IT implementation with change management best practices - should aim at improving customer experience.
Digital is the age of the customer, being a customer-centric business is in every forward-thinking organization’s agenda. Corporate IT plays a significant role in digitizing every touch point of customer experience and sharpening key business capabilities. IT implementations are core to strategic changes today. However, many IT organizations fail to reach customers’ expectation fully. Did it achieve the original objective? Did the customer experience actually improve significantly? And, how sustainable is the change or would it break down? Has the entire organization embraced it well? What are the IT change management principles & implementation best practices?
Leadership sponsorship is critical in IT change management. Leadership involvement, particularly the leaders who really need the changes and have sponsored it, throughout the journey is low or sporadic- either due to underestimation of the need to be involved or overestimation of the executor's capabilities. Few communication activities don’t create that awareness, and change management is the day to day activity. So it’s important to build up an uninterrupted channel which will keep articulating about management vision and expectations from such IT initiatives. The channel should also enable training so as to make the change management process easier; to convert cynics to the project champions who are the best opinion makers. Of course, that helps organizations to embrace the change better. However, for many of the IT initiatives, such channels do exist as a formality or the deliverable but driven by a weak leader, so it becomes ineffective. It must be driven by a leader who has power, influence, and respect and to a certain extent he or she should be feared.
Set clear perspectives on how IT change management efforts affect customers and corporate brand. There should be enough collective experience in any organization these days on change management to take the changes with systematic steps and measure the results accordingly. But often all along implementation, the same business, and user community put its complete resistance as the majority of the time, management has not made clear about their intentions and goals while embarking on such IT initiative. In very few implementations, customers are making the effort to ascertain how a "day in the life" of any worker at any level (from labor to management) will be impacted due to this IT initiative. Apart from the 'normal' best practices, the following two aspects differentiate a successful IT change management effort from a failed one:
1). A Clear understanding of the monetary benefits the customer is going to realize the intended change. If a project is important and a game changer, the budget will come for it...
2). More importantly, take a serious awareness of the adverse impact (monetary as well as brand value) due to the failed change.
IT is business, and the very purpose of businesses is to create customers. Hence, IT change management effort and project implementation are not just pure technical challenges, or for the tools sake, keep the end in mind and delight customer are the principles, the design is the one of the best practices, in order to improve IT performance, agility, and organizational maturity.