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Three factors for a successful change

When you introduce a new system or platform, that's a change. New processes and procedures? That's change too. It's obvious when changes are not successful in an organisation. But what helps increase the chances of success?


 

Here are three things we know work. Get these right and you’re on your way to real success.


 

Simplicity

A simple configuration or setup is always better than a complex one. The more choice people have, the more things they have to do, the less likely they are to adopt. Adoption is the key to the success. If only a small number of people decide not to make the change, success is much less likely.

This doesn't only apply to new systems and software. What about processes? Would you rather introduce a 40-page process document or a single-page one? You know the answer.

Tip

Build complexity as you go. Don’t try and do it all from the start. Especially if the change is new to most people. Begin with the ‘must haves’ and get them working. Then gradually introduce more.


 

Champions

Every successful change has people who colleagues go to for help. It’s how most of us learn. Sometimes these Champions are easy to spot. Sometimes you may have to search a little harder. Having someone who knows how to get the most from the change and promote its use will increase adoption.

Tip

Look for people that make the extra effort. The ones that are keen to get involved. Once identified, make sure they have the resources they need. Get them trained. Recognise and reward them. Don't take them for granted.


 

Communication

We all know how important communication is. But it’s so seldom done well. Make sure the use of the system is well communicated to the team. Include policies and guidelines for its use. Include documented processes where applicable. Communicate changes ahead of time. Communicate often – a single email or blog post is never enough. 

Tip

Never assume people know what to do or when to do it. A simple 'how to' guide or list of key people (involved in the change) can mean the difference between success and failure.


 

Chris Hudson
Change Manager at Aconex
An early career in Architecture and construction led to seduction by technology and cyberspace. He's a keen problem solver, Change Manager, generalist and part-time zymologist. Helping teams improve how they work is his legal high.
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