A company-wide systematic approach to transforming or transitioning an organization's technologies, goals, or processes is known as change management. The aim is to implement methods to affect and control changes, helping workers adapt. Eventually, they get used to the new ways or reject them. At this stage, document what worked and went wrong for future reference.
Managing enterprise-wide changes
The proper way to successfully manage changes is to equip workers with the tools. This preparation will enable them to adopt and adapt to the changes effortlessly.
The drivers who implement the changes must have a communication plan to inform workers about what is to come and how it would impact their work. Meeting them face-to-face is the best way to do it rather than via email. The physical gatherings would allow them to ask questions or raise any concerns.
Sadly, limiting change management to a single meeting to inform them about the changes that will happen is not enough. Change management is much more than mere communication. It should be backed by strategies to get the buy-in of each team member. If you don’t get the buy-in, ask about the reasons for disagreements.
Leaders must make it a point to support people through their transitions, whether through a merger and acquisition or a simple system implementation. People would like to hear about why you are making those changes and what you would like to accomplish. A good change driver would know how to influence each person.
Changes create resistance and challenges caused by misunderstanding, culture, and conflicts.
Misunderstanding: When things change, many executives in the organization do not understand their role in the plan or how they fit into the grand scheme. There is a misunderstanding between the leadership and the workers. This misunderstanding can lead to many inconsistencies in the dealings of the change drivers.
The workers start feeling that they are working in a vacuum because of the management's lack of transparency and visibility. Additional barriers include dwindling support after the project takes off and irregular engagement. This misunderstanding can be mainly attributed to a lack of consensus between the managers and the team.
Culture: A corporate culture rife with internal politics and poor attitudes encourages behaviors that resist change. The change-resistant behaviors primarily emanate from those employees whose personal priorities are disrupted by the changes. It results in lower trust, engagement, and performance.
Changing the culture of a company or organization's culture is the hardest to achieve because it requires a complete paradigm shift. Culture takes time to build up and takes even more time to change. Nevertheless, a company needs a culture change for a successful change management strategy.
Conflicts: Managing conflicts involve talking to the members as and when issues appear and helping them understand the difficulties of the new system. The leaders should step in immediately when the conflicts become disruptive. However, most leaders do not have the patience to go through it.
Conflicts are real, especially when the company is going through a transition. The best leaders would know when to intervene and how to intervene. Sometimes conflicts should be solved among the members. They should be allowed to figure things out among themselves. At other times, it requires the expertise of the leader.
Successful team software onboarding strategies
Due to the ubiquitous nature of technology usage, the software department is mainly affected by organizational change. This also includes any group within the company that is overly exposed to technology. Use these seven tips to bring them on board and get their buy-in.
Address technical glitches immediately
No matter what computer or laptop the team members use, they will inevitably have problems with speed and performance because of the installation of new software. Onboarding the team requires some downloading. Every time you do that, there are bound to be technical glitches due to incompatibility.
When workers migrate to new technological software, you must give them technical instructions and knowledge about any problems that might arise. In this scenario, the common issue is the incompatibility between the OS and the new installation. You might have to ask them to delete obsolete files for the hard drive cleanup.
Here is a tip that would make you look smarter than everybody in the room. If your team is experiencing a slow computer, ask them to remove the Time Machine backup. macOS keeps this so you can restore files as and when needed. But if you manually remove them, that can free up storage space.
Another way is to ask them to use iCloud to store large documents, files, and photos. Saving them on your desktop can slow down the computer drastically. Only store documents and files that are necessary. That way, you do not have to wait until the syncing is completed.
Provide ongoing support
Change is not an instant phenomenon but evolves continuously, factoring in many challenges that come along the way. Therefore, change requires ongoing support from the management, especially when implementing new software. Getting used to the new system takes several repetitions before it becomes routine.
Don’t forget the forgetting curve, pun intended, which is the main challenge when it comes to technology. Unless it is done regularly, it is difficult to retain the information. Therefore, ongoing training and refresher courses are necessary to ensure the team stays with the change management process. It can also be on-screen guidance. There are various online course platforms available that provide refresher courses and are inexpensive.
Most software workers dread the initial few meetings, especially if they have recently joined the firm. They look for excuses to avoid it if they can, as the meetings can be boring and unproductive. And even if they attend them, you may not be able to bring out the best in them. Nevertheless, you can hold operations meetings effectively.
Start the meetings with a casual and positive attitude because creating camaraderie is key to getting the team to want to attend the meetings. You can use the initial agenda item to create that positivity. Go around the table and ask each of them to share something positive, however small it is.
When you set the first task of the meeting for casual banter, make sure you do not allow side conversations to run beyond a certain time. It is perfectly alright to indulge in a few jokes but keep them to a minimum and steer the meetings towards the purpose. Personal opinions and irrelevant topics should also be avoided.
End the meeting on time. It would show that you respect other people’s time. Besides, team members will also notice that you are serious about the timings. Next time they attend the meetings, they will know that the meetings will end on time. This will enable them to plan and prepare for their next task of the day.
Enhance the software development process
Sometimes changes happen only in the IT department without affecting any other department, for example, app development. If you oversee it, manage changes by identifying bug reports, digital artifacts, or source codes. After the change is made, update the file status. Ensure that the software developers are properly qualified and licensed.
Then trace the changes to the requirements and the original code using historical details. Secure administrative and access rights to ensure that the people who are making the changes are doing so with the right permission and authority. Finally, gather team software onboarding reports and assess the impacts brought on by the changes.
Improve communication modes
A successful change management strategy leverages the right modes of communication and spokespeople. It uses several channels to deliver valuable and relevant messages throughout the change process. A company should avoid mail and newsletters as they are one-way messaging tools that would defeat the purpose.
The messenger is equally important. Employees prefer to hear some things, especially major executive decisions, from a senior leader such as a CEO or a CTO. A channel such as a town hall meeting can also be an appropriate communication method to deliver the news of some significant changes.
Software updates happen all the time, affecting the entire company's functioning. However, the IT team is the only department handling the changes and addressing the relevant issues. Some routine changes may not require team software onboarding because it seldom disrupts the organization's operations.
However, emergency IT changes are critical, unlike the standard and regular changes. Get approval from authoritative persons and consult with stakeholders to inform them of unexpected changes. How you manage changes in an enterprise system depends on the situation, but immediacy is of paramount importance here.
You can adopt chaos engineering as an IT leader to manage changes effectively and efficiently in your area. It is a process whereby you shut off specific components or features of the software. Then you test how it functions under stress. In other words, it is a stress test process.
Resilience engineers are good at this. They often test how the software works with high user accounts or during high web traffic. Pushing your technology to its limits prepares you for system crashes when they occur. This preemptive technique is precious to those employees who oversee managing change.
This way of software management is a beneficial exercise. It forces you to do everything to optimize software development. To remove the complexity, invest in automation tools and seek developers' help navigating the integration process.
Most people do not like change because it involves learning new things and doing old things differently. They are not motivated enough to change their habits and leave their comfort zones. So, you better be prepared to face resistance and rejections initially. But hopefully, some tips given here may help you overcome the hurdles. Nevertheless, change should start with you. Change by learning to acknowledge the fact that people resist change.