Around 13 years ago I had a chat with a director at the IT training company where I was working. I was frustrated that my end user training courses were occasionally hijacked by students questioning why the new software had been set up a certain way and why they had not been consulted about a change that was impacting them so heavily as the end users. Legitimate questions for sure, but ones that, at the time, I couldn’t answer.

 

My courses were tailored to the customer’s needs, so clearly there was a disconnect between the IT project team (my customer) telling me what they wanted from the training, and the grass roots staff (the end users) who were not happy with what I was showing them.

 

Often these projects were suffering from poor user adoption; the IT project team understandably thought that training was required, and they had built it into their project plan. Unfortunately, training by itself does not guarantee successful change, especially not when it’s an afterthought at the end of a project. I knew a lack of change management was the root of the problem, but how could I begin to fix it?

 

That chat ended without a solution, but after years of struggling to do self-taught change management in various jobs, I’m pleased to say that at Transparity I’m finally in a role where my focus is on doing change right. I have been fortunate to earn the Microsoft favoured Prosci® Certified Change Practitioner credential, and I’m on a mission to help IT professionals seeking improved user adoption and successful change.

 

One of the reasons IT change management is poor in many organisations is that it’s still a relatively new concept and it’s often confused with IT change control; referring to Prosci’s 5 Tenets of Change Management helps to establish the fundamentals that everyone should build on.

 

  • We change for a reason – the reason needs to be compelling and effectively communicated to individuals in the organisation, not just to IT.
  • Organizational change requires individual change – individual change is often overlooked because it is hard for IT to connect with users in a meaningful way on a large scale, but we can’t get away from the fact that adoption requires individuals to change from the old ways of working.
  • Organizational outcomes are the collective result of individual change – while it’s unlikely that all users in an organisation will fully embrace a change, it’s essential that a critical mass of individuals adopts new ways of working and the new tools.
  • Change management is an enabling framework for managing the people side of change – change management needs to be recognised and taken seriously as a discipline that is integral to the success of any project, just like project management. Project Management manages the technical side of the change. Change Management manages the people side of the change. The two go hand in hand, they should compliment each other for a successful outcome.
  • We apply change management to realize the benefits and desired outcomes of change – we need to agree and document benefits and outcomes so that change can be measured and so that we know what success looks like.

 

Get in touch if you want to know more about how change management can improve the success of your projects, or even if the project is already closed, how we can help boost adoption.

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