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Why Adoption & Change Management are essential for successful digital transformation

Adoption and change management

Accelerating your digital transformation and creating a modern workplace is about more than just investment in technology. You need to make sure your people are on board too. We catch up with Nikki Chapple, to find out more about the importance of adoption and change management.

Is the hard part of digital transformation the actual technical side of things?

Or is it more about changing how we think; the culture of an organization and how people collaborate?  

The technical piece is particularly important, but the technology isn’t successful unless people make it part of their day-to-day work. Success means that the change has been managed. Launching new, large enterprise applications always means a huge amount of change. And so that’s where Adoption & Change Management (ACM) comes in. In industry and technology in general, ACM has really started to be recognized as an equal component in business transformation. Organizations are now more switched on to the fact that this will help them become more successful. 

When talking to clients, we used to call this discipline Organizational Change Management… 

…these days it’s Adoption & Change Management. Why the change?  

The significant difference is that if it’s called Organizational Change Management (OCM), people say, ‘Are you going to tell me how to organize my company and organize my people?’ And the answer is, ‘No, I’m not going to give you an HR structure or departmental hierarchy. That’s not what we’re here to do.’ So, moving away from OCM and into ACM is much more relevant. What we’re driving is the adoption of new technology and then management of the change to adopt that new technology.  

Is there an assumption though that ACM is simply training?

What do people miss if they only focus only on the training aspect? 

They miss a couple of components. And even when they focus on training, sometimes they don’t always focus on it in the most effective way. A couple of things that they miss when they think that it’s only training are communication and transparency.  People are much more willing and likely to adopt new technology if they know why that change is happening. And that it’s always for the good of the business that they work for. So, this helps with the thinking of, ‘If it’s good for the company, it’s probably going to be good for me as an employee of that company.’ If I don’t know why that change is happening, I’m less likely to be on board with it. So, communication is extremely important.  

Process is also important, as is understanding how the new tool fits into the day-to-day work of the people that will be using it. You need to make sure that your users really believe in it; that they realize it will be a game-changer for them and will improve things. What your users do is also important.  

And then finally, training them based on that process and their persona or avatar — there are all sorts of different words that are used — to make sure that the training is delivered in a way that’s extremely contextual and relevant to everyone. So, we don’t want to train, for example, someone who answers the phone all day on how to be productive on project management. That’s not going to resonate with them at all. So, we also focus very heavily on the personas and the way people in that persona will use the technology so that we deliver training to them in a way that helps them be effective and successful very quickly. 

Are organizations sometimes keen to adopt a new technology but unclear on how to retire the old one? 

And if so, should they be trying to force – or else motivate – people to make that change?  

The end goal is for people to adopt a new technology. There must be a benefit in it for them, a ‘What’s in it for me?’ factor. Now, sometimes that is a forcing function and there’s no choice but to use the new technology. In that case, you’ll get a kind of grudging adoption. However, we want people to use a technology well, so it’s about making sure they’re fully informed and well trained. Now, if they have a choice then ‘What’s in it for me?’ becomes critical. So, what we focus on is that each technology has something that it’s incredibly good at. It’s a game-changer; it has a reason people want to use it. And that’s what we focus on.  

Some of the technologies really do present a different way of doing work; a more efficient way that allows you to use your time better and achieve more with less frustration and less wasted time. I don’t think anyone would say, ‘More efficiency, less wasted time and an easier way of accomplishing goals? There’s nothing in that for me.’ It’s an immensely powerful message and that’s what we focus on when people have a choice. We start with a goal, with an idea of success in mind and then drive change according to that.  

That’s all for now…

but Part Two of this Q&A is on the way.

In the meantime, learn how our change management services can help you streamline the process with our free ‘Importance of Change Management’ e-book

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About the author

Nikki is an Architecture Consultant with the Cloud Communications division of NTT and has over 25 years’ experience in business transformation. With a focus on helping clients achieve their long-term goals for cloud-based collaboration and communications, Nikki has provided strategic guidance and consultancy to clients of all sizes, in the UK and worldwide, across multiple industry sectors. Expert in Microsoft 365 and Teams, and specializing in Microsoft 365 security, compliance and adoption, Nikki holds industry-recognized certifications including Microsoft 365 Certified Enterprise Administrator Expert, TOGAF certified Enterprise Architect and PROSCI Change Manager.

Together we do great things