Thursday, July 19, 2018

How to Set Digital IT Change Agenda

Crafting an IT change agenda is important to ensure that IT is strategically positioned to be ahead of where the business is moving next.

Digital businesses become more dynamic and hyperconnected, change is the new normal with faster pace and velocity. IT faces an unprecedented opportunity to refine its reputation, also needs to take more responsibility as a true business partner. CIOs have to get the IT change agenda ready, have access to both internal and external resources for achieving the desired ROI and running high-performance digital IT organization. IT needs to proactively participate in business conversations. Change is not for its own sake, every change needs to have a noble business purpose and a well-set business agenda. Change is a dance between the top management and the affected parts of the organization, and change is an ongoing business capability.

IT needs to well engage in business conversations, to get as many people pulling in the same direction: IT change agenda, needs to get support from front desks to the boardroom. CIOs should be able to talk with business unit leaders, share the technological vision and get the business buy-in. Most of the business changes, especially the large-scale transformation definitely need technology to make it happen as today no business is independent of IT or rather IT has become now business technology. IT leaders need to involve the executives across functions to make sure that all of the management is on board and educated well on the change objectives and how to carry them out effectively.

Take the logical scenario to gain change curve awareness: To improve the change success rate, understanding the learning curve needs to be the prerequisite that comes before the change can actually take place. The learning curve is applicable to everyone even those who planned and conceived the vision for change. Digital leaders should motivate people to acquire the relevant knowledge, develop change competency, and truly make change happening. Be prepared, be flexible and be skillful to ride the learning curve. For IT-driven changes, CIOs with technology awareness should understand how to capture digital technology trends and well apply the right technology to meet the business’s need. Change Management is a journey, not just a one-time business initiate, riding ahead of the change curve takes both principles and practices, strategy and methodology.

Take multi-step iterative processes for change management: Nowadays, change happened in a nonlinear way with a faster pace. Different IT organizations and enterprise as a whole are at a different stage of business maturity. All stages must be handled with attention and proficiency to ensure change success. One of the biggest pitfalls for managing the large-scale of changes is that the change managers don’t have the big picture business oversight, sometimes, they focus on improving one part of an organization at the expense of other parts of the organization. To make effective organizational scope changes, you have to maintain and fix any imbalance in key business elements such as people, process, and technology, by establishing a cross-functional change team to involve the management of different business functions. It is also critical to take multi-step iterative processes for change management. For example, interrelational management processes are developed to help reduce tensions, frictions, and conflict that arise; and cross-functional interactive management processes helps to communicate concepts with clarity and encourage two-way feedback. Without taking the systematic processes, the change will become much harder and uncontrolled, with the high possibility to fail.

Make change deliverables continually:
There are both incremental changes and radical changes, change management is a journey with continuous delivery. Change requires tools, training, and practices in order for the participants to feel comfortable that the service level they provide will continue to improve with the same or reduced effort. To adapt to the increasing speed of changes and manage a smooth IT change continuum, organizations have to be more nimble about updating technology and make change deliverables continually. There are significant change deliverables that must be tied to all change plans, try to improve, develop, and change everything in a prioritized order as long as it creates the long-term value than it costs to achieve. IT-driven digital transformation is the journey of continuous delivery and improvement.

Manage the “End-to-end” Change Management Performance: In today's work environment, change indeed is difficult to measure unless all parties involved in the change take ownership of the change and see why and what the change is about. When the need for change becomes apparent, the management should turn the spotlight on measures and incentives as drivers of behavior, creators of sub-optimal decisions and the eventual poor outcomes. Change Management shouldn’t be a conundrum, to make change sustain, the important thing is "end-to-end" performance. Ultimately, the success of the change program is measured by results that are important values to the organization, and the cultural adoption of these goals is part of that measure. A change manager needs to assess and evaluate every specific scenario to create the change program success.

The increasing speed of changes forces IT leaders to get really creative on how they architect and implement change. Crafting an IT change agenda is important to ensure that IT is strategically positioned to be ahead of where the business is moving next, change also becomes an ongoing business capability; changing is easier than maintaining the status quo, and people ensure learning, changing, and innovation. All of those are fundamental to run a dynamic digital business to radiate the positive energy and unlock the collective potential.


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