Organizations don’t change but people can change the organization. Your staff and customers are critical to success. A recent survey indicated that 83% of organizations believe change resistance is inhibiting the organization from realizing the value of their ITSM initiative.
With technology changing rapidly, if an IT organization is unable to harness change and leverage it to the organization’s advantage, they will continue to struggle with customer and employee satisfaction. If organizations are to recognize the value of an ITSM related initiative, they must take steps to minimize change resistance.
What are the top 3 actions you can take to minimize change resistance?
At AdOPT, we are transformation consultants focused on strategy, process, and culture to increase effectiveness, improve efficiency, and optimize costs. We wrote the book on organizational change in IT. For more information about our Change Adoption course, vision and strategy development, or other services, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 520-591-2427.
Senior leaders usually define IT transformation initiatives. After the initial vision and strategy is outlined, it usually falls to the next layer of management to work through the details. Often, the organization experiences delays in achieving the outcome and they never achieve the expected return on investment.
Why does this happen?
Management has staff that are busy handling the day to day operations. Their normal course of action is to shield their teams from projects that will take up their time. They participate in projects for them. With critical initiatives such as IT transformation, staff at all levels within the IT organization must participate to ensure the right outcomes and facilitate buy in.
A manager is monitoring the work, developing the team, and helping staff work through barriers to complete their operational responsibilities but they aren’t actually doing the work. They don’t know the details of what it takes to get the job done. When working on transformation activities, the IT transformation team needs to know the reality of how the work gets done. Without this information, they often pursue improvement opportunities that will offer little in terms of efficiency, effectiveness, or cost savings. Many times, the team won’t recognize the true root cause of the issue until they’ve spent time and money on improvement actions.
In addition, when frontline staff are not involved in defining the changes associated with the initiative, they are less likely to adopt the changes in a timely manner. They won’t initially change the way they work or they will make the change and then revert back to the old way of doing things.
Engaging staff at all levels within the IT organization is critical to success however; we must also address another critical audience – the customer.
With any IT transformation, the result will be changes to how the organization identifies services, makes investments, organizes to handle the work, manages services, and interfaces with their customers. Changes within IT directly affect your customers and end users.
How does an IT organization know the critical components of an IT transformation initiative without engaging their customers? Engagement of the customer requires more than a hallway conversation or a review of customer satisfaction data. Critical customers should be engaged in transformation strategy discussions. They will need a seat at the table.
Once the initial transformation goals and objectives are defined, end users should be engaged to understand their existing experience with IT and their recommendations for improvement.
Throughout the initiative, customer and end user feedback should be incorporated into key decision making. Open communication regarding decisions and key changes is critical.
IT customers and end users can provide a wealth of information which can help to formulate plans and activities. They can also become true partners in achieving the intended outcomes.
IT transformation requires more than a solid vision, strategy, objectives, and plan, it requires feedback and engagement of staff and customers at all levels in the organization.
At AdOPT, we are transformation consultants focused on strategy, innovation process, and culture to increase effectiveness, improve efficiency, and optimize costs. We wrote the book on organizational change in IT. For more information about our Change Adoption Workshop, vision and strategy development, or other services, contact us at email@example.com or by calling 520-591-2427.
Research shows that projects are six times more likely to meet the objectives and budget when organizations managed the people side of change effectively.
What constitutes managing the people side of change effectively? Many IT organizations believe communication alone is effective. While communication is an integral part of any change initiative, it should be part of a much more comprehensive solution.
To manage the people side of change effectively, we must evaluate and address the overall environment. The focus should be adoption of change rather than the implementation.
IT organizations tend to focus on implementation. When focusing solely on implementation, it is easy to neglect critical areas that can impact the success of the initiative.
4 Critical Areas to Address
While the list below is not comprehensive, it does represent four critical areas that must be addressed to maximize the opportunity for success with your IT initiative. Teams planning for change within IT or within the user community should evaluate…
1) the individual roles of those affected and the short and long term effects of the change on their jobs, their department, and the division
2) performance and reward systems to ensure they are aligned and support the changes in behavior that are required for success
3) how the changes can be anchored in the organization to ensure that behaviors and activities do not revert back to business as usual once the initial momentum has faded
4) the skills and abilities of those responsible for managing the day to day operations while the changes are occurring to ensure they are adequately prepared to support the staff during a period of uncertainty
Notice that none of the areas noted above tie directly to communication related activities yet they are all critical. All four of the areas are commonly overlooked.
To maximize the opportunity for success, focus on the long term adoption of change rather than implementation. Implementation focuses on a point in time activity while adoption focuses on reinforcing a long term commitment to the change resulting in embedding the new processes, procedures, technology, and behaviors into the foundation of the organization.
At AdOPT, we are transformation consultants focused on strategy, innovation, process, and culture to increase effectiveness, improve efficiency, and optimize costs. We wrote the book on organizational change in IT. For more information about our ITSM Adoption workshop, vision and strategy development, or other services, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 520-591-2427.
