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The net result of technological change for all organisations is a greater requirement for strategic planning. All of us must continually ask the question "What do we have to do now to attain our objective tomorrow?" Through this process we can anticipate changes, including those brought about by technology, evaluate the various alternatives available to us to cope with those changes, and be prepared for the future as it arrives.
Technological Change: Improving change management using technology
In an increasingly fast-paced world, organisations are continuously introducing changes in response to internal and external stimuli to remain competitive. These changes may include changes to strategy, structure, culture, corporate population, organisational power, business process or technology, all for the purpose of driving improved change management.
As these areas are intrinsically linked as part of the organisational system; companies making changes in one area must often make changes in other areas too. Technological change, for example, is often implemented as an enabler of a larger strategic change, however, sometimes technology is the force behind driving improved change management.
Irrelevant of the type of change, a structured approach to planning and executing the initiative is required to ensure successful transformation from the ‘as-is’ state to a ‘to-be’ state. Changes to complex organisational systems also require strong organisational change management to ensure the social factors such as culture, psychological contracts, or resistance are understood and managed, so that the change is effectively embraced and adopted.
Organisational change management is, in itself, complex and requires a number of supporting activities and tools to maximise organisational benefit, minimise negative impact and avoid organisational distractions when driving improved change management.
The change management process involves determining how changes in strategy, structure, processes and technology will impact the organisation; who will be impacted by the change and how those impacted will need to change. It then involves creating and planning interventions that ensure the impacted individuals and groups receive the necessary support they need to successfully transition to the desired future state.
Successful change management is dependent on:
Technology, as discussed, is frequently used as an enabler of larger strategic changes. Similarly, as organisational change initiatives usually impact hundreds or thousands of employees; technology, itself, is often used as an enabler of the change management process.
Technology enables change managers to proactively chart the case for change, conduct a “gap” analysis between the current state and the desired state, and align implementation timelines. Using change management tools enables increased visibility of all impacted stakeholders and their engagement profiles. They also provide a consolidated view of the change impact across business areas; enabling change managers to develop and scale transition plans accordingly. Typically, the focus of transition plans come from insights gained from the gap analysis.
Technology also enables change managers to identify the types and levels of resistance and plan the relevant approach to resolve conflicts that occur as a result of the organisational change.
Change managers embracing technology as an enabler are able to streamline documentation; increase transparency; improve communication, engagement and feedback through collaborative platforms. Shared learning environments provide learning flexibility and opportunity to create more practical education tools.
Using technology in the change management process also makes it possible to build customised dashboards that include key performance measures such as change effectiveness, leadership commitment, communication effectiveness, adoption rates and benefits realisation.
Toolks like our change management software provide a systematic approach to analysing, planning, implementing and measuring the change management process. Without technology, change can become unmanageable, particularly where it impacts large numbers of employees.
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