Implementing Change Management to ensure successful Business Process Transformation

Change management is a systematic approach to dealing with the transition or transformation of an organization’s goals, processes or technologies, often through the process of Business Process Transformation. More recently, this Change management is not something that is reserved for the large enterprises but something that almost all companies large and small need to engage in to stay relevant and competitive as the world dashes into a future environment of AI driven technology transformation.

What is the purpose of Change Management?

The purpose of change management is to implement strategies for effecting change, controlling change and helping people to adapt to change. Often, this change management is implemented as a part of business process transformation, This is something that all businesses need to gravitate towards and adopt new tools that help them manage improve their business processes and remain competitive. There are many a times when most business will think that “Yes digitising and redesigning my workflow is something I will do soon… once I have reached a certain revenue, once I have launched this new product or when I have more time or when we hire a new CTO.” As they say, Time and Tide wait for no man. Everyday we put aside equipping our business for the future is another day we exposed ourselves to being vulnerable to a lack of transparency & just in time information, unnecessary repetitive tasks, human errors, and additional manpower costs. In a world where every one is blind, the one eyed man shows the way. However, when more and more people start to see the benefits of implementing technology, this new standard of leveraging technology for improved business operations becomes the new norm. Today, most companies adopt some kind of technology.with the goal to optimise their business performance.  The issue lies in the fact that most of this technology is implemented in piecemeal formats, usually without an organisational mandate on how each of these technology impacts the other. In order to implement the effective adoption of new technology and processes, businesses need to adopt an organization wide Change Management exercise in order to successfully navigate the journey towards industry 4.0.

The types of Change Management

In general, there are two major kinds of organizational change; change imposed by circumstances and change that is planned and adopted to encourage growth or improvement. This applies to both small and large-scale enterprise organizations. Change management systems are designed to help businesses plan for change instead of react to it.

In a world where so much technology is available, navigating the company can still be difficult. This is due to the incongruent, non aggregating and siloed models that most technology applications are built upon. So whilst many businesses imagine they are adopting change and embracing the digital age, they are actually adopting new tools that do not work in harmony one with another, which in itself, creates a new issue. This is the time where a holistic plan that comes in the form of Business Performance Management is activated and where implementing Change Management processes can help.

There are concrete reasons for accelerated growth in the business process transformation and change management industry. Products, technology, or ideas that used to take years to design, develop, test, and deploy are now being squeezed down to months or even weeks. The evolving consumer expectations for better, faster, and cheaper products also drive the need to reorganize the work culture to meet demand. Business owners are expected to respond faster and more effectively to market demands. Without a fundamental change in how data is collected, how it is analysed, decisions made and actions taken, business owners would consistently be forced to take actions that are late and mostly no longer impactful in the scope of things. In a world of almost immediate satisfaction, actions taken months after the fact only sound like excuses and bad management.

How do we implement change management?

There is an overabundance of frameworks and models available to guide and educate on change management practices, it can be difficult to find a perfect fit for your business. Regardless of the models available, business need to take charge of what business model transformation and change management approach suits them most.

6 Essential Steps for Implementing Effective Change Management Process

As your company constantly experiences change caused by new technology implementation, business process updates, compliance initiatives, reorganization, or customer service improvements, change is constant and necessary for growth and profitability. Inline with implementing business performance management actions, businesses should ensure that change management at the human resource level takes into consideration the following:

1. Identify the Goals

Since Change management usually happens simultaneously with overall organisational change, the goals of why the the company has embarked on a Business Transformation Process must be made clear. Change mostly occur to  improve a process, a product, or an outcome. Know what needs to change and why it needs to change helps the team understand why the actions taken are necessary and what their roles are in the process.

2. Present a Solid Business Case to Stakeholder

As with the case of Business Process transformation, Change management is the natural next step to ensure there is organisational buy in from all levels of the company. Every level of stakeholders different expectations and experiences and it is important to convey the urgency and importance of a successful business process transformation, changing the way things are done. The process of onboarding the different parts of the business varies but with a structured change Management plan, all departments can be onboarded one at a time.

3. Develop a Plan for the Change

This is the “roadmap” that identifies the beginning, the route to be taken, and the destination. This is where the resources needed, the objective of the business transformation and costs of implementation needs to be planned. As in all business performance management planning, areas of change, how processes will alter, what are the KPIs, measurable targets, incentives, aggregation of results and analysis.

4. Resources and tools needed

Here, it helps to have a technology platform that allows the businesses to align all its plans. If all the tools needed can be presented on one platform, that would add another layer of simplicity in the change management process. It will not only reduce the time needed to collate data from different sources, it will also allow easier cross platform data interpretation and also save on subscription and implementation costs. The clarity of clear reporting allows for better communication, allow managers to take proper actions and measuring successes and milestones.

5. Monitor and Manage Resistance, Dependencies, and Budgeting Risks

Resistance is a very normal part of change management, but it can threaten the success of a project. Most resistance occurs due to a fear of the unknown. Formal Training sessions  and communication channels to deliver the necessity of the Business Process transformation process  can help to reduce resistance to the project. Where there exists inherent resistance, in can create a fair amount of risk associated with change – the risk of impacting dependencies, return on investment risks, and risks associated with allocating budget to something new. As such, ensuring there is significant BUY-IN from all levels of the organisation is critical to the success of the implementation of Change management in Business Process Management Transformation.  Anticipating and preparing for resistance by arming leadership with tools to manage it will aid in a smooth change lifecycle.

6. Review, Revise and Continuously Improve

As much as change is difficult and even painful, it is also an ongoing process. Even change management strategies are commonly adjusted throughout a project. Like communication, this should be woven through all steps to identify and remove roadblocks. And, like the need for resources and data, this process is only as good as the commitment to measurement and analysis.

Why Using A Business Process Management Expert Can Help With Change Management

Astreem Consulting is a business growth consultancy and has been responsible for the growth of many SMEs regionally. Inherent in the delivery of their processes is the deep understanding of what the key success drivers of businesses are. They leverage their expertise in translating best practices into specific key Business Performance Management areas of SMEs. Manual and Analog process can be translated into automated processes that reduce human errors and repetitive actions. Process flows can be designed so only the high value activities are actioned by manpower, transparency and real time reporting becomes possible.

The expertise provided by experts that help businesses become more efficient and productive can cut done the time needed to execute such a project, offers a different perspective other than the internal view of how change can be implemented, provide additional resources and also provide the trainers needed for the actual Change management implementation.

Contact us at [email protected] for more information. We believe in democratising the availability of ERP and Performance Management Systems for ALL SMEs. Let us know how we can help. We would love to work with you on that!