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Digital Transformation

The Slow Adoption of Change Management

shutterstock_67128502_350In a recent Perficient webinar, The Internal Impacts of a Digital Transformation, a real-time poll was taken on the topic of whether participants and their respective organizations had a team in place responsible for Organizational Change Management (OCM)? Not surprisingly, less than one in three did.

The good news is that figure is infinitely higher than it was 10-15 years ago. The bad news is that it’s still not nearly enough. Why are the figures so low? There are a couple of reasons.

First, Change Management is a relatively young discipline. Originally taking shape in the mid-1970s but not really coming into its own until the mid-to-late 1990s, the practice itself, as a formal entity, has only been around about twenty years. When you think about it, that makes a lot of sense. It was in the 1980s when project work, spurred by the integration of computer technology, really took off. Then, it took us a handful of years to figure out why our projects weren’t realizing the results we were promised – most frequently, the lack of user adoption and engagement. Hence, the advent of a discipline geared towards ensure people are ready for the pending change, driving to increased adoption, resulting in achieving target ROIs.

Secondly, the Change Management practitioner skillset is somewhat unique, and like, for example, and IT staffer, the skillset may not be in line with delivering a company’s revenue-generating product. Does this mean that it’s not an important component of any successful organization? By no means! But what it does mean is that many companies choose not to invest in Change practitioners because they don’t drive the top line.

The reality is that Change Management IS a critical component of any successful organization, and more specifically, its projects. What good is a new system that people aren’t ready for, bought in, and know how to use? Very tangibly, that lack of user engagement WILL negatively impact your target ROI.

So, for the 33% of you that have an internal organization built around Change Management – good for you! You will and likely have seen positive employee engagement, successful projects, and a positive corporate culture. For those that don’t, consider the benefits of investing in Change Management work. Whether you build the capability internally, or outsource it to a third-party, you’ll see the difference on your next project. You, and your bottom line, will be glad you did!

Thoughts on “The Slow Adoption of Change Management”

  1. While reading this I couldn\’t help but think of what skill set would be necessary for this type of position. Obviously, this isn\’t a easy position to fill as it involves someone who can properly identify, manage, analyze and coach. Although this is just a few of the many, I find these to be the most apparent. Identifying and managing talent on hand and properly allocating these resources to accomplish certain project tasks most efficiently might be the top two, followed by the ability to coach these individuals, communicating what needs to be accomplished and how. Identifying and analyzing digital transformation risk should be mentioned as well as how to handle these situations.

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David Chapman

David is the General Manager for Perficient's Organizational Change Management practice, part of the Strategic Advisors Team. He has over twenty years of consulting experience and resides in Charlotte, North Carolina. Be sure to also check out David’s personal blog. It focuses on collaboratively building the breadth and depth of our collective change management knowledge based on insights and experiences shared to help one another grow.

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