September 1, 2022 in Digital Transformation

A Guide to an Effective Business Digitalization Process

Intrizen Perspective:

How Effective Change Management Supports Optimal Digital Transformation

Digital transformation should be one of the top priorities on leaders’ minds. Given that more than 80% of businesses believe digital will disrupt their industry, and only 40% of executives feel they have prepared for this disruption, optimizing and preparing effectively can be a powerful asset for larger scale internal adoption.

These two facts present an exciting and profitable opportunity for business-savvy leaders to gain an advantageous position above the ever-growing competition. 

If implementing Digital Transformation is the lock, Change Management strategies are the key to seizing this opportunity for the most profitable outcomes. Learn how digital transformation increases efficiency, supports business agility and unlocks values for existing and new employees, customers and stakeholders.

What is Digital Transformation?

Digital transformation is the process of improving business procedures by integrating technology, including automation tools and data analytics, to create new (or optimize existing) organizational processes, workflow, and customer experience. 

Effective digital transformation results in the organization’s ability to meet needs for their evolving business, market and requirements. It also supports an increase in employee happiness, engagement, work efficiency and ultimately the company’s bottom line. 

Yet even effective implementation isn’t enough to qualify success. A winning digital transformation strategy is only theoretical until the organization’s members are equipped and ready to use the technology, realize its benefits, and adopt the new procedures and workflow.

Change Management and Digital Transformation

Enterprise digital transformation can be a complex process involving lengthy planning, stakeholder buy-in, and comprehensive business intelligence. For the process and execution to be successful during mergers and acquisitions, restructuring or technology transitions, change management must be incorporated into the strategy to enable efficient transformation.

Change Management is a set of collective terms that aims to help companies adapt to changes with agility and confidence. Significant organizational shifts require careful planning, preparation, and support for the individuals and teams involved. 

During a change management-driven digital transformation process, an organization will develop a structure, plan, and culture that can effectively embrace digital transformation. At Intrizen we focus on developing change impacts, identifying effective communication channels and competency assessments among other core indicators to support our workflow and complex integrations.

Why Change Management is Essential for Successful Digital Transformation?

Change management helps enterprise companies anticipate challenges, mitigate possible errors, save money, and avoid common blockades.

Proper change management alleviates common obstacles in the digital transformation process

  • Resistance to change

This is a commonly encountered obstacle. Change management can become critical to reduce resistance and foster a growth mindset during and after the transformation period.

  • Day-to-day system disruptions

New technological transitions and integrations will likely disturb the organization’s everyday operations and procedures, but well-planned change management can reduce the disruption to a minimum.

  • Change-averse individuals

Proactive change communication can improve buy-in from members of the organization that are reluctant or uncomfortable with technological and structural changes. A well structured communication strategy helps to effectively convey the need and benefits to the employees affected by the new process.

  • Unforeseen challenges

Change management helps minimize unexpected challenges with foresight-planning, and timely, efficient responses to unforeseen problems along the way.

A full-cycle implementation and global deployment can be a complex and arduous process to begin with, but choosing the right processes, tools, partners and integrations can help mitigate challenges and increase ROI while vastly increasing company-wide adoption.

Effective Change Management for Digital Transformation

A strong change management process powered by Intrizen can be broken down into 5 steps. These steps will allow an organization to prepare for and achieve a more swift transformation. 

The 5 Steps of the Change Management Process:

  1. Prepare the organization for technological transformation

Any organization undergoing a merger, acquisition or new technology integrations should partner with the right deployment team to develop a change management strategy before the process begins.

Risk analysis and organizational readiness assessments should be performed. Transformational characteristics and organizational attributes like culture and leadership style should also be taken into account.

These assessments will set the stage for developing the strategy and roadmap.

  1. Define the vision, set goals, and create a plan

Once the stage is set, managers and key stakeholders must develop a thorough and realistic plan to execute testing, design work and global deployments. The plan should detail:

a. Strategic Goals

What goals will digital transformation help the enterprise achieve?

b. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

How will success be measured?
What metrics need to be increased or decreased? What is the organization’s current baseline?

c. Project Stakeholders, Sponsors, and Team

Who will be responsible for overseeing the digital transformation?
Who will need to sign off at each critical milestone?
Who will be responsible for implementation?
Who will be in charge of communicating the transformation process and benefits to the workforce?

d. Digital Transformation Scope

What exact steps and actions will the transformation include?
What is considered to fall outside the transformation scope?

e. Unknowns and Possible Roadblock

What possibly affecting factors are considered unknowns?
What roadblocks may arise during the digital transformation process?
How will these roadblocks be overcome?

