Your business, just like the world around you, is constantly changing. Think back over the past year and remember how people, processes, policies, customers, vendors, and technology may have changed at your company. 

While some changes feel small and low impact, others are large and have far-reaching implications. An example of the latter is moving from on-premise information technology (IT) infrastructure to a cloud-based solution or deploying a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) or customer relationship management (CRM) system like Microsoft Dynamics 365.  

These changes can be disruptive to your team members. To make the change easier for everyone, the project needs as much focus and energy on people-related issues as it does on the technology itself. That’s why, when you partner with Stoneridge Software to launch a new business application, we make organizational change management (OCM) a key part of our service to you.

Your implementation is only going to achieve its outcomes if you take the time to think about the people impacted.

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What Is Change Management?

When you make changes to your business, there are often easily observable outward changes. For example, changing your organizational structure or implementing new software systems is tangible. But, when these kinds of changes occur, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that each outward change affects the people who staff your business—often in hidden ways. It has a cascading effect on your team and often results in culture shifts.

Change management is the act of overseeing the human side of changes within a business; it’s the shepherding of company personnel from where they are at the beginning of a change to where you envision them being when the change is complete.

Stoneridge offers both change management consulting and new software implementations. Our software deployments are customized to meet your particular business and technology needs. And our organizational change management services work in tandem with your new software, taking care of the people side of implementation from the outset. Change management for major software implementations means preparing each employee to use a new system and training and supporting them until they’ve fully adopted the new technology.

Why Change Management?

Every business relies on people, and if your people aren’t cared for, your business will suffer. Consider, for example, a company launching a new implementation of Dynamics 365. If the company invests in new software without paying attention to the human side of change, they’re unlikely to see the return on investment they anticipated.

Change management ensures the project begins with a meaningful vision and clear strategies, and involves stakeholders in designing the solution they want and need. It also asks leaders to be accountable for delivering on the shared understanding of the future state.

Depending on the size of your business, a software implementation may require guiding tens, hundreds, or even thousands of employees through the individual process of accepting, learning, and ultimately using the new system. Just as technical implementations require people to design, configure, customize, and test the new system, change management requires people to plan, communicate, train, and problem-solve as issues arise.

To be effective, change management must be integrated within the project from the very first stages of planning. It can’t be an afterthought or done without resources.

A well-designed and adequately resourced change management program offers three key benefits.

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Minimizing Disruption in the Workplace

Unmanaged change causes confusion and even chaos. Employees feel frustrated and insecure. As their sense of well-being and morale drop, it could hit your bottom line through: 

  • Lost time and lower productivity 
  • Errors and waste 
  • Lost business due to poor customer service 
  • Employee turnover 

Organizational change management adds structure, so the change is easier for everyone. Clear communication ensures a common vision, and your employees will feel more secure if they know where the company is headed.  

A solid training program equips your staff with the skills and know-how they need to move forward. And when productivity increases and the business grows, it’s far easier to keep everyone on board. 

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Increasing Buy-In

When employees are engaged in the process, they are more likely to accept the change. To create this sort of engagement, organizational change management starts with two-way communication. This might include:

  • Surveying employees before any changes take place to get their input.
  • Communicating the reasons behind planned changes and leadership’s vision for where the changes will take the company. It’s easier to move forward when you understand why the change is required.
  • Soliciting feedback as organizational changes unfold. Employee perspectives will enrich your review of the change process and point out areas for improvement.
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Preparing Leadership for Future Changes

Organizational change is smoother when those carrying it out know what they’re doing. Research highlights what leaders should and should not do when leading change—actions that are not necessarily intuitive or instinctual. Consequently, every organizational change management program should include OCM training that prepares leaders to facilitate the change process.

Stoneridge Applies OCM Methods to Your Software Implementation

If you’re considering a Dynamics 365 software implementation or business technology roadmap, Stoneridge has the organizational change management expertise to help your project reach its goal—increased productivity and profits dependent on user buy-in and adoption

In addition, our proven technical expertise in the implementation of Microsoft products has earned us Microsoft Inner Circle and US Partner of the Year status from Microsoft. You can trust Stoneridge as your partner for your implementation project—both with the obvious but technically demanding aspects of software deployments and the subtler, softer, hidden side of guiding your people through the change.

Contact Stoneridge to learn more about how we can help your company with organizational change management for software implementations.

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