Change and Communications Management
Are you driving change, or is change driving you? ArborSys uses a proven methodology and framework to support our client's change and transformation initiatives and build their internal change management competencies.
Change and transformation initiatives are as varied as the organizations that require them. Change initiatives have become more frequent and more important to organizations. Many factors are pressuring organizations to rapidly change and adapt. They include:
- Increasing pace of technological change
- Market volatility
- Increased customer demand for customization / personalization of products and services
- Economic / political uncertainty
Today, organizational change is often motivated by external influences rather than internal strategies. When these occur, the organizations that adapt quickest create a competitive advantage, while the organizations that are slow to change are left behind. Having a comprehensive, effective change management process is a requirement in today's business environment.
ArborSys supports strategic change initiatives and business and technology projects that have substantial change management impact. We apply a four-phase approach that is aligned and integrated with your project roadmap or high-level project plan. The four phases are:
Our four-phase approach can be applied to any project methodology from agile to traditional waterfall. It works for any type of project, business, technology, or transformation.
Within each phase of our approach, we apply tools and techniques necessary to execute a successful change management program. These tools and techniques are used to:
- Identify and align leadership and resources
- Assess change impact and establish key performance indicators and other metrics
- Identify change management and communications strategies and processes
- Execute phased change, communications, and training campaigns necessary to achieve success
Change initiatives are the most successful when they emphasize three fundamentals:
- Benefits management and realization for the change initiative
- Effective communications supported by a strong Case for Change
- Well-structured education, training, and skills upgrade plan
Measuring and gauging success is very important. We develop metrics and other key performance indicators that we report through a change dashboard custom designed for your project. ArborSys develops key performance indicators and metrics to track how the change is being assimilated within your organization. A natural extension of that is monitoring the benefits that are being accrued because of the initiative. The key performance indicators and metrics also provide early warning indicators. If adjustments to the change program are necessary, they can be made sooner with less impact.
Our approach to Change Management focuses heavily on the Case for Change. This is the reason behind the change. It is what every individual who is impacted by the change needs to hear, understand, and accept. We focus on this because change efforts must achieve the buy in of every impacted individual. We work with you to develop compelling, targeted Case for Change statements for each discrete groups of stakeholders. By focusing at that level, we achieve a high level of buy-in across your organization.
We also apply sound marketing and promotion principles to develop a brand or identity around your change initiative. That brand or identity is used in all awareness and communications materials. We create unique, engaging campaigns that build on your project brand or identity. The awareness and communications messages are distributed through the channels and media that will best reach the intended audiences. All messages are distributed in multiple ways to insure they are received and the recipients act on them.
Almost every change initiative involves some education component. ArborSys leverages the components of the change management process such as the stakeholder analysis and the Case for Change to identify who needs education, training, and/or skills development. We use experienced instructional designers and course developers to assemble education and support materials. Any necessary training is offered in a format appropriate for the audience and that is minimally disruptive to on-going business operations. A major component of the education effort is making sure that everyone knows where to go for answers if they have questions or problems. Self-support materials such as websites and quick reference guides are frequently developed to support the transition.
Change and transformation initiatives can have serious consequences for an organization if they are not well executed. Managing an organization in a rapidly changing and dynamic environment is challenging. The addition of a major change initiative may cause priorities and resources to be shifted in a way that is not in the best interests of day-to-day operations.
ArborSys can help. We have the people, process, and expertise to support your change and transformation projects. We help our clients:
- Understand the change management needs of their business and their projects, through focused diagnostic activities
- Plan and execute change management, from project jump-starts to whole lifecycle change management project delivery
- Build change capability and maturity, leveraging our Change Management Framework and toolsets to help organizations develop their own internal change capabilities
- Resource critical change management roles, from specialist consultants to flexible teams of change specialists, and internal change management leads
- Develop strategic Change Management Roadmaps
Trends in Change Management
Traditionally, change management has focused on people, process, and technology. Increasingly though, a fourth element, Information, has become crucial to organizations as they attempt understand changing markets and add value through enhanced customer relationships.
ArborSys has expertise in data and information integration projects that required new processes to be defined, new and existing technologies to be integrated and impacted employee roles and responsibilities. These types of engagements are the new normal.
Trends in Enterprise Social Media
There has been a tremendous growth in Enterprise Social Media over the last two years. Along with that, change management initiatives are increasingly using social media as key channel to create engagement and foster collaboration. Social media is an ideal tool to facilitate change because much of change management boils down to ongoing conversations and dialogue in a company. Social media as a change management tool is ideally suited for the listening, talking, sharing information, community building, strengthening networks, and generating buzz. It also provides executives with a new opportunity to embed strategic vision in organizational dialogue and to shape organizational culture in ways that improve performance.
ArborSys works with clients to use new and existing internal social media platforms such as Yammer and SharePoint as a channel to develop audience engagement. These platforms have been especially useful for internal change agents to engage their peers in conversations and provide expert advice as the change initiative is rolled out.