors in a business process (e.g., incorrect data or skipped steps). When these indicators arise, change management professionals must be prepared to distribute stakeholder communications urging users to access available training materials. As needed, holding office hours with Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) is also a helpful tactic, providing a forum for end users to get hands-on guidance. When possible, change managers should work with people managers and other influential leaders (e.g., executive sponsors or change network representatives) to help direct colleagues to the available training materials, as well as support their learning through knowledge transfer.
While quantitative gaps in user adoption are often identified through performance metrics, there are qualitative aspects of the user experience that require gathering input directly from users. We encourage change managers to collect qualitative feedback from as many operational stakeholder groups as possible. Effective channels for collecting feedback include interviews, town halls, and surveys. Consistent, qualitative feedback helps change managers understand why certain performance metrics are lagging, allowing them to counteract these challenges with targeted communications, training, coaching, and resistance management.
Successful change adoption requires careful data collection and thoughtful engagement from change managers, long after the new technology solution goes live. Reinforcement of the change begins with establishing key performance indicators that show where users are lagging, tracking, or exceeding against organizational goals. Reinforcement succeeds when change managers respond to pain points of user adoption by ensuring that training materials are accessible and utilized. Simultaneously, an open feedback loop with stakeholders across the organization should be maintained.
Connect with our OCM Experts
No matter where your organization is at in their organizational change management (OCM) journey, we are here to help you easily navigate through your transformation initiative. Attain Partners has successfully worked with institutions across the United States to conduct a wide array of OCM activities. For more information or to speak with one of our experts, please contact us here: email@example.com.
About the Authors
Kyle Cadieux is a Senior Consultant in the Strategic Transformation Services practice. Kyle has a demonstrated knowledge in Organizational Change Management, Organizational Design, and Human Capital Management. Prior to Attain Partners, Kyle supported Organizational Transformation work for the Federal Government at various Consultancies. Kyle is a Prosci® Certified Change Management Practitioner and holds a M.A. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology.
Ellen Herd is a Senior Consultant in the Strategic Transformation Services practice. Since joining Attain Partners in August of 2021, Ellen has served as the Change Manager on Workday HCM and Financials implementation for a consortium of public universities. Ellen began her career at Accenture, serving in many roles across the software delivery lifecycle, including functional design, configuration, security, testing, and post-production support. Ellen is a Prosci® Certified Change Management Practitioner and holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Duke University.
 Prosci. “Why Change Management.” Prosci, www.prosci.com/resources/articles/why-change-management.