Integrating a new software is not an easy task. Many companies, especially in the SME sector, are not aware of the role of change management or the opportunities that arise for these companies if they approach organized change in the right way.
Every company faces the challenge of having to change structures, IT systems, processes, or simply its behavior at some point. What applies to corporations, where this topic has finally received the attention it deserves, does not necessarily work one-to-one for small and medium-sized enterprises. Most of the time, changes fail because no clear resources are made available for them, which can or may explicitly deal with change management. Naturally, this is the first thing to be changed. In the following paragraphs you will read which steps you should take and how.
1. define project management
As with many other methodologies, project management is mandatory. The main tasks are the planning and organization of the individual project milestones, documentation and also review after project completion. Ideally, project management does not come from the department directly involved, in order to ensure the necessary objectivity. It is equally helpful to call in external consultants or even to hand over the entire process to an experienced change management manager. Particularly in the SME sector, it will not be easy to find someone from your own ranks.
Why does the change have to happen and what benefits do you expect from it? Questions should be worked out in the preparation. This requires a detailed analysis of the current situation and an equally concrete plan with regard to the objectives. For example, what challenges do you want to master with the new software? Department heads or persons responsible for the respective area should be involved from the beginning. The structure of the group of people in this section should be kept flat. The as-is analysis is not carried out by means of ready-made questionnaires, but should be developed from area of responsibility to area of responsibility in personal discussions. In the first step, it is important to find out how work has been carried out so far and where the potential for optimization lies within the current way of working. This is not only important if existing processes should be improved, but also if you want to integrate new methodologies or tools. The more people are affected by the change, the more difficult it is to implement changes.
One of the cornerstones of change management is to prepare and inspire not only department heads and managers for the change. It is essential to penetrate even deeper into the structure and to create broad acceptance among the workforce. Of course, the basic rule is that anyone who is presented with something new is usually not very enthusiastic. Try to confront all the people concerned with the topic from the very beginning. At this broad level, it is not a matter of questioning fundamental issues, but of drawing a positive picture with clear ideas and statements of advantage.
4. building competence
If you decide to approach change management internally, it is important to have certain basic skills. There are different project management methodologies that can be useful for change management – the most important are Kanban and Scrum. If Change Management is outsourced externally, make sure that your consultant first gets a comprehensive picture of the work processes to be changed.
5. create movement
This section is about implementing the points developed in the first phase, also known as ‘moving after unfreezing’. Test your solution approaches with selected people and adjust the changes further after feedback until you reach the desired state. When integrating new software solutions, such as PROPSTER, it is best to appoint a ‘power user’. Ideally this is an experienced person from the department with a certain affinity for new media and a fundamentally positive attitude towards your project. The power user must have extensive knowledge of the range of functions, as well as enough time to profile the new skills in a test environment. Later, this person will be available internally to colleagues for any questions regarding the new program and can also play an important role in further development.
6. consolidate changes
Unfreezing – moving – refreezing, according to Kurt Lewin, are the 3 core points in change management. Refreezing in this context means the consolidation of changes. At a certain point, the goal should be to complete the process of change and to integrate it firmly into your structures and processes. The new software is now part of your company. Here it is important to observe, especially at the beginning of the measures, where you still have to make selective optimizations. However, the core of the change must not be affected by this.
Phases of the change process according to John P. Kotter
- convey a sense of urgency
- Building a leadership coalition
- Develop vision and strategy
- Communicating vision
- clear obstacles out of the way
- Making short-term successes visible
- Continue to drive change, do not slacken
- anchoring changes in the (corporate) culture
For The book ‘Lead Change’ from John P. Kotter click HERE.
Integrate a new software – PROPSTER
Thanks to our digital expertise and our experience, we can respond to your needs precisely. Thus, we develop a detailed plan with all relevant questions and milestones for you right at the beginning. Make the integration of our new software appealing to your team by not only gaining 1 advantage, but by taking advantage of a 15-part treasure chest full of benefits. Make the work of the sales department easier, reduce the project manager’s workload and let the controlling department report higher sales. You will find 12 more advantages in the following article: 15 Advantages of PROPSTER
Test our new software extensively and free of charge within 14 days, let us train you extensively and define a power user. If you have any questions, you can of course contact us at any time.
We help you with the technical implementation and integrate PROPSTER Software into your existing processes.