Organizational shifts in IT such as adopting various good practices and building them into the organizational DNA are a slow process. They require culture change that often takes years to complete. Along the way the IT employees experience highs and lows often accompanied by periods of intense pressure to demonstrate forward momentum and resolve issues. In the midst of these changes, the IT organization must continue to be effective with the day to day operations associated with supporting their customers.
The relentless pace of change over a long period often creates change fatigue leaving employees feeling exhausted and wondering if it is all worthwhile yet the organization must continue to move forward to achieve their objectives and they must continue to support their customers effectively and efficiently. This scenario is tricky to manage. If change fatigue goes unmanaged, the organization faces several risks relating to employee retention and engagement which will ultimately have a negative effect on the transformation initiative.
Change during periods of IT transformation must be calibrated to account for both the goals and objectives of the organization and the culture. The development of strategic plans and subsequent projects as well as day to day operational management must consider how to revitalize fatigued staff throughout the entire transformation initiative.
To maximize the opportunity for success with an IT transformation, leaders must carefully observe the organization focusing not only on transformation and employee engagement metrics but other key indicators of change fatigue such an increase in attrition, a decrease in customer satisfaction, and the frequent reallocation of resources. Organizational change and project plans must be recalibrated throughout the initiative with the schedule and resource allocation being adjusted as necessary to allow for the IT department, key resources, and customers to take a break from the constant momentum of change to recognize and celebrate the progress to date.
At AdOPT, we are transformation consultants focused on strategy, process, and culture to increase effectiveness, improve efficiency, and optimize costs. We wrote the book on organizational change in IT. For more information about our Change Adoption workshop, vision and strategy development, or other services, contact us at email@example.com or by calling 520-591-2427.
"Change Adoption: Building a Plan for Organizational Acceptance" - a 2 Day Workshop focused on enabling leaders to be successful with managing change in IT. For more information, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 520-591-2427.
Developing a strong IT Service Management (ITSM) strategy can be a challenge for some IT organizations. Every organization is different with IT supporting a business that has their own vision, mission, objectives, and core values. Many IT organizations are also still evolving as they are working to change how they are viewed within the company. Rather than being a cost center or a barrier, they are taking steps to align or integrate with the business providing value by offering a more consultative approach to solving business problems.
The ITSM strategy should be helping to guide the IT organization toward achieving the vision defined for the organization. If the organization is focused on integrating with the business and aligning technology investments with the existing or changing business needs, the ITSM strategy should provide a roadmap for accomplishing this vision. Building the strategy may sound easy but many organizations have difficulty defining an ITSM strategy that works.
A strong ITSM strategy will
· focus on the future but recognize that the past is an important indicator of performance. Past challenges and successes are learning opportunities. If the IT organization recognizes past performance, future plans will tend to be more grounded in reality.
· be grounded by the business goals and objectives but it must also consider changing technologies, the competitive landscape, and market trends. Many IT organizations will focus solely on the internal business and changing technology. Understanding trends in the broader industry as well as activities occurring with your competitors can often result in some innovative technology solutions which will help further the business’s growth or enhance the overall brand.
· consider different scenarios and options that could occur based on business performance or changes with technology. Scenario analysis can help the IT organization understand how alternative actions can impact the organization. It is also helpful to understand how the IT organization can influence changes in the organization.
· include clearly articulated action plans, which at a high level, outlines related projects, next steps, and defines accountability/sponsorship for a set of actions.
· maintain the appropriate level of detail. In IT, we often want to dive into the details but with ITSM strategy, we need to focus on the direction of ITSM in the organization. Avoid allowing the strategy to become tactical. The strategy does not need to include detailed project plans relating to execution.
· consider the impact of people on achieving the strategy. Many organizations acknowledge that the IT and business staff can impact the velocity and success of change in the organization but few consider organizational change when they develop their ITSM strategy. To maximize the opportunity for success, consider incorporating strategies associated with the adoption of change by the IT and business staff.
· routinely be reviewed and updated. Your ITSM strategy will change over time and it should revisited on a regular basis. When reviewing the strategy, also revisit the key metrics defined during the planning process.
For more information on how you can ensure your ITSM strategy is solid, contact us at email@example.com.
At AdOPT, we are transformation consultants focused on strategy, process, and culture to increase effectiveness, improve efficiency, and optimize costs. We wrote the book on organizational change in IT. For more information about our ITSM Adoption workshop, vision and strategy development, or other services, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 520-591-2427.
Recent research shows that 48% of IT related changes fail as the IT organization fails to ensure that changes can be sustained. When the going gets tough, the organizations throw in the towel. They blame the technology or the process as causing the problem. They organization may even say that the goals they set were too lofty.
Unfortunately, the reason behind the failure is rarely attributed to the true root cause. The organization did not plan for sustainment of the change. The IT Service Provider did not consider how to influence the behaviors and attitudes that exist within their culture.
