How to Change Management Successfully in the Digital Era
Written by Toonimo
The digitization of companies is pervasive nowadays. If companies haven’t yet transitioned online, they are in the process of doing so. Most every enterprise in operation today, regardless of industry or sector, uses the most up-to-date technology to harness oceans of data currently being generated by smartphones, sensors, digital cameras, GPS devices and multiple other information sources. This data is being churned out in the global marketplace, and among a burgeoning pool of tech-savvy customers.
Unfortunately, significant financial resources have been ploughed into analytics technology, with little or no concomitant improvement in the decision-making processes of businesses and corporations. A myriad of organizations has deployed popular social networks and wikis, with little effect on operational performance. Much the same is true of digital natives. All too often, the adoption of enterprise digital tools falls shy of expectations. The problem with the implementation of these digital natives is that the focus is largely on deployment and not adoption.
CEOs, CTOs, CIOs and strategic business managers focus solely on the process of implementing change, without facilitating the smooth transition and adoption of that change. This makes it difficult to understand the ROI of these costly digital investments. The value of OCM (Organizational Change Management) is found in the synergies it brings to the company. Actively-engaged users can collaborate effectively with these digital investments. Other aspects to consider include intelligent decision making, sharing of best-practice methodology, and ultimately behavioral changes.
OCM Embraces Technology for Onboarding
New-age onboarding and OCM tools are already gaining traction with OCM managers and onboarding managers. The rapid development of OCM tools means that some utilize the latest technology while others are reliant on older technology. Organizational Change Management plans necessitate comprehensive plans to ensure that the right tools are always used. Successful change management solutions need to have the following features:
- Rule-Based Segmentation – Upon implementation of a new platform for new or existing employees, different guidelines and explanations must be displayed. Once Admin logs in, they will see all the unique walkthroughs for each distinct segment or user group. Other employees or managers will only see what is pertinent to their own group or segment.
An Employee with an Admin Permissions
- Audio Guidance – Completion rates of individual tasks or processes are significantly enhanced with audio guidance. The completion and conversion rates of these highly complex online processes are bolstered by the inclusion of a real human voice. Each employee will differ in the level of success they will have with text vs audio guidance.
A real human voice button explanation
- Search Bar Widget – Users can select the most appropriate assistance or walkthrough from a comprehensive database of interactive walkthroughs. The search bar widget encourages self-resolution of issues.
Search bar for initiating walkthroughs
- Self-Service Editor – Self-service functionality allows for the easy development of the onboarding plan. Self-service editors do not require professional help from professional services
- Tracking and Analysis – Improvements and modifications of your OCM plan are only possible by tracking Walkthroughs and Touch Points.
Analytics and Adoption goals dashboard
4 Steps to Effective OCM (Organizational change Management)
Step #1 - Plan & Analyze OCM Requirements
From the outset, it’s important to effectively communicate the migration to the new platform with all users. While they are using the old platform, it’s essential to provide a concise, high-level explanation of the new platform and processes. Users need to be informed of all aspects of the plan, including the timeline for its implementation. Other issues to consider include the reasons for implementing the plan, and the benefits inherent in the new platform.
It is imperative to establish a reasonable timeframe for the preparation and execution of the migration plan. This requires the setting of a date for the beginning of the migration plan. Once the migration plan timeframe has been completed, it's important to establish another time period for dealing with features and functionality. Obstacles and issues will need to be identified during this stage of the process.
OCM management should question multiple aspects of the migration process, in order to develop the initial OCM plan. These issues include the following:
- Segmentation: How many employees will learn the new platform? Will it be restricted to sales managers, or the entire company? Typically, each group of employees will have different levels of permission granted. Each group will be able to access a specific platform, meaning that a targeted plan for each group by rule job, or user permission, must be created. This means that it behooves OCM managers to structure a plan for sales, a plan for the marketing department, and a plan for the rest of the employees.
- Timing: When is the best time to initiate the migration from the old platform to the new platform? In other words, when should the migration be launched? Is the company undergoing a difficult period at this juncture? Is the company experiencing additional changes beyond the OCM process? These are extremely important issues that need to be tackled when determining the correct timing of the migration process.
- Languages: Should the company launch multiple plans in multiple languages? Be advised that Chinese sales teams will not be able to understand the English version of the onboarding plan.
- Predict Obstacles: Are there any difficulties and unique challenges with the new platform? Is the company fully apprised of any issues that are likely to stymie the adoption of the new platform? What issues currently exist, and how should we prioritize our attention to tackle those issues for the successful rollout of OCM.
Step #2 - Establishing Goals for a Successful Transition to the New Platform
The objective of achieving a higher adoption rate for all employees warrants an understanding of measuring that adoption rate. In the best case scenario, corporate level management and leadership typically trains managers on the implementation of the new platform. They introduce the new platform with frontal classes that are largely ineffective, and support intensive. The increase in support requests for the IT division simply clogs up the system and provides little in the form of efficacy in the process. Most of the time, corporate-level management transmits informational videos or PDFs to employees, in the hope that they will understand how the system works. Unfortunately, this type of methodology fails in its core issue: Teaching employees how to effectively use the new platform and resolve issues on their own.
