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5.2 min to readDigital Workplace

Starting your adoption change management strategy

SoftwareOne blog editorial team
Blog Editorial Team
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Technological advancement has been happening at a fast pace for a couple of decades now. However, the new changes put in place by remote work combined with the increasing pressure to stay as productive as possible are pushing organizations to implement even more tech than before.

When it comes to the introduction of those new technologies, processes, or ways of working, many organizations have difficulties in formulating the “Why?” and their efforts end up failing due to outdated or poorly practiced Adoption & Change Management (ACM). Some organizations don’t stop to ask why employees rely on certain tools, what they expect from those tools, or how new software could improve their day-to-day life.

Businesses around the world tend to rely on tried and true methods – changing processes, retraining, etc. — but the conventional methods won’t stick under these extraordinary circumstances without a concerted ACM strategy. If you want an ACM strategy that creates lasting change, you must start with the “why”. Here’s why organizations like yours have a hard time pulling together a reason for change, and how an ACM strategy can help map out the necessary next steps.

The importance of adoption & change management: formulating the WHY

An ideal situation would entail migrating your workloads to the cloud and immediately getting the desired results — more productive employees, skyrocketing staff engagement rates, and efficient and collaborative project completion. However, we don’t live in an ideal world, and applications take time and encouragement in order to get the most of newly implemented deployments.

This is why the "why" is so important.

Because at its core, change management deals with the people side of change. Newly implemented technologies may never see their full potential if the employees don’t embrace the change as an organization, and for them to embrace the new initiative, they’re going to want to know why there’s a change and how it will benefit them in the future. An effective adoption change management strategy will provide a structured plan to help employees know why they need new technology while also guiding them in understanding how to use it.

Once you formulate the "why" of the new technology implementation, it’s key that you stay in communication with everyone — from top-level executives to those on the front lines — about how those changes will personally affect each group. Once they know why something is being done, and how it will benefit them, they’re more likely to embrace, adopt, and use this new technology in their

Challenges associated with ACM

There are bound to be challenges associated with managing change, the first being that employees don’t always know if they will benefit from using new tools, especially when the old ones are so familiar. Change is hard, and for the implementation to be successful, you need to have a plan for how that resistance will be managed.

You must motivate people to alter their behavior and buy into the new technology but it isn't a one-size-fits-all proposition. Each group will be impacted in different ways, which is why you need to proactively work with the various departments to figure out what will get people to adopt the new processes and achieve new performance expectations. This can make it difficult to track if employees are continuing to build on their knowledge and use the platform when an adoption push is finished.

Also, large solutions like Microsoft 365 can compound problems with adoption. They have a lot of tools that are overlooked or underutilized – this can become too overwhelming for employees to learn in a short time.

Combine all of these challenges with an unclear reason behind the change, and you have a recipe for disaster – or at the least, a failure in the implementation process. To avoid that scenario, communicating the value of adoption change management is critical at every step in the process. Tailor your communication efforts on targeting the right message, to the right audience, and always solicit feedback about the process so any necessary changes can be made. Be sure that you don’t oversell the benefits of the new technology or undersell any possible challenges – be upfront, and you’ll be better equipped to handle those inevitable challenges.

Steps to start building an adoption & change management strategy

Whether you’re implementing new technology, process updates, compliance initiatives, or reorganization, change is inevitable and necessary for growing your bottom line. Follow the steps below to start building an ACM strategy.

  1. Evaluate technologies in need of adoption: The first step is to identify what should be improved and the goals of the implementation process. Outline which technologies will need to be adopted, what resources will be needed to encourage adoption, and which employee groups will be impacted by the change.
  2. Create a roadmap: A roadmap provides a detailed plan that clearly outlines every step, measurable targets, incentives, measurements, and analysis. Now is also the time to identify resources to be leveraged, the scope or objective, and any associated costs.
  3. Communicate your plans: This is critical, and you need to make sure everyone involved in the ACM knows their role, the process, necessary skills and training, and any additional steps required for the execution — and how this new technology will benefit them and how they do their job.
  4. Begin training: Things won’t happen overnight, so build adequate time into the training process and consider a tiered approach over a couple of weeks, giving those involved time to absorb the information. And remember that not everyone learns the same way, so offer visual training, printable material, and access to the technology for hands-on experience.
  5. Retrain as needed: Training before the implementation isn’t the end of the process. You will need to be continuously reviewing and revising to ensure everyone is executing on the highest level needed to achieve project success. This also helps you identify and remove any roadblocks that you might incur.
  6. Reinforce the change: Newly adopted behaviors must be triggered again and again in order to sustainably anchor them in our behavior. A set of BEAN's can be a useful support for this. The acronym BEANs stands for behavior enablers, artifacts, and nudges. Behavior enablers are tools or processes that make it easier for people to do something differently. Artifacts—things you can see and touch—support the new behavior. And nudges, a tactic drawn from behavioral science, promote change through indirect suggestion and reinforcement.

Final Thoughts

Change is hard, and sometimes it requires bringing in an expert like SoftwareOne. Our Adoption Pack is a tailored offering to help companies that are preparing to launch new business applications and features.

It includes expert guidance, helps you grow the adoption of Microsoft 365 business applications, increases business productivity and efficiency, and frees up internal resources. SoftwareOne  helps you drive a successful adoption and change management program for transitioning to a new way of working — giving you not only the "why", but also providing the "how".

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Prepare your remote workers for change

Our Adoption Change Management team can help your remote workers learn to love new technology.

Prepare your remote workers for change

Our Adoption Change Management team can help your remote workers learn to love new technology.


SoftwareOne blog editorial team

Blog Editorial Team

We analyse the latest IT trends and industry-relevant innovations to keep you up-to-date with the latest technology.