5 Benefits of Organizational Change Management

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Realization of Project Objectives

The primary objective of applying OCM is to ensure users &/or impacted individuals have the knowledge, skill and support to successfully transition to the future state after a change is in place.
Intended benefits, project objectives and ultimately the success of a project is dependent on not only having the change in place, but more importantly on individuals using and adhering to the change. If a cutting-edge new tool is implemented but no one uses it or knows how to use it, was it a successful implementation? A change can be implemented without a focus on the individuals, but it will take a lot longer to see the intended benefits, improvements or ROI without user adoption and utilization. Stonebridge influences adoption and utilization with OCM key activities such as top-down sponsorship, detailed assessments of the impact and expected benefits (WIIFM – What’s In It For Me), transparent and frequent communications and hands to keyboard, experience-based training.

Mitigate Resistance

There are three stages of Resistance Management: Preventative, Proactive and Reactive

  • In general, by applying a thorough and tailored OCM approach, Stonebridge is in theory preventing resistance by ensuring impacts are identified, our sponsors are active, and the impacted individuals are aware of the changes, know what to expect and have the training and experience to be successful.
  • Stonebridge proactively manages resistance by identifying the change summary and modifying our OCM plans to address the biggest areas of risk/need. The change summary includes what is changing, why Stonebridge is changing, what do we hope to achieve with this change, what is the degree of impact, who does this impact and what skills, or knowledge are needed.
  • Resistance to change is normal and quite common even with the most robust OCM approach. To reactively address resistance, Stonebridge works with the Sponsors, Coaches, Change Champions and Project Managers to identify when resistance occurs and help craft an approach to address the individual concerns and gaps causing the resistance.

Reduce the Time it Takes a User to Successfully Reach the Future State

Achieving true change is hard and we all navigate the journey from Point A to Point B differently. We’ve all been on a project where the new process or tool is in place, we’ve flipped the Go-Live switch and users still take more time than we expected to adhere to the new process, use the tool proficiently, or benefit from its intended outputs. Applying an intentional OCM approach that focuses on change impacts, communications, sponsorship and training from the beginning helps us not only get to Point B faster, but hopefully with less hurdles and at the same time as others.

Develop a Change Nimble Culture

Just like most things “practice makes perfect” when developing an OCM culture. Change nimbleness and OCM maturity takes time and like at the project level, must have strong sponsorship, clear objectives and consistent messaging. Unfortunately change maturity is like your credit score, poorly executed changes from the past hold more weight than the current change at hand and it takes more time and effort to improve the change culture compared to what it takes to back slide into poor practices.
At Stonebridge, one of the first things we assess when joining a new project is the current enterprise wide OCM readiness – Is the culture change nimble and can it adopt a new process or tool quickly, does the company or team have a good track record of successfully implementing changes, are there a lot of changes occurring enterprise wide at the moment that may add to Change Saturation, etc.? This assessment helps us determine the overall approach and potential risks to implementing a change and developing a better change culture.

Sustain and Reinforce Project Objectives After Go-Live

Project Management typically wraps up after the change is live and no longer requires a focus on the project delivery. OCM on the other hand has an extended hyper-care after the change is in place to ensure individuals continue to adhere to the change for the long haul. Some of the highest risk for resistance is after go-live, particularly if there is an opportunity to go back to the way things were before the change.
OCM Hyper-care typically includes an assessment on individual usage and proficiency, continued comms and engagement, additional training, a Power User support model, self-service resources and long-term goals reinforced with incentives and celebrations.