Organizational change is one of the hardest undertakings a company can undergo. Even though HBR has compelling evidence to disprove the common, and rather depressing, statistic that 70% of all change efforts fail, even successful change efforts can feel messy.
As a vehicle for transformation, ServiceNow is transforming the way work, works, across the globe. So, good job for getting over your first hurdle as a change agent. Read on for the three most common barriers to change I have seen in my career, and how I have seen clients overcome them.
Choosing the right technology is only the first step to transforming your business, and achieving a solid ROI. Technology reflects what people do, and whether your change is large or small it’s important to help people make the transition quickly and easily with a few additional steps. End-user adoption and acceptance are all about changing user behaviors, it is not all about the technology itself. Which is one of the many factors that makes ServiceNow so powerful- the platform has the ability to integrate seamlessly with your existing tools as well as provide user-friendly interfaces and processes.
Once you nail the technology, your great implementation recipe should include Process Design, Governance, and Organizational Change Management, all working together to ensure you get the most out of your ServiceNow implementation.
Let’s take a look at one of the most overlooked ingredients in this whole process- Organizational Change Management.
Organizational change management (OCM) is the people side of change management. It is a framework for managing the effect of new business processes, technological processes and changes in your organizational structure or even cultural changes within an enterprise. OCM and OCM strategies set expectations and provide the tools needed to learn the new behaviors.
Many companies today are looking to become more agile and have workforces that easily adapt to changing business needs. Executing OCM well and providing a great change experience empowers your workforce to embrace and drive future changes. They come to view change as a positive experience.
Why Does Organizational Change Management Get Overlooked?
1. “People hate change”
Does anyone really like change? If you’re replacing a system that has been in place for years, implementing a new tool can feel like a lot of changes at once. Yet, our smartphones update apps multiple times a day and we barely blink an eye. We want our smartphone apps to update with the latest and greatest features and, in fact, welcome those changes for the efficiency and ease they bring to our daily lives. Why not do the same at work?
2. “Change happens when it happens, there’s nothing you can do to influence how fast people change”
If changing one person is challenging, changing an entire organization of people feels daunting and impossible. Never fear. There are ways to facilitate change, and then encourage people to actually help drive additional changes for the organization. Keep reading to discuss some tactics to help make your change something that people run to instead of run away from.
3. “If we build a great tool, the tool will help them make the change”
An easy to use tool that clearly alleviates previous pain points can inspire people to adopt a new tool readily. A great tool helps people understand what they need to do but doesn’t connect them to why. Having a purpose and aligning to a vision can inspire people towards change. How is your ServiceNow implementation part of a greater purpose and vision for your company?
Common Roadblocks to Great Organizational Change Management
Imagine your ServiceNow implementation as a large infrastructure road construction project and your Organizational Change Management as the plan to facilitate workflow or traffic pattern manipulation as you make these structural changes.
Start with a vision
Before ground breaks, signs go up with pictures and models of what is being built. This helps people see the future by imagining what the world looks like when the old structures are taken down and the new one built up. It’ll be incredibly influential later, when are looking to create a group of evangelists and advocates, pushing your changes widely across the organization.
I can not say it enough. Organizational Change Management starts even before you start the project with the vision.
Why do we need to change now? Why is it important for the direction of the company? Having executive leadership understand and communicate the “why” early and often prepares people for the changes ahead. This can include mock-ups of new interfaces or demonstrations to key stakeholders on what we’re trying to build.
Communicate early and often
Communication fatigue is a real concern, so have a structure and schedule for how and when communications come out.
Create regular reminders to prepare for the change, provide them with dates when their usual work paths will be interrupted and restored. Helping people plan their work in advance and develop an alternative way of getting work done during the interruptions will make them more receptive to the changes down the road.
Your ServiceNow Implementation is the solution for your past problems, and despite constructing an experience that is easy to use and intuitive, it will take time to adjust from the old habits.
Utilizing Train the Trainer and embedding local coaches to guide people through the expected bumps and hiccups of learning a new system will keep frustration to a minimum. Make sure to communicate where people can get help if they are lost.
Think global, act locally
It’s not enough to simply repeat the grand vision from leadership. We may want to “Save the Environment” but what tangible actions do we need to take locally to make that happen?
Leadership at every level need to articulate how the vision affects the local level. This is bringing staff into creating the vision at the local level can inspire staff to help drive the change. How can they get involved? Can they provide early input? How can they help make the change a positive one?
Monitor the change
Adoption directly affects how quickly you’ll see ROI on your implementation, so why not measure how quickly staff is able to leverage the tool?
Commonly, everyone monitors the technical launch for bugs and errors. Rarely do we measure people launches to understand where training fell short.
Often we see that the initial launch is 95% there. By engaging the staff to offer up additional suggestions to help perfect the tool and integrating those suggestions, your ServiceNow implementation becomes the vehicle for establishing a long-term continuous culture of improvement. Enable people to directly contribute to making their own work lives better. By creating this culture, you are extending the lifespan of your technology and ensuring it continues to stay relevant as your company evolves and grows.
When you’re ready to create your ServiceNow vision, including a detailed plan for organizational change management, download our complete guide to creating and scoring a ServiceNow Roadmap.