The digitalisation of sales, service and marketing processes entails changes not only for a company’s processes, but for its employees, as well. In addition to new tasks and roles, natural reluctance and scepticism regarding new technologies and working methods can determine whether a project succeeds or fails.
Our company has been developing successful digital solutions for sales, service and marketing for 20 years. Over those two decades, one of the recurring themes we have witnessed has been organisations that struggle with change. All too often, this results in insufficient acceptance of new tools and working methods and a lack of understanding regarding why changes are necessary. Resistance like this can cause entire projects to fail. This led us to develop an agile approach to change management that we follow in IT projects in particular. In it, we focus on guiding companies through the changes involved in new IT processes and tools by tailoring them to various stakeholder groups. Sybit’s methodology supports transformation projects from their very inception using the principles of change management and organisational development – all while factoring in the scope and organisation at hand.
In a modern world characterised by volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity (VUCA), employees and companies are under constant pressure to change. Only those willing to grapple with disruptive business models and innovative solutions have a chance of maintaining a successful market position. However, this pressure often results in premature decisions and a compulsion to make changes that create no noticeable added value for an organisation or its employees. It’s projects like these that often cause aversion to and a lack of trust in changes, which in turn can lead to rejection and fears that can have a huge impact on a project’s success.
To help employees understand the reasons behind constant changes and innovations, Sybit also concentrates a great deal on involving them in related IT projects. While working toward the business goals of a given project, we make sure that people remain the main focus. Here, it’s not just about taking employees into consideration in digital transformation projects, but actively engaging them in the change process, as well. As the real world consistently demonstrates, changes only meet with long-term acceptance when employees can help shape them and clearly see that their interests have been taken into account. Since IT projects are tremendously complex and impact many different stakeholder groups, a clear plan of action is needed to integrate the employees affected and get them excited about the changes to come. This is why we have developed the Sybit Change Agents approach, which calls for the selection and training of internal employees as change agents. These agents act as a mouthpiece for employees and a barometer of the current project atmosphere while developing their own personal skills (and eventually becoming project experts themselves). Particularly in roll-out phases, this development makes it possible to get the most out of synergies between change agents and key users.
Change management is no silver bullet against resistance and concerns, but it does promote the acceptance of changes and the long-term use of new systems. To gain these benefits, such efforts need to be introduced consistently and transparently before changes are made.
In addition to offering change management guidance early on in the process, we consider it crucial that change management teams remain in constant communication with the respective project managers. The change management units within our agile Scrum teams thus serve as a further link between our customers and our developers. The same applies to the dialogue between our customers and the relevant internal and external stakeholder groups. This approach helps us ensure that information is constantly shared and various interest groups are taken into account, especially with regard to change communication.
Every organisation is unique and has its own rhythm. This is why we tailor our actions to the customer at hand instead of following a standard approach to change management support. Our experience, our experts and the instruments at our disposal combine to form the sound foundation on which we guide each individual project toward success.
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