Using Organizational Change Management to Fuel Your JDE Initiatives

Transcript from session at INFOCUS Envision 2021 – Part 2

Tom Colbert: 

We’re going to talk briefly about organizational change management. And if you look at what Dan and Jason talked about in terms of those top nine projects that JD Edwards customers are doing, upgrades, reduce in modules, processing improvements, integrations, dealing with acquisitions or rollouts, and et cetera. Really all those point to an organization also needing to be change agile. Nothing stays static. And so change management becomes a key component. So even smaller changes, and I’ll contend that even an upgrade, may be more difficult than a net new change, because you’re asking people to take a process that’s quite similar or a knowledge based in terms of a system quite similar and making smaller adjustments to it in improvements, and sometimes that’s harder to get that habitual operating to change.  

It’s important to take a look at change management as you start to improve your systems and your processes and your business operations. So we’ll touch a little bit on OCM. One of the problems with a lot of projects and a lot of organizations is that folks tend to manage risk in their rear view mirror, so to speak, and it’s a tossing of the dice or it’ll take care of itself. We need to be really purposeful with change and change management. The biggest wild card you have for any type of change is your people, your people are your biggest wildcard. And so if we don’t address that side and very specifically, you run risks in your project. 

Intro to Change Management

So, what is organizational change management? We integrated into our methodology and it’s a huge component for effective long-term sustainability, but it’s really about the human side of that technology and business process. It’s about supporting that. It’s about understanding the change that’s going to be implemented, incremental or large scale. Identifying those individuals who are going to have to change and supporting them, connecting them with the drivers that do that, and then creating very specific strategies and tasks and actions that will drive the adoption, the rapid end user adoption of that change.  

It’s not as simple as just doing project management on steroids. It’s not the touchy feely, just making everybody feel good about it. It is a business decision to help you drive the success and the value you get out of your system and your business processes. So kind of my running joke and I don’t have very good jokes, but my background is clinical and organizational psychology. So I bring to the table with our change management processes, not only the structure around OCM, but also around how do you get people to make that change? The people part of it. And I was working with a woman… I do also private practice counseling and real sharp young woman getting her PhD and wanting to be a high school principal. 

She started talking, she was saying, “Tom, I talked about change. You talked about change. So, in one sentence, tell me what is change.” So like every good therapist who doesn’t know what to say at the moment I say, “well, what do you think change is?” Change is new information. It’s a new mindset. It’s a new way of doing things, but growth is the application of that information. And so when you think about the things that Dan and Jason talked about and what you’re looking to continue to grow within your organization, the key pieces, the change is that new set of processes, that new module, that new tweak to the system, but your success is going to be on how your folks apply that. And that really is the essence of OCM and why we look for that. 

The Role of OCM in JD Edwards Enablement Projects

Oftentimes the first starting point we look for is the difference between installation and realization. A lot of organizations just kind of stop at installation  installing the system. We’re just going to solve a piece of that, of the new processes, a new module we’re going to upgrade, and that should take care of it. And that’s a huge component of what you’re looking to do in your projects. And you can see the key players in that, again, project governance, product management, your core functional teams, technology, and some OCM. But if you’re looking for the realization, the realization is realizing those business values, the benefits, the longterm sustainability of what you’re looking for. That’s when you start going into the area of where OCM comes a big role in that, because that’s looking at the people, your processes, the transformation. 

The combined pieces of that installation or realization are the keys to long-term success for your projects. This is a model we like to kind of look at from a change cycle because every organization goes through that. It’s very familiar to a lot of you folks. And obviously it’s based off of a Kubler Ross’s work on that, but really what it looks like everybody in organization will go through this cycle. From the CEO down to the part-time receptionist, filling in everybody goes to that cycle. So what is change management, change management is about compressing the time folks go through this process and identifying those risks and mitigating those risks and managing the change prior to going live. 

So what happens is, let’s say, you’re going to roll out a new inventory management to one of your facilities, one of your plants. And they’re the ones that are up front going, “oh, we need a structured system. We need this, bring it onto us. We’ll take this, put us in front of the line.” Why? Because they haven’t got a clue what’s going to happen to them. And it’s six or eight months out. So they get on board. Now you come to them three, four months before you’re ready to go live with them and start to roll out to their organizations and you knock on their door and they go, “ah, hold on a second. Can you put us through the back of the line? We’re really busy.”  

Why? Because now we get to this point where it’s personal, it’s hitting them. And every organization, every individual goes through this area, realistic concern. And that’s where you find resistance and resistance isn’t a negative thing. It just is. We just need to know how to manage that because we want to pull people up to that area where they’re either going to accept or reject that change. And so we’ll go through that process, the cycle, quite a few times with people, the key to two things I want you to pull out of this. First of all, is that people and groups within your organization go through this at different timeframes. So if you only look at one individual or one department and asses your whole organization from that, you’re missing out. The other pieces is that, at least in theory, the higher up you are from the organization, the quicker you go through this change because the further removed you are from the actual day to day change.  

