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Why change management is required in digital transformation projects

Mervyn Graham

Change management is essential for organisations that are seeking to undergo a digital transformation. In a period of change, a framework is essential to ensure that the benefits of the change can really be availed of.

With that in mind, it’s important to understand why a digital transformation is important to businesses. Digital transformations can be done by integrating a new technology that will improve business operations and/or customer experiences. If you want to find out more specifics about how a digital transformation could help you, check out this article.

Once you understand how digital transformations can help a business, you can see why it’s necessary and subsequently why it’s important to get right. The process can be time consuming and expensive so making sure you really get the value out of it comes down to effective change management frameworks.

Is change management required for digital transformation projects?

Change management is a discipline that has been evolving since its origins. It should be applied within digital transformation projects to inform end users about the digital products or solutions they will end up using. Doing this ensures that they understand all of the details that help promote user buy-in and that the required training is provided for the new digital technologies.

Communication is key

Communication is a key component of change management. While communicating what changes are coming in is important, it is not the only goal of the process. During a digital transformation project, the process should involve coming up with a definitive set of goals, should assess the current situation and challenges of the organisation, create a roadmap to tackle these issues and implement and manage the changes from then on.

A proper framework should ensure that communication is clear and frequent. Ensuring that a period of change doesn’t let the frustrations that follow get in the way of the many benefits of digitalisation is the priority during its implementation. 

Change can be difficult and even if it is for the better, it is likely to experience some pushback, particularly if the current way things are done feels sufficient. Ensuring that employees understand the benefits that can come from changes, hearing their grievances with a changing process or system and providing them ample training and clarity is all part of a good change management framework. 

When there are plenty of changes to be made, it could also be a good idea to take your time implementing them. Communicating will help employees understand their new tasks but patience and a staggered schedule of implementation give them the best chance to adjust to the digital transformation that is taking place. 

Change management isn’t a guaranteed success however and requires cooperation to ensure the framework and digitalisation roadmap are being followed. Treating the process as a low priority just because the digitalisation is completed is a mistake that should be avoided to remove the risk from the project.

Ensuring digital transformation success

A digital transformation is already an expensive and time-consuming prospect for businesses so for it to fail at the point where it’s ready for launch or go-live is a worst case scenario. Whether the digital project is to improve existing processes or to create a new digital solution, if it can’t be used by your staff then the whole process will have been for naught, so making sure change is properly managed by the project manager, ensuring that users are properly trained, communicated with and are given an opportunity to adapt to the new way of operating is essential to get the most out of your digital transformation.

If you’re looking for an experienced, talented team that specialise in design and cloud-native to help you with your digital transformation, then check out our digital offerings and book a consultation to see if we can be of any help to you.