Change Management – People 2 Technology

Our workshops have been designed with a particular client need in mind. In all cases the existing design is then further tailored depending on the client’s sector/ industry; strategy, issues…

Change Management – P2T – the need…

To “Introduce Change” and ensure ‘buy-in’ of key stakeholder groups

This area of our work links back to an alliance that we forged with an organization involved in implementing SAP/ ERP solutions. At the broadest level however change management is an important process that requires close attention to detail in process and delivery.

People 2 Technology Program & Change Management Workshops

A Process Summary

Our People 2 Technology methodology which we co-developed with and co-own with ANTZ Consulting is designed specifically for use in the context of an organization wide-system/ technology implementation such as a SAP implementation.

The process is one that runs in parallel with and supports the more traditional change management activities such as training (for the Project Team, Implementation Champions and System Users), communication (a cascade process to be driven by line leaders and supported by the champions) and general change initiatives.

It includes a series of translation workshops (1-day duration) between:

  1. the Project Team and Steering Committee representatives
  2. the Project Team and the End-User Group representatives
  3. the End-User Group and the Impact Group representatives as well as between
  4. the Steering Committee and the Impact Group representatives.

These translation workshops are facilitated around achieving:

  • Appropriate Engagement
  • Open Explanation
  • Mutual Exploration
  • Clarified Expectations and
  • A basis for moving forward with Enthusiasm

All of which are essential ingredients in ensuring fair process through and beyond the transition being heralded through Cornerstone. The priority outcomes are the clarified expectations and actions for moving forward.

Also included in the methodology are cultural renewal workshops (1-day duration) for mixed groups of stakeholders to identify the critically desired behaviors if the system is to work and the extent of the gap between those desired behaviors and behaviors that are current in the client organization. Participants then identify prevailing organizational folklore in respect of the gaps and start to generate ideas for necessary change initiatives (100 small things…) which can be done to close gaps where they exist. These ideas then feed directly into the Change Initiatives, which are the final part of the methodology.

The methodology also facilitates systemic thinking by the Steering Committee and Project Team. I.e. considering all Technical, Commercial and Social Process Issues as well as the Strategic Imperatives & Issues and then contemplating the Organizational Capacity to address the issues. I.e. Sensible Structuring, Helpful Systems, People Capability to do Current & Future Work and Culture

Why People 2 Technology

People 2 Technology is essential for ensuring that good technologies deliver great outcomes. When good technologies fail to deliver it is usually because people have not been engaged. As such P2T is an engagement methodology to ensure that employees move quickly though the upper end of our Apathy to Commitment Scale i.e. Formal to Genuine Compliance and then Enrolment & Commitment. P2T fosters a willingness by all stakeholders to use discretionary effort i.e., to go above and beyond what is expected of them and to do more to enable the technology to deliver to its projected benefits.

If people are not engaged they will variously stay in Apathy, Non, malicious or Grudging Compliance with respect to adoption of the new technology and the technology’s risk of failing to deliver its full projected benefits will be compromised. People make the difference, not the technology itself.

When is People 2 Technology necessary?

We suggest to clients that a candid review of the following list will usually enable them to decide whether People 2 Technology is necessary for their next big technology/ systems change.

Why Technology Implementations fail (to deliver to their full capability the promised benefits to the organization)

