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Why adoption change management projects fail

SoftwareOne blog editorial team
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A successful adoption and change management (ACM) strategy can bring plenty of benefits to your organization — it maximizes the value of your technological investments, helps your team work in a consistent, unified way, and improves productivity.

But change is never easy, and the numbers back that up. According to Harvard Business Review, about 75 percent of change efforts fail to deliver the expected results, and a study by McKinsey found failure rates to be at 70 percent. Then there’s the Boston Consulting Group, which found “that 50 percent of change programs fail to achieve their objectives; the failure rate rises to 75% for more complex and ambitious programs.” 

So, why do they fail? There are a variety of reasons - we’ll detail the three most common factors below, and provide steps to ensure that your change management strategy is successful, and not another statistic.

1. Lack of buy-In

A successful change management process requires buy-in from every level of the organization, from senior leadership to entry-level employees and everyone in between. Without leadership buy-in, getting a comprehensive plan together can be difficult. They will want to know every detail of the change management plan — high-level objectives, the way those will be measured, and how they will align with organizational goals. The key to success at this level is to show how this new initiative will positively impact the organization’s bottom line and translate into increased productivity that helps them maximize the value of software investments.

Employee alignment is just as important. Without employee alignment, people are less likely to actively learn and maintain their knowledge. If the new technology requires the individuals to adopt and use a solution to the best of their ability to maximize productivity, adoption change management is an absolute requirement. Employees will often resist adopting new technologies and tools if they don’t know how they will benefit from them. To have a successful initiative, you need to provide employees with an understanding of the change, drive the knowledge building, and ensure that newly acquired skills are retained in the long-term.

2. No clear objectives

If you don’t set standards for an increase in utilization productivity, it’s hard to tell if your ACM goals are actually accomplishing anything worthwhile. This can lead to people either underestimating the impact of a great ACM strategy or overestimating the impact of a poor ACM strategy.

To overcome this hurdle, it’s critical that you first define who this ACM strategy is for. Different types of users will need to be addressed in different ways, given their roles and expertise, and each objective will require a different plan.

Do you want more awareness of the solution? Do you want them to start using it? Do you want them to use it more effectively? What will the situation look like once you’ve implemented the changes, and how will it be better than how things are currently run? What steps are each group of employees expected to take to get there?

If you’re not able to effectively communicate your objectives early on, it may be a sign that your plan for change needs more work before being implemented in the company. Once you have clear objectives, work with the change leaders in your organization to develop your vision and persuasively present your ACM plan to each critical audience.

3. Poor planning

As the old saying goes, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail, and that rings especially true with ACM. Because it’s very technology and platform-dependent, you can’t use a one-size-fits-all approach. Even referencing successful tactics from other organizations that implemented the same technology can be challenging – different cultures require different approaches to tech adoption.

Don’t just think about what needs to be done once the solution is implemented. You have to know why you want a change to take place, first and foremost. From there, you must plan what the expected outcome will be, who it will impact, and how you plan to get there. Prepare employees before, and continue to educate them after, providing regular re-trainings — especially if you find that adoption in your organization is low. Communicating your intentions and your plan to employees — and how they will benefit —  is just as important as good training.

Moving ahead with adoption change management

Planning can be difficult due to the subjective nature of ACM, and sometimes it's best to get the help of an expert like SoftwareOne. We offer three main services – Advisory, Adoption Pack, and Adoption Guidance. Our Adapt & Adopt pack covers all 3 in 1 solution that helps you engage with your employees to build lasting change.

You can even combine with other solutions. SoftwareOne's Unified Support for 365 and our 365Simple solutions are for organizations who need ongoing support, productivity and cost optimization, and workload management. With embedded adoption and change management and a dedicated change manager, we help you to consistently get the most out of your Microsoft investment — now and in the future.

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Ensure your adoption & change management success with SoftwareOne

We know how hard it is to get everyone on board. With our help, we can make sure your ACM strategy sticks so your entire organization can reap the benefits for years to come.

Ensure your adoption & change management success with SoftwareOne

We know how hard it is to get everyone on board. With our help, we can make sure your ACM strategy sticks so your entire organization can reap the benefits for years to come.


SoftwareOne blog editorial team

SoftwareOne Redaktionsteam
Trend Scouts

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