When starting a new project as a change manager you have great hopes and heaps of ideas on how you will roll out your change strategy. During the change management journey, you usually encounter a number of obstacles along the way, such as time, budget and willingness.
To make your next IT project a success in 2023, I share with you the three factors that made my most recent change management project a success: sponsorship, room for talking and fun.
Over the past two years I worked on several migration projects where I had the opportunity to accompany clients to move from Microsoft Office to Google Workspace.
In IT projects, change management is often seen as a luxury. Project teams focus (righfully so) on the costs to detriment of the change management forgetting the ROI change could bring…
Therefore, as a change manager, it is key to include the importance of sponsorship, space to talk and fun in every project. Doubts about the need for change management will vanish into thin air.
1. Sponsorship: it’s important to have the right sponsor on board
Each sponsor is different. Some are too absent or not motivated enough, others are exactly what the project needs. During my recent project, I came across a sponsor change managers can only dream of. She had the right skills and the time to invest in the project. Thanks to her the awareness around the project was high, the communications were sent from a persona with the right voice for change, and the users understood why the change was happening.
My tip for you as a change manager is to look within the team you are working with for the sponsor the project needs. Raise their importance and engage in conversation until you find the right person who can carry the project with you.
2. Space to talk
During my latest project, the client offered to use his internal social media platform. There was room for employees to engage in discussions about the change. Good or bad feedback, questions, worries, everything could be posted. Slightly risky I hear you thinking, but the platform became the quickest way to communicate main issues, ask questions on how to use a tool and even better; share positive feedback about the new tools.
The open way of communicating is something I will definitely take with me to my next projects. People in the team felt heard and reassured, which fostered open communication. Should it not fit in another project or context, there is always time for adjustments or other channels to communicate along.
3. Make it fun with gamification
Change can be fun! Let me say that again; Change is absolutely fun!
To gamify change you need to convince your client to invest time, and money (it doesn’t have to be much) and of the investment. The return on investment you get from making the change fun through gamification is going to be beyond expectations.
For the recent migration project, we organised a company-wide scavenger hunt over several weeks. Users were split into small teams and had to complete actions in order to gain points. The actions were a savage mix of fun and serious activities such as joining a Google training session, recording a workout with your team through Google Meet, participating in a Google quiz, going on a treasure hunt and much more.
The team with the most points received an Amazon voucher for each team member and the cherry on the cake, the player who individually earned the most points would receive another voucher to spend.
We realised the scavenger hunt was working thanks to the email we were getting from participants. Team members were calling out on colleagues to quickly join a training session or asking about their current scores to know what would be the effort to catch on the front-running team.
With the gamification, the move to Google Workspace was acknowledged. Users had the opportunity to learn about the tools and had fun.
Adopting new tools doesn’t just happen by giving access to the new tool. People need communication, training and need to understand the change. How do you share the “What’s in it for me”? Through sponsorship, open communication and fun. To show how it’s going to improve your work life.
If you like to hear more about how we do change management at Devoteam G Cloud, feel free to reach out, our team will gladly help you further.