With all HRIS implementation projects, managing change is just as important to get right as the technology itself.
While change is inevitable, it must be managed proactively to ensure the smooth transition from ‘old to new’ as well as the longevity of the new system.
So, what exactly is Change Management?
Change management is a collection of activities focused on preparing and supporting individuals, teams and organisations during a transformation in order to ensure acceptance of the change and the adoption of new ways of working.
The purpose of this activity is to implement strategies for:
- Effecting change
- Controlling change
- Helping people to adapt to change
Types of change
There are different types of organisational change, ‘Developmental Change’, Transitional Change’ and Transformational Change’.
A description of each of these are outlined below:
- Any organisational change that improves and optimises on previously established processes, strategies and procedures.
- Change that moves an organisation away from its current state to a new state in order to solve a problem, such as mergers and acquisitions and automation.
- Change that radically and fundamentally alters the culture, core values and operations.
HRIS implementation projects generally fall within the first category of ‘Developmental Change’.
Why is Change Management important?
Even though Cloud solutions are user-friendly, change management still plays a key role in a successful implementation as these solutions will require new HR processes, new ways of working and new/additional responsibilities.
Well planned and well executed change management is critical because it:
- Provokes meaningful discussion about why the organisation is making the change, what the system will enable the organisation to do and the reality of implementing Cloud HR
- Ensures that all stakeholders are engaged in an appropriate, co-ordinated way and are supportive of the change
- Enables leaders to guide their employees through the implementation and show their support for the project
- Ensures that the organisation is ready, willing and able to effectively implement and sustain the new system in a positive way
- Ensures acceptance of the change and the adoption of new ways of working by the organisation.
Key Principles and Components of Change Management
One of the first principles of change management is ‘diagnosing the problem’. It’s vital to understand where the problems lie and why you want to change. Next, it’s important to establish whether the organisation is actually ready for the change – will key stakeholders and the rest of the workforce welcome the change or will they challenge it?
Understanding your stakeholders and building positive relationships is key to answering this question.
‘Starting at the top’ is also essential in a successful change management programme. These types of changes must be led from the top-down and involve every layer along with way.
Unsurprisingly, establishing clear instructions and maintaining transparent communications before, during and after the change are two principles that cannot be skipped, as is providing adequate training to the workforce to ensure the new system is fit for purpose.
Change Management Components
When it comes to formulating your change management strategy, there are three key components that must be considered, the first being your ‘case for change’.
The Case for Change should answer the question “why are we making this change?” Describe the rationale for the change in terms of numbers, business drivers and objectives as well as cultural changes and the business benefits.
Then, think about completing a Readinesss Assessment. This is designed to establish if in fact your organisation is ready for this change. Assess the organisations ability to accept the change, along with what might interfere with a successful adoption and whether new processes and skills are required and in place.
Once you have done this, you can then complete a Change Impact Assessment to determine how the change will impact on your organisation – both throughout the process and afterwards.
Your Change Impact Assessment will provide greater structure for the project, enabling the scope and the impact to be widely understood and for you to identify any risks the organisation is facing and how to deal with them.
It is key that you think about the change management strategy before embarking on any implementation project.