In the Salesforce ecosystem, there are a lot of deep discussions around how to make a solution work:
However, what isn’t discussed as early is who we are solutioning for, and how we can make sure they are informed, excited and ready-to-go when a solution goes live. This is Change Management.
Implementing a new solution is like building a new house. We take the time to talk to a solution architect and create a blueprint. We have a team to configure and build the needs, wants and desires of our customers–the same as with a construction crew. We ensure everything is working as expected and fix whatever might not be. You add all the bells and whistles, the fancy light panel and smart home features.
The new homeowners are so excited! But if the team doesn’t take the time to walk the new owners through the manual and teach them how and why they should use all the features, you’re left with a bunch of people walking around in the dark! Learning how to flip on the lights and showing them why they should continue to use the fancy light panel is Change Management.
Change Management is the process of thinking of who will benefit from configuring your Salesforce solution and ensuring they are ready for this change. Not every organization will take the same approach with their business transformation, and that’s okay. For some, change management starts the second they decide to implement something new. For others, the main focus comes as they prepare to build a core team to gather requirements. For all, there must be strong leadership that is willing to lead the charge into change.
To help your organization get excited about change, first you must communicate that change is coming. If people don’t know that change is on the horizon, they may feel blindsided and push back when they are shifted to a new process suddenly. There has to be a reason for this change–a win!
You then need to show why they should embrace change. It’s the embracing and the continued use of what you are implementing that will ensure you see your return on investment. Plan for teaching, training on the new tool or process and, with the support of your strong leadership, encouraging teams to love the change!
We are all busy people, and calendars become packed quickly! If you are anything like me, you manage multiple calendars between family, work and clients. If an event isn’t on the calendar, then that event does not exist. If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, did it really fall?
This concept applies when you think of implementing anything new within your organization. If there is any event, meeting, company on-site, holiday, etc., these must be accounted for in your project plan, and you should do everything in your power to keep these events from conflicting with major milestones within your project.
Time and time again, I’ve seen a sales off-site conflict with UAT or a Go-Live lined up with the busiest time of the fiscal year. Some within your organization will think “No big deal! Sales reps can give a little time here and a little time there.” Unfortunately the project you are trying to implement will suffer as a result. For your Subject Matter Experts (SMEs ), the off-site has been on their calendar way before your UAT/Go-Live/major milestone.
Reminder: Communicate early and if it’s not on the calendar, it doesn’t exist!
If you go into a project with the mindset that everything needs to be on the calendar and the project team will do everything in their power to not double-book those who rely on the success of the project, then you are one step closer to success!
Ensure that your major milestones have everyone’s undivided attention. Confirm that something as important as UAT or your window to train and enable your workforce isn’t competing with something like end of fiscal year financials!
Anytime you change or implement something new, you have to take into consideration how to get important information to all the right people at the right time. Before you start to create an entirely new communication strategy, think of what is already in place! Chances are you have options readily available through existing meetings, channels of communication, and trusted leaders within departments.
Look at department meetings that are regularly scheduled and use them to your advantage. Rather than adding a new meeting to an already busy calendar, find a way to get the right information to the organizer of those existing meetings and leverage them to disseminate new and exciting news regarding your initiative. Let them help you get information across. If you find yourself being the best person to get a particular message out, use these existing meetings as a stop on a virtual roadshow!
Any time you verbally share information with your impacted audience, you’ll want to reinforce that stump speech with something in writing! Let’s be honest here, the average person needs to hear something seven times before it really sticks.
Does your organization leverage platforms such as Teams or Slack? Is email the only tool you use? What about social media?
Know your tools and who manages them. You can divide and conquer to get this important information out. You don’t have to be the only messenger!
Remember to begin with the end in mind and excite those involved from the very beginning. Consider what approach will work best for your organization, don’t double-book, and keep communication lines open. You CAN manage organizational changes effectively!
Senior Consultant at Uptima