In part 2 of this two part article we continue to explore the change management framework. Read part one here

Perform a business impact analysis. These are the effects created when implementing new strategies, organizational structures, job responsibilities, processes and systems. It’s the difference between the current and the future for each individual or role.  

Change impacts are not just from changes in process or new technology. In fact, some of the most challenging change impacts will be caused by a change in culture and control. For example, a common change in moving to a centralised CRM system is the sharing of customer information across the organisation. 

Delegate responsibility. Enlist line of business leaders in owning the change with goals, actions and outcomes. Ally with line of business champions and influential staff who see the vision, are respected by peers and will endorse the needed changes.  

Identify and train a select group of subject matter experts (SMEs) or Super Users to provide peer endorsement and identify pockets of user resistance that need attention, coaching and support. These people should understand how to effectively act as the local eyes and ears and promptly identify culture challenges or user resistance that need to be addressed. 

Make users net beneficiaries. Identify and express benefits using the WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) method for each role and stakeholder group. When the advantages of change exceed the disadvantages, staff become net beneficiaries and will more willingly accept the change.  

Don’t under invest in training. A CRM implementation will cause anxiety to some employees that are accustomed to performing their work in a familiar way – even if they don’t like the current system. 

Successive training sessions will steadily erode these emotional and psychological barriers. A comprehensive training program should include a training strategy, training plan, role-based curriculum of courses and training assets such as: 

  • Aids such as reference guides, cheat sheets, custom help, screen prompts, videos, podcasts and infographics 
  • Events such as periodic conference call updates, town hall meetings, lunch and learns, webinars and recordings 
  • Self-service training courses and knowledge-base support 

CRM implementations tend to use a small number of comprehensive and fairly generic training courses. However, a higher number of short or even bite sized training programs make training more focused, faster to consume and easier to remember.  

Change doesn’t stop at implementation. Because change is a process and not an event it’s essential to monitor and measure the impact of change over time. It’s similarly essential to hold individuals accountable for change impacts. 

Create a user adoption dashboard that measures employee engagement and promptly identifies unenthusiastic or sluggish user adoption. This should be produced at the go-live cut-over to establish a baseline and then at periodic intervals to view trends. 

Tracking user logins and system logs is a common start, but it’s not enough. More meaningful key performance indicators may include the following: 

  • System activities such as the volume of new or updated (customer, contact, activity, opportunity, case, etc.) records, the types and volumes of activities created (i.e. tasks, events, email, phone calls) and the completion of end to end processes 
  • Individual record updates such as the frequency of updates to account and opportunity records 
  • Data quality and completeness metrics such as the percentage of account or case entity fields that are correctly completed when new records are created 
  • Peer metrics such as application utilisation comparison among all members in the same roles 
  • Time based metrics such as daily time spent in the system; application use and user actions by time of day and day of week; or the number of users that haven’t logged on for N days 
  • Errors incurred such as the number of manual and system errors experienced or calls to the helpdesk 
  • Under-utilised application functionality such as entities, forms and other CRM software components not being used or being lightly used
  • You can also perform additional qualitative analysis such as viewing search keywords, custom views and purpose-built queries 

Using dashboards to measure change adoption KPIs can identify what future learning interventions are needed to improve employee engagement. Continued use of dashboards can help create a culture of continuous improvement that sustains well beyond the go-live event. 

Be ready with post implementation remediation measures. When poor user adoption is identified, remediation actions may include additional education, messaging or training. If new systems are not being populated as expected, management must investigate to see if staff are reverting to old systems or creating shadow systems. 

Other measures may include messaging that reaffirms the advantages of adopting the change as well as disadvantages of not adopting the change. 

It is critical to quickly identify non-compliance or sluggish adoption to take action before individual resistance expands to others or small concerns elevate to become crisis.