It is often said that ‘Change is the only constant’. It was true years ago, and nowadays, with a rapidly changing development taken into account, works even more so. Business is no exception. If anything, events of past months showed us the value of change and transformation into the digital.
But change management was focusing on other processes long before. And for a good reason. Because regardless of its necessity, people are usually against change.
Whether it be because of comfort in routine, worries about the job position, or just being unused to face something new.
Thanks to research dedicated to this phenomenon, we now know we are able to manage many of these problems pretty well. With more realistic expectations, correct communication to employees, the right roll-out of changes and so on.
But alongside digital changes, the process gains even more dangers. Fear of the unknown, fear of losing a job to automation, or high costs due to complexity.
What makes transformation good
The digital transformation itself is basically any change of existing processes into digital. However, the change can have many different forms. From meticulous recreation of processes, to simply flipping a button and telling people to start working with a new program, and all of that is between these two extremes.
And just from the description, you can guess the second way will not be accepted very well. Digital transformation is not just about deploying a new program within the company and letting people lose to work with it.
As we know from change management, you need to have practices in place for the change to be accepted; you must do the same – and more – in digital.
The beauty of digitalization is in all possibilities it brings to us. Most of the tools are customizable almost to a fault these days. One of the hardest things is finding out – between process owner and digital developer – what the ideal process would be for your organization. When everything is possible, it is often very hard to find what could be actually the best.
That however can not be achieved just by buying a box of software. It is a long-term process – that is more often about asking questions and examining processes, then development alone. The more complex the solution the harder it is.
And it does not end with creating a program or system. Even with the best intentions on both sides, of owner and developer, the true change will only be visible, when the program is handed to actual employees. Only then we will see all the problems and room for improvement. There is a difference between Intentional Design use and User Experience.
How to make sure transformation is accepted
To hand over finished products to employees and wishing them good luck is unfortunately not enough. Even in a well-designed project and well-analyzed process, you can never expect to have a solution for absolutely everything.
So Hyper care and support for new systems are offered not just to raise a price. They are crucial for actual successful implementation. With new requests often coming even during development alone, some way to patch up and ease the transition can be the difference between a failed project and both sides leaving happy.
Improvements and changes from actual employees, who have a chance to work with the system in a live environment, are equally important for successful development, and they allow the change to A) be accepted, and B) bring value.
What can otherwise happen, more often than not, is the users adjusting the new system in the old way, or even actively sabotaging it.
Unfortunately, there is no shortcut, other than experience, analysis, and testing. If it seems like a lot of work, well it is. However, with advancing technology, the question of digitalization stopped being of “if”, but rather “when”.
All you can do is to find a program with the best match for your needs and implement it with a company with the greatest experience in your field. But the rest is just hard work on both sides. And not only in development, or design creation, but all the way till after they are handed to users.
Because another thing with the ever-changing environment we are finding ourselves in is that there is always something more to do.