In past posts I’ve written about how the implementation of a new ALIM system brings change in systems (tech), processes and people, and that change management in all three areas is crucial to a successful implementation.
Thankfully, I find that many organizations assume that change management is necessary, especially when a large number of people will be affected by the project. But I’ve seen too many cases where good attempts to predict the challenges and manage the change were made, only to have projects stall weeks or months after some early success. Some indicators are: far fewer people using the system than expected after it’s been in production for “months”. Or…while trying to expand the use of the system, every department/project lead questions the value when you try to implement for his/her org/project.
Many times it appears to me that most, if not all, of the change management activities are front end loaded in the implementation project…which can lead the project’s leads to assume that change management is “done”. Be careful not to be lulled to sleep by early progress, and be sure to have a good change management plan for the duration of the project.
See the warning below from Dan Cohen’s book The Heart of Change.
“However, it is essential to recognize the dangers that can follow short-term successes, and to realize that the change process can still fail to take root. It is not unusual for leaders to lose focus at this point, to celebrate prematurely and relax rather than redouble their efforts. Thus, the challenge for leaders is…to continue conveying their drive and commitment to employees and managers in order to sustain action through full implementation of the change…”