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Change Management: Transformation Impact Booster

The success of the digital transformation depends on employees’ commitment to innovate. With a change management concept that is based on process know-how, as well as business and IT expertise, this commitment can be activated and employees inspired. Clear strategies, structured approaches and effective bidirectional communication play a key role in this.

Whether new data-driven business models, sustainable value chains or the integration of AI: Technological change is taking place in ever shorter cycles. To exploit this potential of innovation, global market leaders are implementing major transformation programs. However, in all discussions about technology, people must not be forgotten. Some employees are immediately eager and enthusiastic to embrace the new, but for others, the associated entry into the unknown is initially fraught with negative emotions.

The greatest lever for turning strategies and plans into reality is therefore professional, structured and empathetic support for change through change management. Change management puts people at the center of the change by not only providing support but also making the change process understandable, interesting and rewarding. This transforms employees from skeptical observers into active drivers of change. In this way, change management is a key success factor and a real transformation impact booster.

 

Many areas of expertise involved

Despite the descriptive adjective, digital transformation is not a matter for IT alone. Change encompasses a wide variety of contexts, such as redesigning business processes, rethinking established ways of thinking and working and reorganizing structures and hierarchies within the company. The classic methods of change management must therefore be enriched with process know-how as well as business and IT expertise. In this way, bridges can be successfully built between IT and the business units, silos can be broken down and employees can be effectively integrated into the transformation process.

Creating important prerequisites

A structured approach is crucial for successful change management. First, a clear strategy with a set of objectives is developed to ensure a uniform approach. Setting measurable goals and milestones also enables effective evaluation of progress. This also ensures a uniform perception of the project’s success.

It is essential to address the specific effects of the change on future users, their work processes and their relationship structures very early on in the project and to integrate employees at an early stage. As part of change management, important analyses are carried out in advance, such as the stakeholder analysis. This involves looking closely at the parts of the organization in which the changes are to be implemented and who they will affect and in what form.

Change networks are established based on the results of the stakeholder analysis. These multipliers at all hierarchical levels provide active support by communicating to their network and obtaining feedback. Their role is to build a bridge between the decision-makers and employees to ensure that all relevant perspectives are taken into account. These committed multipliers provide valuable insights into where adjustments or reworking are still necessary in order to optimize the change process. The multipliers provide those affected by the change with an important communication channel and opportunities to help shape the process. Those affected thus become participants.

A core element of change management is the change impact analysis. This represents a visualization of all changes that are relevant for internal and external stakeholder groups, business units, and regional and international organizational units in the company across all processes. The expected changes due to the modified business processes are documented in detail. The change impact analysis makes it possible to identify the effects at an early stage and take targeted measures to make the transition as smooth as possible.

Communication must not be a one-way street. Employees can only become supporters and enthusiastic drivers of change if they are adequately informed and can help shape the process.
Alexandra von Aufschnaiter
Senior Manager

Let everyone speak 

The effectiveness of change management depends largely on effective communication. It is important to formulate a clear change story, which describes background, purpose and goal of the transformation. People should be able to understand the “why” and the importance of the project. Communication plans must be carefully created and implemented in a target group-oriented manner for the entire duration of the project. This usually involves using communication methods that are already known and proven within the company. At the same time, these methods are often supplemented and combined with innovative approaches.

Communication must not be a one-way street. Employees can only become supporters and enthusiastic drivers of change if they are adequately informed and can help shape the process. It is essential to obtain regular feedback throughout the duration of the project. This includes establishing regular feedback loops to evaluate how the situation is for everyone involved and where adjustments need to be made.

Outlook

Change management is not a decorative accessory, it is a direct prerequisite for the success of transformation projects. Effective bidirectional communication and opportunities for participation and feedback play a key role here.

Based on the concrete change, analyzed with the business and process know-how of the consultants of the world market leaders, we accompany transformation projects with holistic change management. Can we help you with your digital transformation? Please feel free to contact us.

Authors

Alexandra von Aufschnaiter
Senior Manager
Isabelle Ehrler
Senior Consultant