So for example, if you have a CFO sits in a boardroom and says three-way automated match, process our POS different. He or she’s already on board, thumbs up. We’ll take it. They’re already at that acceptance level because how many POS are they processed during the day, zero? But that individual who manages and process POS eight hours a day is going to take a little while to go through this change. So our methodology… And it fits really the whole project methodology drives people through the cycle so that when we go live, we’re already there processing we’ve accepted that change and we’re moving on. And that’s a key piece. So the seven pillars that we’d identified of successful change adoption really are these key components to making a project change work.  

And it fits right in with your project management sponsorship and leadership, which is key to any organization, looking at communications, align your stakeholders, looking at change impact management, training, getting your local change networks for sustainability. These pillars, no matter what change you’re doing need to be identified at different levels, obviously, but those are key components we want to take a look at it. And there are factors that fit within the methodology that we employ. What are some of the basic tenants of OCM? Using ADKAR Model, which is a very popular model and a really good standard for effectively across the board employee change, because it fits in with your communication, your training, your onboarding, et cetera. People need to go through this process. They need to go through awareness, desire, knowledge, ability, and reinforcement, but don’t think of them as you can pull out any module or any part of this interchangeably, they’re really domino’s or tollgates you’ve got to knock one down before you go to the next one. 

Avoiding the “Work Arounds”

You get into the sense of awareness, awareness of why this is happening, what’s going on. Folks need to understand what’s important, that there’s a need for change and understanding of that and move into this desire, why it’s happening. That I understand that connection between why there’s an awareness for this change and what I need to do that. So once they get a desire for that piece, the alignment between how it’s going to benefit me, benefit the organization they bought into this, this is all the areas of the buy-in. Then we get into knowledge and that’s about how it’s going to impact a person personally. Maybe I have a knowledge on how to make that change happen. The cognitive ability to make that change and moving to the ability pieces of the performance or proficiency.  

That’s not just good enough to know how to make that change, but I got to be able to do that because remember, all our behaviors are habitual. And when you make a change, you’re literally changing the culture of the organization. I, in fact, last week an executive asked me, says, “we’re not looking to change the culture at all.” I said, “well, maybe not the culture necessarily, but you’re going to have cultural changes because what is the culture for an organization, a project team, et cetera, nothing more than the a amalgamation of its behaviors.” And if you’re changing the behaviors, you are changing in essence parts of the culture. So be purposeful about it. And then finally reinforcement, you have to be able to reinforce that change for it to sustain. So if you think about it from any perspective where a lot of organizations oftentimes fail is they jump into the knowledge place and just start training people near the end of a project and haven’t really addressed the awareness or desire, and then training falls apart on this.  

In the absence of creating the wires and desire what we’re going to see is we’re going to see a lot more resistance from employers, employees, people kind of churning in cycling in that churn in the adoption, or accept that change, higher turnover from that change a hoarding of resources because they’re going to keep an eye onto themselves. You’re going to see hanging on to tribal knowledge, and delays in implementation. If we don’t bang out the knowledge and ability people aren’t going to utilize the system or the processes, the new processes, well, those tools. You’re going to see a lower succession rate and adoption rate when you go live and there’s going to be a reduction of productivity. We don’t get that reinforcement what’ll happen is people will revert back to old ways.  

They’ll find workarounds and unfortunately, you’ll find eventually those work arounds becoming your standard operating processes. So we look to drive people through this process, this ADKAR Model in our change management methodology. So what are some of those roles real quickly? You’re going to want to have somebody who are architects or leads at that’s really looking at, what are the change management strategies that we need to do, and then leading that change plan and that change fine, by the way, needs to be integrated into your project plan specifically. Don’t have it as a bolt-on it’s part of the whole project management, the project governance. So that lead is going to be the quarterback and the business side. They’re going to connect the business to technology and the people side for that triangle to work well. Communications is huge, so that’s a big piece.  

You want somebody who’s going to specialize in that communication or a focus on comms because that’s really changing the belief systems of people. And then finally training. The training and onboarding and I’ll talk a little bit more about that in a bit. Do you need individual roles for all those large-scale projects? You may, but oftentimes you can have an individual or individuals play small parts of those. The key point is you need to have someone kind of who owns each one of these areas, just like you would in any other type of your project plan. So how does that work? What’s the framework? When we look at doing change effectively in organizations Trillium, we look to address that at three levels or excuse me, four levels at Enterprise Level, which is across the whole organization. And that’s really looking at specific change plans across it to help the organization become change agile and change ready.  