Most likely, the IT Service Provider didn’t acknowledge this as a potential issue as the leaders involved didn’t realize they would have a problem. Often, people don’t realize they resist change. Everyone at some point in their lives has been change resistant. We don’t set out to resist change. We may not even realize it when it happens…..but it does happen.
Consider the last major change that directly impacted you at work. How did you react? Stop and really consider your reaction and your activities in the weeks following the change. What changed in your attitude or behavior?
If you were involved in designing the change and defining the end result, your reaction may have been minor. Now imagine that you weren’t involved at all. You found out about the change via email or it was announced in a meeting. Take a moment to consider how you would have reacted. Your reaction would probably be very different. The change would be harder for you to accept.
To enable the adoption and long term sustainment of change, engage those affected in defining the change. They will feel a sense of ownership toward the end result. Rather than reverting back to old behaviors when something goes wrong, they will be more likely to improve upon the change already in place. The result will be a stronger solution. Engaging the IT staff that are closest to the work will put you one step closer to achieving the intended result of your ITSM improvement actions.
For more information about steps you can take to encourage long term sustainment of ITSM related change, contact us at email@example.com.
At AdOPT, we are transformation consultants focused on strategy, process, and culture to increase effectiveness, improve efficiency, and optimize costs. We wrote the book on organizational change in IT. For more information about our ITSM Adoption workshop or other services, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 520-591-2427.
What is the value of the Service Desk in your organization?
A.) They are a strategic asset to the organization. They effectively manage end user’s IT related issues and we view them as being IT’s most knowledgeable resources about the customer’s experience with technology. We often consider their recommendations when evaluating IT and business strategy.
B.) They deal with end user issues. They are necessary evil to protect our expensive IT resources from answering customer calls yet they still escalate too many incidents to the next level.
If you answered “B” as the Service Desk is considered a necessary evil, you should consider if the Service Desk could bring additional value to the organization and evaluate the root cause of their current situation.
Mature Service Desks can provide tremendous value to the organization. They understand the end user experience. They know how to troubleshoot an issue often gaining valuable knowledge about the business process and how technology enables the required outcome. Experienced Service Desk agents will recommend workarounds to an end user which will allow them to complete critical tasks even if the root cause of an incident has not been addressed. They often keep the end users productive while their technical issues are being addressed.
The mature Service Desk understands customer impact. They recognize the business impact of technology issues and this can be translated into a cost to the business. This department has a wealth of information about which technologies are causing inefficiencies in the business or creating unnecessary interruptions in productivity.
The relationships developed with the business, the focus on productivity, and the information relating to customer impact are all strategic assets. This department provides tremendous value to the organization yet many times, this value is not realized.
Why isn’t your Service Desk a strategic asset? Why isn’t the Service Desk providing significant value to the organization? Consider the following top three reasons that Service Desks aren’t positioned to mature into strategic assets:
When evaluating your Service Desk, consider if they are positioned to mature into a strategic asset. If not, steps should be taken to remove the barriers to success.
Written By: Pamela Erskine
Are your customers able to navigate the service catalog? Can they find the services they need? Often, IT Service Providers embark on an initiative to implement a service catalog only to find little benefit. In some cases, the service catalog actually creates dissatisfaction in their customer community as their customers can’t find what they need, they have additional questions about the service, or their requests take a long time to fulfill.
Key Steps for Success with Your Service Catalog Initiative
Introducing a service catalog should be a win for the IT Service Provider. You are creating a channel that allows the customer to better understand IT services and the value they bring to their organization. Engaging the customer at key points during service identification and catalog development and preparing the IT organization to effective manage the service catalog and efficiently and effectively deliver on requests will maximize your opportunity for success.
I’ve been changing a lot of the technology in my life. I upgraded my laptop with the new Windows operating system, my cell phone, and I’ve changed my corporate email account – all in a period of four weeks.
These upgrades have been filled with excitement over new features but also the frustration of learning new ways of working. Over the last few weeks, I’ve received emails that have huge buttons indicating if I click, I’ll get to check out the new features and functionality only to be let down when I click and the link takes me to something totally different. I was so excited about using some online meeting functionality that when the link failed to take me to anything related to an online meeting and I couldn’t figure out how to navigate to the functionality, I asked a colleague to figure it out. He spent about an hour looking for it and he was also at a loss.
I’ve been in technology for a long time. Granted, I’ve been in leadership or consulting for fifteen years but I’m still somewhat tech savvy. If I can’t find some of the functionality or settings that are cited by major vendors, how can someone without a technology background stand a chance?
My recent experience provided me with some great examples of how technologists and technology companies can become closer to the technology than their customer. They lose site of the customer’s objectives and the overall experience.
To everyone in the tech field, please review your customer’s objectives throughout the service lifecycle and seek feedback from uninvolved, non-technical resources prior to sending out your marketing material, technical manuals, service level documents, customer notifications, or other customer facing material. Take the time to ensure that you aren’t too close to the technology, the situation, and the material. The feedback you gain will be invaluable to ensuring alignment with the customer’s needs and providing a positive customer experience.