  1. Full Life Cycle Implementation 

Once the plan is developed and revised, the execution stage will commence. During this phase, stakeholders must empower their employees to take the steps outlined in the plan.

During the multi-phase execution, roadblocks should be anticipated, prevented, and mitigated to avoid setbacks. Executives and managers should begin their communication strategy and reiterate the organization’s vision for the future. Effective comms strategies remind employees of how the outcome will help ease their day-to-day workflow and reduce manual and repetitive tasks.

  1. Reinforce the changes within the organization’s culture and practices

Once digital transformation is implemented, the organization must gather feedback to assess whether the change management effort was successful and work hard to detect any resistance to prevent a reversion to the previous state. This is particularly important during multi-year digital transformations as organizational change relates to processes, workflows, culture, and business strategies.

Implementing new organizational structures, controls, and reward systems effectively reinforces benefits to avoid backsliding.

  1. Review progress and analyze results

After implementation, new integrations and global deployment, people need to begin working within the systems. At this point, organizations typically hope to harmonize their processes within individual localities. 

To understand the outcome, integration usage and workflow must be analyzed and reviewed to ensure that the transformation was successful. If mixed results are detected, actions should be set to ensure that the process does not revert.

People Centered Transformation

A well-managed internal transformation strategy will make the process easier, more effective, and less costly and will have a greater degree of adoption. To achieve this, Intrizen focuses on the employees who are most affected by change and who will be the core users of the new technology and integrations. 

7 Best Practices for People-First Change Management 

  1. Change starts at the top

By beginning the digital transformation with the organization’s top-level executives, enterprises can pave the way for the new policies and procedures to spread down the line swiftly.

This way, the organization’s leadership team guides by example and is able to support lower-level leaders in their transformation process. Stakeholders can more easily identify any unexpected roadblocks to overcome them faster, as well as help keep employee morale high by helping mitigate potential anxiety, fear, or discomfort.

  1. Maintain open and frequent communication

Communication is the key to successful change, and becomes critical when companies undergo significant change. Consistent, transparent, and clear comms across all levels and available channels are key to success. This is especially important to keep the organization’s top-level members and employees on the same path.

At this time, stakeholders should be open to employee feedback, as two-way communication makes it easier to detect obstacles and low morale early on.

  1. Be specific on change and requirements

Developing and communicating clear SMART (Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic, and Time-bound) goals and expectations will make the transition easier for employees and help the organization measure success more precisely.

  1. Engage with front-line employees

All employees need to understand why change is being adopted and how it will impact them. Employee engagement and participation will be vital to wide-spread company adoption.

Ways of increasing engagement include identifying and supporting impacted groups and providing them with appropriate training, or involving employees in solution-finding efforts for obstacles.

  1. Integrate change management and project management

By integrating change management work with project management activities, the organization can swiftly pivot when facing an obstacle or encountering resistance.

Some ways to achieve this are having change and project management teams collaborate, providing change management training to the project teams, and aligning the two team’s work plans.

  1. Engage and support middle-level managers

During digital transformation managers can serve a very valuable strategic purpose, as they are closest to the impacted employees. To make the best of this opportunity, it is essential to focus on manager awareness-building, clear communication about the transformation process and changes, and the role the managers have in it. Ensuring engagement throughout the full lifecycle is key.

  1. Foster a change-friendly culture

With today’s constantly-evolving technological advancements, a single transformation will not be enough to stay on top. It is a matter of time before the landscape evolves, and a new change in processes, culture, or workflow will become necessary.

For this reason, it is wise for organizations to start fostering a change-friendly culture. This will help the next transition be easier and more effective and make the organization more competitive.

Change Management is the Key to a Successful Digital Transformation

As organizations digitalize to stay on top of the competition, change management should be a top priority. By prioritizing change management in their transformation efforts, they can increase their chances of success and company wide-spread adoption.

Change management for digital transformation is a complex, time-consuming, and delicate task system especially in multi-year, multi-phase projects. Having an experienced technology partner to help guide your enterprise through this high-impact, transformative process with ease, tranquility, and security creates harmony before, after and during change.

Intrizen leverages creativity, tech-forward thinking, and strategic problem-solving to help organizations navigate the dynamic landscape of business transformation and digitalization by creating the systems, processes, and experiences necessary to reduce the friction in important organizational changes. 

Submit an RFP and learn more about how their custom approach to organizational transformation can help you discover a vision of success for your business and make it a reality.