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Change is Good When You Manage it Properly

Chief Optimist Exclusive

Monday, December 02, 2013

How do you define Change Management?

 

Xerox Change Management Services address the cultural issues of managing the resistance and discomfort experienced by people in an organization when new processes or technologies are introduced. More importantly, a solid CM program will help employees gain acceptance and adoption of a new program and think differently about print. Cx is good_Info-04(1)

 

A good CM program includes extensive listening, marketing communications, customized process improvements and training. The goal is to ultimately change behaviors and turn them into best practices.

 

Skeptics might say CM is the propaganda, the brainwashing, the spoonful of sugar that helps the medicine go down.

 

Truth is, CM works. Typically, 20–30 percent of the projected savings are at risk without a solid and effective change management plan. And the more customized the program is to the specific audience,the better.

 

For instance, at a major movie studio, they created a short, humorous film to introduce new technology and processes from Xerox. What better way to reach employees who think in terms of the big screen.

 

No Such Thing As “One Size Fits All”

 

You’d expect it to be obvious, but many companies try to roll out Change Management based on a one-size-fits-all,prepackaged program.

 

It’s important to understand the importance of a tailored CM approach considering the culture of the organization. Xerox uses proven principles from Dan S. Cohen and John P.Kotter, the original gurus of organizational Change Management and authors of The Heart of Change:Real-Life Stories of How People Change Their Organizations. But Xerox also uses what they’ve learned from previous implementations … and what they’ve learned from clients themselves. Every program is uniquely suited to goals and challenges of that situation.

 

Perhaps more alarming than the cookie-cutter approach is that many providers offer Change Management as an optional“bolt-on” component to their Managed Print Services implementations, essentially an afterthought.

 

If you’re not factoring in Change Management up front, you could end up wasting a lot of time and money onyour implementation.

 

Measuring Success: Critically Important

 

Change Management might sound like “soft science,” but there are several ways to measure its success. Of course, like the programs themselves, a customized measurement approach can be the most informative. Even so, here are a few of the primary measures:

 

• End-user adoption rates

• Time to achieve expected savings

• Percentage trained vs.percentage effectively trained, which requires evaluation of behavior change

• End-user satisfaction

• Overall client satisfaction

 

Executive Sponsorship Key to Success

 

At Xerox, Change Management milestones are integrated within the overall project plan. Depending on thetime it takes to get a client to a new future steady state determines theduration of Change Management. Rarely is the process complete in less than ayear.

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One of the most important success factors is the client executive sponsor. This role is usually the MPS program sponsor as well. He or she works with the Xerox Change Management consultant and the Client Change Management Team member to approve the strategy,tactical plan and associated messaging.

 

There’s also a Public Relations,Human Resources or Internal Marketing & Communications representative. This person will work with the Xerox Change Management consultant to build the strategy and tactical plan. Without these client-side players, Change Management can be very difficult to effectively implement.

 

What to look out for—The FUD Factors

 

You don’t have to be a mind reader to know what’s most likely going on in the brains of employees facing change.Here’s a quick look at the most common attitudes and barriers:

 

Fear

There’s a nebulous fear that accompanies any change, and some very specific ones.

Fear of learning something new.

I’m good at this, what if I’m not good at that?

Fear of new expectations.

What if I can’t meet them?

Fear of technology and new processes that require it.

I barely use my cellphone, let alone apps.

Fear of obsolescence, particularly with outsourcing of any kind.

My skills may not be needed any more.

 

Uncertainty

It’s natural for there to be confusion and questions around a change. Rarely is something so obvious that everyone understandswithout explanation. And when the change is to a technology or process that isn’t necessarily broken, well, the uncertainty factor goes way up.

Wondering if and how their role will change.

Will I lose power or status?

Confused by communication that does not deliver a consistent message.

Unclear about the what and the why of a change. Multiple and/or detailed explanations may be required.

 

Doubt

Perhaps the most caustic factor is doubt because it provides an internal excuse for non-engagement. Doubt comes in many forms.

Don’t believe the change is necessary.

Not involved in decision to change,therefore no stake in its success.

Question executive sponsorship and commitment.

“Temporary” behavior change until it’s safe to go back to business as usual.

View program as a project with an end and beginning, not as a culture shift.

 

Identifying these and other FUD factors up front, before the implementation takes place, can ensure that you get ahead of them with appropriate communications and training.

 

A Four-Part Plan for a Smooth MPS Transition

By making sure you have the following four steps in place, you help reduce the fear and anxiety that usually surround change.

 

1. Tailored Communications

You can gain buy-in well before the transition with frequent communications about how Managed Print Services (MPS) will make everyone’s work easier, as well as benefit the entire organization.

 

2. Device Configuration Tailored to Support Work Practices

Your MPS partner should understand each user’s needs, and then set up the new devices to support—and improve—those processes.

 

3. Training to Maximize Technology Adoption

Organized training at the device for small groups of users will acquaint everyone with new features and get them comfortable using state-of-the-art technology.

 

4. Transition Help/“Go-Live” Support

An MPS representative should be available either on-site or on call to help ease the transition from old to new and answer any questions about features, functionality—even supplies.

 

To learn how Xerox can help you implement change smoothly, visit xerox.com/mps.

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