1. Create a Business Case
A business case will provide the end-to-end information about the change, particularly in terms of why the change is triggered and what benefit or value is expected from it.
Example: On the invoice management project, a detailed case study was prepared regarding the change. Initially, the vendor would submit invoices manually into a submission box. The expectation is to onboard all vendors and make this new solution the single window for all invoice submission. This will provide better cash flow and hence, strengthen the relationship between vendor and client. This was measured frequently against the expected results covered in the business case.
2. Leadership Alignment
Leaders across all levels must have absolute clarity on the purpose of the change and be aligned strategically. Leaders must have clarity on:
- What does success look like?
- What benefits does the change bring operationally and financially?
- What is necessary to achieve the goal and reach sustainable success?
- Availability of resources.
Example: The executive team should have a regular update on statistics such as number of invoices submitted, processed, and paid (among others). Also, monthly reviews should be conducted to keep them engaged.
3. Stakeholder Management
Stakeholders are dynamic, and it’s important to form and maintain constructive relationships with different stakeholders. People who were once supporters of the project may have learned something that causes resistance now. By spending time with stakeholders on regular basis, a change manager can monitor and maintain good relationships. Stakeholder management drives change management.
Example: The invoice management project impacts both internal and external stakeholders. A stakeholder analysis provides different categories of audiences across the organization and leads to understanding of their perceptions of the project. Then, change strategies were devised to manage external stakeholders and internal stakeholders efficiently. Focused vendor sessions, and internal stakeholder sessions are conducted to listen and address their concerns and feedback.
4. Change Impact Assessment (CIA)
CIA is a detailed analysis comparing the current state to the future state and understanding the impact of the implementation on process, people and the organization. CIA helps drive the change from the organizational level to the individual level. CIA will act as the input for building communications and training strategies. It also covers a detailed analysis of job or role mapping.
Example: A detailed analysis of existing and new invoice management processes against each stakeholder segment was completed to figure out the most efficient communication and training strategy. People react to communication differently and a customized change strategy is needed based on the user group.
5. Change Agent Network
Effective and excellent change management delivery requires establishing a change agent network across the organization. A group of people was selected from various department to be influencers and drive change within their user communities. They are the focal points and the carrier of the change program.
Example: An influencer for every department was appointed across organization. These focal points act as change agents. Constant engagement with change agents helps take the change to the grassroots level across departments. Communications and training were executed well with the help of the change agents.
6. Business Readiness and Adoption
How prepared are users to accept changes? Before the system goes live, the enterprise should evaluate business and transformation readiness, in order to understand the level at which users are ready to accept change. After going live, the same process can be repeated to understand the adoption level of the new SAP system.
Communication – the right message, to the right audience, using the right communication channels, at the right time – is one of the key levers of the change program. A good frequency of communications will keep the audience engaged.
Example: With input from the impact assessment, a detailed communication strategy plan was made and very well executed. The key benefits of the new invoice management solution were communicated periodically to different stakeholder groups through all possible and available communication channels across the organization.
Another key lever of the change program is to educate stakeholder groups about the new process, their roles, responsibilities, and the system. Understanding training needs and training the users on relevant modules, using an effective training strategy, enhances the user’s readiness to adopt the changes.
Example: The Concur case adopted a “train the trainers” approach. A group of internal users was educated to conduct further training and reach out to audiences across different countries. In the invoice management project, the training strategy was based on input from the impact assessment and executed at department level to reach the audience effectively.
9. Change Reinforcement
Once the change is implemented, an organization tends to move on to the next change program. However, it may not sustain the change in long term. People can turn back to their original level of comfort. That’s why reinforcement is required to sustain change. For example, a celebration event or a reward and recognition program directly linked with the change can help to sustain momentum.
Example: To reinforce the change in the invoice management project, a new email and helpdesk channel to address the stakeholder’s concerns was provided after system go-live. “On the job” training was provided to the stakeholders required to adapt to the new solution. Detailed statistics were prepared on people struggling with the new solution, and they were supported through targeted communication and training sessions.
Vendor meetings and stakeholder engagement sessions were been arranged to embrace the change. Feedback was collected and success stories were shared with audience to create positivity. Overall progress and success of the project was communicated in every stakeholder meeting to reinforce the change.
Technology & People
For enterprises adopting an SAP system, the focus should be two-fold: on the system-related changes on SAP but also on people side. This will increase user acceptance and adoption and leads to the desired results. Change management consulting can be the key to improving success. Organizations can also set up a change management office to increase the effectiveness of change programs if the SAP implementation is running as a different project. It is better to have a common pool of change professionals to run the programs with uniformity, common language, and framework to change management across organizations.
Wipro’s change management capabilities and its global pool of consultants can help technical implementation teams achieve high a degree of client satisfaction, run projects on time, and with the desired adoption outcomes.