This begs the question: How can management understand if the change management program is a success?
Ongoing feedback – Improvements, Enhancements and Modifications
- Feedback from users is essential. This ensures that the program functions optimally at every step of the way.
- Use analytics to measure performance and establish goals.
- The control process allows for quick evaluation of performance objectives. Analyze negative feedback and make the necessary adjustments to enhance the process. This should all be done while the plan is being rolled out.
The majority of Organizational Change Management tools (OCM) facilitate feedback. These signs are implemented along the walkthrough. An example of this is 'like' and other positive reinforcement. It is also possible to track the completion rate or abandonment rate via the analytics dashboard for each of the walkthroughs.
The plan should be improved in real time, with multiple onboarding variations tested simultaneously. As the new plan is being built, the unsuccessful versions should be removed.
After a period of time that was defined for the implementation process, it's important to check how many users viewed that page, or initiated a walkthrough. It's also essential to log how many walkthroughs were completed, and if there was any specific feedback at certain points in the walkthrough. OCM management is advised to check the overall product adoption rate, and act according to these results. The likely scenario is that several online processes worked effectively, while some performed sub-optimally.
As such, it's important to immediately improve upon, or rebuild the new walkthroughs based on the feedback that was generated by users. Next, begin the tracking process again. The highly advanced platforms available nowadays provide all necessary information in real time. This means that managers can act decisively, on the go, to adjust and improve the plan as required.
Self-service editors have tremendous time-saving capabilities. They allow the manager to construct a new walkthrough while modifications are being made in real time.
Step #3 – Build the Migration plan and Test It
You should start your plan with an audio explanation for a first-time user. This welcomes the new user, and explains the new platform's features and the essential aspects of the migration process.
Thanks to the interactive Organizational Change Management (OCM) tools, it is possible to create multiple levels of guidance and explanation:
Type 1 – Audio Guidance
Step-by-step audio guidance is also available on the platform. The audio guidance includes graphical cues to instruct the user to perform certain steps. It is voiced with real human and multimedia-rich overlays. These include buttons, arrows and other features. It is possible to combine a text bubble with audio guidance for clear instructions on how to complete tasks and processes.
Type 2 – The Text Bubble
Most powerful onboarding feature is a step-by-step interactive guidance with a text bubble. It has full interactive capabilities, meaning that the user can see where he/she is at in the process. The user will also be able to understand specific instructions at a specific stage in the process. For example, the user may be at step 4 of 7 in the multi-stage process. He/she may be required to enter personal information before clicking an appropriate button. The walkthrough facilitates the entry of media at every step of the way. Each platform features unique aspects, but there are basic elements that apply to all of them.
Type 3 – Search Bar
The search bar widget is capable of storing multiple types of walkthroughs. Whenever a user requires help, the user can easily open the search bar and browse the unique types of walkthroughs.
Type 4 – Targeted Audio Explanation
Targeted audio explanations can be triggered for complex 'touch points'.
Type 5 – Dom Blocker
If the onboarding plan contains a sensitive funnel and you would like to ensure that the user completes the entire funnel, you can use a restrictive walkthrough. This ensures that the user will be required to comply with certain tasks such as completing certain steps, or clicking certain buttons.
These types of features are particularly bothersome to users, and they need to be used in a clear and concise fashion. The user must follow protocol and guidance in order to progress through the steps.
Nowadays, advanced OCM and onboarding platforms enable managers to segment according to user group, and to A/B test. There are a myriad of additional advanced features used for streamlining the onboarding process, and tailoring it to specific user groups. Each of these platforms features its own unique attributes.
Once you have selected the type of walkthrough you're interested in, it will be possible to establish an onboarding plan to construct the walkthrough for the desired platform. It is important to diversify between different walkthroughs, to see which one works best.
Once the onboarding plan has been finalized, it's essential to test it on a small control group. This should be done prior to the mainstream launch for the company's employees. This way, you can ensure that it is working effectively.
Step #4 – Deploy the Plan and Monitor it effectively
It is necessary to select the right date to deploy your plan. Ensure that the deployment date is not scheduled for the end of the working week. It is also important that the deployment of the plan dovetails with the precise time where most employees are present at the company. Time slots should be set for each step along the way. When evaluating the rollout of the plan after the initial launch, check to ensure whether there were any hindrances in the way.
Collect all the necessary feedback and implement the updated walkthroughs for your employees or control group. It is important to ascertain which walkthrough generated the highest level of engagement among users. Conversely, which walkthrough was least favorable for users? Next, establish another time period to track all the necessary changes that have been made and monitor the adoption of the new platform. Once that has been completed, use feedback to decide if additional onboarding time is required. If everything goes according to plan, summarize details of the program and make a judgment call as to its success or failure.
The support function can be maintained on your new platform by leaving the search bar widget as an effective self-service tool. You can also communicate new features of the platform with the search bar widget.
From our experience, choosing the right platform to onboard your employees through software migration can maximize your investment vis-à-vis the new platform, and can reduce employee churn to the bare minimum. Before adopting management changes, try to minimize risks and obviate obstacles by researching, and learning more about the various platforms out there.