Change is very personal to every individual within an organization. The biggest project failures can result from ignoring the effect on the individuals. Most companies do not see the value of change management and will not invest in resources around a change management effort. Successful project managers recognize the cost of non-adoption of the new system or process and integrate change management into their projects.

Keys to effective change management and adoption

  • Know your audience
    • Identify your varied groups of end-users and what makes them happy, angry, or anxious about learning or implementing something new
    • Identify the feature or aspect of the change that they can get excited about (there is almost always something that is positive, even if it is small)
  • Market to those audiences and concerns
    • Your job is to sell them on this change, why it is good or necessary, and help them adopt the change
  • Explain to your audience why the change is happening what it means for the business to make the change or not make the change
  • Engage your executive sponsor and management to help communicate your messages
    • Utilize management, departmental, and town hall meetings
  • Be honest and transparent
  • Email is an ineffective form of communication
    • Face to face communication is always going to be the most successful way to get your message heard
    • If you must use email as a form of communication make it graphical, eye catching, and short
    • Extensive details should be included in an attachment to a summary email for those that need or want them
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate
    • Never give anyone cause to say, “I don’t know anything about that”
    • Make sure everyone knows about the change, even if you have to walk around and talk to individuals one on one
    • Target those people with the most extensive formal or informal network and make them part of your team if possible
  • Follow-up
    • Check back with your different end-users and management groups to determine what is working well and not working so well and develop a plan to address those items

To find out more about how RSM can assist you with change management or additional business needs, contact RSM’s management consulting professionals at 800.274.3978 or email us.