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Profiling – What’s the point?

Organizational Change Management: Profiling - What's the point?

Every month in this blog series I touch upon OCM (Organizational Change Management) and how it works within any business changes. The hot topic of the month (and most probably, the year) is Microsoft Teams. Everyone’s talking about it. Which companies have deployed it? How have they achieved it? What do you need to know for a successful implementation? We’re in a place now where businesses understand the need for OCM, whether it’s for a cultural change or a technology implementation, and Microsoft Teams is no different. Whatever business change you’re embarking on – whether it’s Microsoft Teams or otherwise – something of paramount importance is user profiling. What is it? Why do we do it? Do we really need it? Read on to find out.


One size fits all. Right?

Unfortunately, wrong. Business changes affect different departments, locations, user groups and individuals in different ways. I’ve seen in the past (and been party to) a blanket training and communications approach for introducing a new tool. For example, scheduling training sessions that offer the same experience for everyone, and communicating via emails and posters which again, try to resonate with everyone. The reality is that everybody works differently, understands information differently, has different working styles, and of course different learning styles. Assuming that we can use the same level of information across the company when talking about a change is therefore perilous. It will inevitably lead to ambiguity and a lack of understanding and resonance.


User profiling is the practice of understanding who everybody in the business is, how they work, and how the impending change project will relate to them. It ensures that the information disseminated is relevant to their role and that the training they receive is coherent and applicable. It’s also best preceded by a Benefits Mapping Workshop – a session to help determine the key benefits that different user groups and individuals will realize.


So what kind of exercises should you be including in profiling exercises? I’m usually a fan of face-to-face interviews to ensure full engagement for core groups – but if extending to a wider group of people, surveys can also be utilized. The sessions should look to tease out:

  • Working styles, collaboration and communication techniques
  • Communication channels that they are most receptive to, for project and company notifications
  • Mobility scale – travel, remote working, home working
  • Preferred methods of training

Plus further information specific to your projects, their current state and helping to determine their future state.


User profiling should be conducted as part of a full Organizational Change Management program. The findings from the profiling exercises should feed directly into tailored communications for specific user groups. They should also help to structure different training styles and sessions, based on learning styles. And finally, they are also great for developing personas that can be used to map project work for the user journey.

Speak to us today for how we can work with you for a smooth and user-centric transition for any change program that you’re embarking on.


Read on in our ebook:
Why Change Management is Crucial to You Digital Transformation ebook


About the author

Emily Merron is an Organizational Change Management Consultant for Northern Europe. Emily joined Arkadin in 2018, and has a wealth of experience in the Change Management field, having run multiple business change programs in the technology space over recent years. Primarily focusing on digital transformation, Emily is a registered Change Practitioner and embeds detailed Change Methodologies for Arkadin’s clients within Professional Services. Emily holds a technology agnostic approach to transformation, and ensures smooth transitions by putting a premium end-user journey at the forefront of any implementation.

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