Blog / Organizational Change Management vs Technological (Pt. 2)
As we all know, change is one of those few truly inevitable aspects of our lives. Regardless of whether you embrace the steady streams of new features in app updates or resent them for changing your app up just as you got used to it, the fact is change waits for no one. Nowhere is this truer than technology and IT, which is constantly evolving at an ever-accelerating pace. Whether this technological change is beneficial or detrimental often depends on how you respond to it. For SMBs, that response is known as organizational change management (OCM).
We went over the basics of OCM a few weeks ago, so this time we’re going to focus on how it can be used to support technological changes within your organization. Although digitally transforming a municipality’s entire IT infrastructure and changing your CRM software are two tasks of vastly different scopes, organizational change management principles can still apply to both. In fact, when OCM is applied to technology, it is sometimes (appropriately) called technological change management.
Organizational change management is valuable to you any time a change significantly impacts your employees, clients, or any other stakeholders. This includes when businesses are expanding, when there’s been a change in leadership, or changes to your overall corporate culture. The word “significantly” is important; you don’t have to use OCM tactics to change the office furniture, but you probably should if you change office addresses.
Technological Change Management
Since we already described general OCM last time, we’re going to move into one of our fields of expertise, the aforementioned technological change management. OCM is a vast and complex topic, but so is IT, and it’s also technically challenging. That’s why major OCM companies sometimes outsource the technological components or retain their own technological change staff. There’s a big difference between communicating a future corporate rebrand and upgrading an entire fleet of machines or swapping out your IT infrastructure for better performing components. However, there are some change management best practices that apply to both OCM and technological change. As one of Alberta’s leading IT managed service providers, TRINUS has overseen the digital transformation of multiple municipalities and SMBs, and has developed a five-step technological change management strategy to help ensure successful technology upgrades.
- Set clear goals and communicate them: As an MSP that focuses on business rather than just technology, we know how important it is that your technological goals align with your business goals. Make sure you know how to articulate both the goal the new technology is going to help achieve, and how. Being able to communicate this information is vital to minimizing disruption, shows leadership and foresight, and can even help with step three down the road.
- Plan the technological change: Once you know your business goal and the technology that will help you reach it, it’s time to start planning. Change management means developing and sticking to a well-developed strategy to achieve success. The exact strategy is going to vary depending on the technology and goals, but an incremental or iterative process is preferable. Large, sudden changes can be disruptive and take time for their benefits to be realized; in fact, they can be counter productive. Incremental changes can start delivering value quickly and provide a positive change experience that will likely encourage additional changes.
- Prepare for resistance: Many people dislike change to their technology environment and there will always be resistance. Overcoming that resistance is crucial to success. This can be accomplished through extensive and proactive training, rewarding early adopters, and soliciting employee feedback. Getting feedback is crucial regardless of who the change affects (staff or clients) as they are likely to be the ones most affected; knowing that their concerns have been heard goes a long way to helping users feel comfortable with new technology.
- Execute the change: Depending on the size and severity of the change, this step might be implemented incrementally throughout the change process or all at once. Nevertheless, there’s no point in planning and preparation without executing the change. Provided you have a good IT provider, this step can be straight-forward.
- Review and evaluate: Was the change successful? Is the new technology working properly? Did productivity/returns/satisfaction actually improve? Measuring success is the only way to be sure you’ve achieved what you set out to and gives you opportunities to remediate new pain points or discover hidden benefits through increased efficiencies.
- Prepare for the next change: This might sound philosophical, but the job of growing better is never finished. Successfully implementing a technology change usually opens other possibilities for improvement. By accepting that change is inevitable and pro-actively embracing it, you can lead by example and create a forward-thinking corporate culture ready to leverage whatever new technologies the future may bring.
Although technological change management is often an important part of larger organizational change management, it’s vital to remember that its highly technical nature requires specific, expert skills to execute efficiently. If your organization is considering a large technological upgrade that could impact your business, contact your TRINUS account manager to discuss how best to plan, implement, and manage that change.
The TRINUS Team