Adopting a new, digital platform at scale brings disruptive change for everyone involved. People, processes and technology must all work in harmony to deliver the biggest ‘bang for your buck’ as the system rolls out. This is true for any sizable project, but for international organisations or groups made up of multiple operating companies, ensuring that everyone successfully adopts new, standardised ways of working is one of the hardest challenges they face.
Effective change planning is essential to avoid such pitfalls. At NTT DATA, we’ve developed an approach based on customised ‘cookbooks’ that identifies the key changes in people, processes and technology that are required to embed to make each project a success. All three must progress in step to generate the overall cultural shift that accompanies a major change in working practices.
Our cookbooks have already proved to be a recipe for success for many of our client’s global programmes across industries ranging from Media, Telecommunications and Financial Services. They rely on a staged approach to optimise each of the three critical dimensions of people, processes and technology, working in parallel to reinforce the benefits at every stage of the deployment.
While technology and project teams are usually enthusiastic supporters of new tools and systems, the bigger question is how to bring day-to-day users such as sales teams or customer service agents on board.
Most experienced workers have their own, established ways of doing things and new tools and processes can often appear at first to create as many challenges as they solve. This can make it hard for users to see what’s in it for them, especially during the early weeks or months following the rollout of a new platform. The temptation is to look for workarounds that bypass the new ways of working, making it more difficult for the organisation as a whole to realise the anticipated benefits.
It’s therefore essential to take some time to analyse the impact of the rollout on different users and ensure that everyone buys into the process.
You should analyse the different ways that the new solution will be used and therefore the functions that will be impacted. If it’s a Saleforce implementation, for example, which sales channels do you use and how will they need to be configured under the new regime? Are there any gaps in current practice that need to be filled? This enables the organisation to define the roles and job profiles that will be needed to achieve the new patterns of working. This in turn helps to establish how authorisations and workflows can be organised. In our sales example, critical roles will obviously include sales personnel but may also include other stakeholders such as finance personnel and external partners.
Once these roles and profiles have been defined, the focus can shift to ensuring that all the stakeholders are supported become enthusiastic adopters. What are the specific training and communication needs of different groups and how will they be delivered? How will you establish effective monitoring and feedback to keep things on track?
Just as individuals have established ways of working, the organisation relies on established business processes. Only careful planning can ensure a smooth transition to the new ways of working.
You should not replicate the old ways of working, you should design the optimal processes and go from there.
Identify the capabilities that the new solution can deliver from day one and what you expect to be available as the implementation matures over subsequent releases. Specify the various user journeys as stakeholders interact with the new system, identifying any changes compared to existing practice. The ideal user journey will be seamless and easy, so it generates the greatest buy-in from stakeholders.
Again, the new roll-out is not taking place in a vacuum and careful planning is needed to ensure that existing technology and business systems can be integrated or retired as necessary.
Identify the systems that will be impacted by the roll-out of the new solution and how these will be integrated into the post-implementation architecture (or decommissioned if they are going to be made redundant). Include global systems and local applications.
Carry out a detailed analysis of the data that will need to be set-up or migrated from legacy systems into the new solution. Determine local requirements for data security, especially if the roll-out covers a range of jurisdictions.
A recipe for success
It takes time to develop the perfect cookbook for each project. NTT DATA typically allows around six weeks for analysis and change planning before recommending the optimum formula. Get it right and any upfront investment will be repaid in full through faster and more wholehearted adoption by all the key stakeholders.
Investing in new digital solutions is a big commitment. Why not find out more about how NTT DATA supports clients to help maximise the benefits? Get in touch.