  1. People who will be affected don’t understand reason for new technology/ change
  2. People who will be affected are not involved in any communication/planning process
  3. Senior Management/ Steering Committee members underestimate the Cultural Change implications
  4. Organizational & Individual Capability to adopt the technology is overestimated
  5. People are threatened by change (There is a history of toe-cutting)
  6. The approach is non-systemic, h that is the technology is implemented without due consideration to the effects on the commercial, social and technical processes – leads to insecurity & doubt re; “Will I be able to use the technology?”
  7. People believe that is has been done before (“It didn’t work then and it won’t work now”).
  8. Training of end-users/impact group members happens too late in the process
  9. Suspicion is a common reaction & not addressed
  10. Senior Managers power struggles create problems – as they seek to retain control of the implementation/ outcomes and use it for personal advantage
  11. The wrong people selected onto implementation teams – i.e. people who lack credibility/ people who have time on hands for wrong reasons and people who like to intimidate and instruct rather than investigate, inform and influence
  12. The new systems/ technology poses a threat to roles that existed only because of systems/ technology deficiencies – that is people are being asked to ‘dig their own grave’.
  13. The fact that some roles will have to change substantially is not recognized
  14. New technology/systems can expose people and organizational inefficiencies
  15. There is a lack of fair process (people not engaged etc)
  16. There is a lack of ongoing communication where the communication is truly two way i.e. providing information through giving and getting feedback; through listening – progress reports/ updates and as a result rumors replace official communication and there is resentment and a mythology that “This is being ‘pushed’ through”
  17. The implementation is not linked to the Vision, Mission & Strategy & Business drivers of the parts of the organization that will be impacted on
  18. People are ‘incentivised’ to find fault & not to use system/ technology. This is especially prevalent if the prevailing culture in the organization is to condemn and idea for the 20% that won’t work rather than accept the 80% that does work and offer solutions to fix the remaining 20%.
  19. There is a drip feed of information rather than full, complete and transparent disclosure early on
  20. Punishment, Persuasion (through reward) and/or propaganda are used to influence behavior rather than trying to shape and influence perception/ mythologies i.e. managing culture
  21. The Project Team seen as a ‘dumping ground’ for non-performers
  22. The perception of external consultants is negative that is the mythologies about them are negative and there is open hostility towards them
  23. Australians are more suspicious/ skeptical of (at best) or resentful/ hostile towards (at worst) consultants more than other nationalities that we have worked with
  24. Social process issues within project team not addressed as an issue. The project team is run by technical experts who see their role as implementing the technology rather than people managers who see their role as managing the social processes in and around the project team so as to implement the technology
  25. Project Team Leaders fall into the Leader Traps of:
    • Not seeing the problems from end-users/ impact group’s point of view
    • Feeling that they have to have the answer
    • Issue fixation (technical issues to the detriment of commercial/ social issues)
    • Overinvolved in the implementation
    • Being the technical expert
    • Ignoring process issues
  26. There are consultant blind spots with respect to customer’s issues/ history/ politics etc
  27. The technology implementation is perceived to have underlying political agendas linked to corporate/ organizational power games and senior people’s careers and…
  28. The technology implementation actually has underlying political agendas linked to corporate/ organizational power games and senior people’s careers
  29. Planning is not valued as much as implementation and is short changed as a result (Suck it and see; She’ll be right; No Worries) No time or money to plan yet lots of time/money for rework
  30. Criteria for client selection is not considered by systems/ technology vendors who are only too happy to get the work but who are sometimes poorly equipped to deliver
  31. There is a lack of agreed scope for work that is legally binding
  32. Role authorities/ accountabilities not defined or agreed
  33. ‘Scope’ is used to describe the work rather than ‘Contract’ (scope means that the hard binding nature is overlooked)
  34. Ability and/or willingness to test social data (prevailing mythologies of impact group and potential end-users); too much is taken on face value
  35. There is a lack of attention paid to the mythologies created by project team – where it resides; etc.
  36. Non-monitoring of mythologies through implementation phases
  37. Knowledge transfer is limited / Consultants seen to be holding on to knowledge
  38. The longer term intentions or key internal managers are questioned and there is a belief that they will at some stage ‘bail out’ and join the consulting group being used to deliver the technology
  39. The longer term intentions or key internal managers are questionable and they leave little doubt that they will at some stage ‘bail out’ and join the consulting group being used to deliver the technology
  40. The implementation should create organizational capability to move forward rather than dependency on the vendor (To combat the mythology that “They’re just making more work for themselves”) but this is not actively pursued
  41. Belief that systems should be perfect when they ‘go live’
  42. The non-management of expectations
  43. Managers not aware of links between commercial, social and technical systems
  44. The existing corporate structure does not support the implementation
  45. When the system ‘goes live’ inappropriate authorities create havoc which is then used to condemn the technology.
  46. There is a lack of recognition that the level of work in the organization is increased due to a greater access to information.
  47. The need for an understanding of the statistical fluctuations in the information provided is not well understood hence people are chastised for poor performance when the information is within normal data fluctuations. This then drives increased resentment towards the technology and ‘work arounds’.
  48. There is a lack of recognition that implementing technology can greatly impact two of the three fundamental questions people have about work 1) What is my work? (I.e. changes the work people do) and 2) How am I doing? (I.e. effects how people are measured).
  49. Implementation partners organization’s are not aligned with or appraised of any organizational philosophies and principles and unintentionally undermine them/ send mixed messages
  50. The organization has a history of fads