Go from ‘Ugh’ to ‘Yay!’
Benjamin Franklin coined the phrase about ‘death and taxes’ back in 1789, but he definitely missed a big one — change. Change is constant. Everywhere. And you can’t avoid it. Whether good or bad — it’s revealed in time, but it can cause paradigm shifts and send us on different paths. But hey, that’s life…a marathon of learning, growing and progressing.
With technology, change comes even faster. As a Business Analyst that does Salesforce implementations, I’ve seen my fair share of organizational change. The take away is — how ‘change’ is presented within the company can determine it’s success — or not. Envision a celebrity’s PR manager spinning the narrative on a story — ‘scandalous encounter’ or ‘experiencing a human connection?’ I get that companies have budget constraints, but if your company is investing big $ in a new system or major upgrades, then it should be equally important to plan and manage the rollout… An unplanned rollout is like buying a fancy maserati that is just admired instead of driven. YOU WANT TO DRIVE IT!
So how can a ‘Go-Live’ go better? Change Management (CM). A controlled approach to introduce and implement the change within a company.
Not all change warrants a CM plan, but if it’s significant or a complex process — I think it’s needed. Dare I say ‘appreciated’ by the people who will be using the system? Look, I interface with end-users and I see a lot of their stress. When a CM strategy is in place, it can quell the uncertainty and anxiety. Unmanaged change can be met with resistance, frustration, low adoption, anger -> a rotating door. Hmm, such a shame because Salesforce is a thing to love…
To put a visual on how I see the difference, let’s compare shot putting vs javelin as I, a highly untrained athlete, would do it. Both are remarkable sports that take incredible training and talent that I don’t possess. So please forgive my crude analogy as I mean no disrespect to Shot Put athletes around the world. But this is how my brain visualizes.
The sports are similar — athletes throwing an instrument in the same direction — but the methodology is soooo different. Shot putting starts off with spinning then throwing a heavy ball as far as they can. If I were doing it, my spin would be chaotic and I’d be extremely lucky if I could throw the ball in the right direction. And let’s not forget to mention how heavy the ball is. Without a CM plan, I see companies chaotically reeling towards the ‘Go Live’ date and thrusting that 16 pound ball of dead weight to see how far it will land. Then they’re surprised that they just spent $100K on a new system with only 10% adoption. Now that’s a scary visual!
Meanwhile, a company with a good CM plan is like a javelin thrower. They’re moving straight towards the target, strategically counting the number of skips, eyes laser-focused towards the goal and throwing the spear with precision.
A good CM plan can come in different shapes and sizes — meaning it can be basic $ to comprehensive $$$. But the commonalities of a successful implementation include:
Defining the Change and aligning it to the business goals
Discovering the Impact: Who will be affected? What’s the Process?
Determining how information will be utilized and how goals will be measured
Developing Champions, a support structure and a reward system
Delivering clear communication from leadership and effective training for users
Answering the questions: Who, What, Why, When, and Where can be the foundation of a CM plan. But everything should ultimately be focused on answering, “How Does the End-User Benefit from this change,” — that’s where you get acceptance. Acceptance = ADOPTION!
And now your company can transform with a Gold Medal experience just like Neeraj Chopra, Olympics 2020 javelin champion in Tokyo!
Aloha, A Hui Hou! (Bye, until we meet again!)