We need to implement that the Division or Departmental Level, because changes across the department, especially cross-functional changes are key in each organization, your locations, et cetera, have different nuances to that change. And so we build out a change network, a local employment network that becomes your long term sustainability piece in that. That’s a project core process teams. Remember those people who are building out that change, designing it, developing a testing, they need to go through that change process first. They became a change agents and ultimately your individuals, each receiver needs to be accounted for and addressed for that change because that’s where change happens at the individual level. So I wanted to take a look at a standard kind of project methodology, kind of the chevrons or the phases you go through a project and show you kind of some of the areas where change management pops into that and some of the tasks or high-level pieces that fit within that. 

Integrating Organizational Change Management into Your Project Plan

In the launch, where you start in the defined stage so to speak. We start looking at change management strategies, start building out your strategy. Think about what needs to be changed. Be very articulate with that as you’re working with your sponsorships and get your PMO aligned. We started looking at developing your solidifying, your project governance. And this is a big piece. You want to be able to align your sponsorship, your project management, your change management altogether. Those three key elements are… And balancing that is going to be success across the board. Research and literature really shows that sponsorship and leadership is the number one factor in success of any project. You want to onboard your people properly. You want to set up a project launch so you’re literally pulling people to understand fully, clearly where you’re directing them and their directives to implement this, and then make sure everything’s aligned.  

We move into that initiate, which gets into a lot of the… out of the design, in the defined area, we start getting into kind of things like a risk and readiness assessment, which is really important, is looking at assessing the organization. We have our proprietary tool that’s been standardized across the board for literally 25 years now, that looks at the change capacity and structure of folks in 13 different areas. And what that really pulls out is it tells us really how well the organization demonstrates the ability to effectively handle significant change and the level of actual alignment and state of alignment. It gets at the aspects of organization that are going to make that change significant and allows us to laser focus our efforts. So we’re not shotgunning the approach across the board, and that’s a big piece. So out of that comes your OCM plan.  

That’s your change management plan that gets integrated into your project plan. You start preparing your resources for that, you start building out your comms plan. And that’s a big piece, communication is probably one of the most key components in any type of change management, cross support. So you’re going to want to look at building out and you’ve usually have two change or communications plans. They’re integrated, but they’re kind of separate in their focus. You have our project communication plan, which is really about reporting and keeping that core process team, your project teams aligned on the communications within that network, that internal core teams. And then you have your change communication plan, which really looks at changing the behaviors, the mindset and the rapid adoption of your end users, the people who are going to have to receive that. And so you use a lot of different vehicles, emails, posters, portals, and webpages, newsletters, video boards, team meetings, drinks, town halls, et cetera, because you want to get in at that place where you effectively communicate with your stakeholders and all were impacted by that change, how that process is.  

So that’s a big, big piece. I also really recommend early on start and looking at getting your training plan put together. Again you’re not launching at the beginning, but you have to start looking at the end result because those core process team members are going to be your trainers going across the board. And that’s a big piece. You want to get your impact management, change impact. So we’ve got a process that looks at five catchment areas that effectively gets it looking at what are those change impacts that secondary tertiary impacts identifying them ahead of time. And we start mitigating and manage those changes before you go live. So you don’t get T-boned with something you didn’t see coming when you go live. During that kind of build or integration process, you’re building out now your change network, what’s your change network, and you’re getting your training development, you’re giving them materials, your long-term sustainability.  

And that is a big piece. I use training as the term because people are familiar with that. But once we get into it, we’re not talking about training, we’re talking about onboarding. You are literally want to onboard your people to a new process, new technology, a new way of being, and that’s different from just stand up training it’s onboarding. So it means it’s sustainable. Because if you go live, you can have multiple go lives. Or when you acquire a new company or put up a new facility or you get new employees, somebody is going to have to onboard that person going forward. You going to have to update those things. So we look very closely at making everything repeatable and scalable. Everything we do in our change management methodology with our customers is we hand it over in a tool kit to that organization because the goal is to have the organization be more change agile when we’re done and everything we’ve developed, tools, templates, methodology are repeatable and scalable on that.  

Also, want to look at is there any differences to performance measurements across the board. When we started getting into, then that validate section, we’re really looking at how we’re going to roll that out, get our change network, to roll it out, out to the local areas, whether it’s department or facilities. And we start building out that change, that end user adoption. We start deploying that training on that. Again, communication goes across the board throughout the life cycle of the project. And we started looking at that end user customer and internal or external customer analysis. We want to make sure also what are those impacts to your vendors, your customers as well on that. When we deploy and go live, there’s a whole follow-through of helping that. And that’s really that last part of the ADKAR Model that sets support that’s a reinforcement section.  

So we got that support and reinforcement to make sure that people are able to do their jobs when you go live, there needs to be any type of support along the way in real time to them. But more importantly than is what’s the follow through, what’s the sustainability. So when you walk out, you’ve got a sustainable model that goes longterm instead of then the system becoming eventually the problem. So I know I kind of whipped through change management and I’d be more than happy to walk through a more detail with folks as we… In detail about how that gets integrated into projects, but it’s a key component to the extension and sustainability of your solutions long-term. 


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