By Amy Rollier, Senior Change Enablement Consultant at Appirio
For many, moving to a cloud solution using an agile approach is primarily about being able to realize value in weeks and months rather than years. Instead of a sequential design process, the agile methodology follows an incremental approach; which is why a focused, targeted, and iterative change enablement approach is the most successful. Users need to be provided steady information that builds on the direct impact to them and a change program that enables them to continue to accept ongoing change.
Traditional OCM vs. an agile approach
Unlike traditional organizational change management (OCM) approaches that often spend weeks, sometimes months, assessing organizational readiness, cloud solutions require you to be able to quickly assess gaps and apply a solution that can be operationalized just as quickly.
Additionally, change cannot effectively be run as a separate program. Maintaining an integrated strategy, technology, and change team enables rapid iteration, alignment between users and technology, and a way to measure deployment success.
For rapid results, we recommend these simple guidelines:
- Start with the business case. Adoption is about changing behaviors, but more importantly, it’s about adopting the right behaviors that drive the right conversations, lead to ROI, and tie back to the business case. For example, do you want your sales managers asking their teams if they’ve logged activities today or if their forecast is accurate and reflects the current state of affairs? Appirio has a proven Adoption Measurement Strategy to achieve this.
- Develop a vision map and Worker Experience strategy. Having a clear vision of the desired change outcomes that everyone at every level can align to and endorse is the most critical step. Appirio’s vision map and Worker Experience workshop starts at the highest levels of the organization to define the vision for the transformation, the guiding principles and guard rails for decision-making, and the defining attributes to reach the goals and the desired Worker Experience. The last step of this process is to define the success measures, which tie back to the business case and eventually, the Adoption Measurement Strategy.
- Use a targeted approach. Use a targeted stakeholder impact analysis approach that aims to accomplish multiple things at once. Who’s impacted? What do they do? What will change? How does their role translate to a system profile (will they even have access?)? Who needs what communications and what training? While you need to have a solid picture in the first 5 weeks, you don’t need to have it all figured out because you are going to iterate on this information throughout sprint development.
- Forget about “resistors” and focus on enabling your change champions with the tools for success. Despite experiencing constant change in our lives, we all experience challenges adapting to new ideas, responsibilities, and technology. That said, we’ve found that there are few true “resistors.” Most people are accustomed to change and want to support the effort. Identifying resistors becomes a name-calling exercise that does not promote transparency. Instead, focus on identifying what challenges will need to be overcome and what barriers to adoption lie ahead. How will design decisions impact these challenge areas? How can we remove those barriers? Who needs to be involved in what activities? Ensure you have a plan for capturing voices from all levels, functions, and geographies in the design process.
- Don’t just interview; engage your leaders. Traditional change management methods typically involve interviewing leaders at the beginning of the project. This can be useful, but what is more important is that the leaders drive the vision, guiding principles, and desired outcomes of the program. A good first step for this is to involve the leaders in defining the vision map and Worker Experience mentioned above. Once established, provide leaders with an engagement roadmap so they know how to be active, visible sponsors. What decisions should they be involved in? What communications will they deliver? How can they support the change champion network? Ensure they understand the rollout strategy and provide feedback along the way. The measure of success here is a leadership team that is able to articulate the scope of the project, communicate regularly with their teams, and support the decision-making process so that the project can stay on track.
Why choose Appirio’s hybrid agile model?
Appirio can help you work differently because we work differently. We were born in the cloud and are a new breed of consulting firm. We bring a hybrid agile model, proprietary tools (in the cloud!), proven assets, and an expert crowdsourcing community — all of which reduce risk and accelerate your ROI. We combine actionable strategy with deep expertise to ensure your move to the cloud drives your entire business onward and upward.