Change management is often the most difficult part of an IT project, regardless of the technology that’s being implemented. Many companies struggle with getting buy in from key stakeholders and encouraging adoption when end users have been doing things a particular way for years and are resistant to change.
This is especially true when implementing solutions that are as transformative as automated Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and Enterprise Information Management(EIM). New technologies have the power to dramatically improve productivity, profitability and innovation. They also can cause significant changes to staffing needs, workflow and day to day operations. This often makes it challenging to ensure that the change goes smoothly and that the company exploits the full benefits of automation.
More effective change management
In order to make sure new automation solutions have the high-level backing to be implemented successfully and that employees actually use them, companies should follow change management best practices and tailor their approach to the unique challenges presented by automation. This means working closely with key people at all levels of the company, addressing major challenges and focusing on the benefits that the new solutions will bring.
1. Address challenges head on – Automation is a disruptive technology that will have a major impact on job outlook and the way people work. Companies shouldn’t avoid these issues but instead embrace them and focus on positives. Although automation tools will change the way work is being done, it also frees workers time to focus on more creative and innovative areas. New tools also allow workers to perform their tasks faster and with fewer headaches, reducing stress and making work more enjoyable.
2. Emphasize integration – Many people postpone adoption because they are afraid their productivity will take a hit while learning new systems. Modern ECM solutions are designed to integrate well with existing systems, letting users access the content and information they need directly from the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) or Human Resource Information System (HRIS) screens they are familiar with. This means that users don’t have to learn an entirely new system and casual users can work within their Outlook applications without even opening the ECM application.
3. Leverage flexibility – By focusing on the flexibility of automated ECM solutions, companies can help their employees see the benefits of using them. They often offer multiple end user clients and ways to access content, from mobile apps and web browsers to Outlook. This allows users to access their data and work with the system however it suits them.
4. Make training a priority – When implementing any new solution, effective training is critical, helping to educate about benefits, ensure effective usage and encourage adoption. In-house teams and consultants from the solution provider can help with implementation and training, easing the burden on your own IT staff.
5. Monitor progress and make improvements – No solution implementation is perfect in its first weeks or months. The project team should keep working past rollout, monitoring adoption rates and problem areas while developing solutions to address any issues.
Companies that leverage the power of automated EIM and ECM solutions can benefit from major increases in productivity and lower labor costs, but their efforts will not be effective unless they implement effective change management programs. By taking steps to minimize negative impacts of the change and smooth the transition, your organization can increase adoption and ROI for the solutions.