5 steps to more effective change management when automating

Change management is often the most difficult part of an IT project, regardless of the technology that an organization is implementing. Many companies struggle with getting buy-in from key stakeholders. They also struggle to and encourage adoption because end users have been doing things a particular way for years and are resistant to change.

This is especially true when implementing solutions that are as transformative as automated enterprise content management (also known as content services), business process management and enterprise information platforms. These new technologies have the power to dramatically improve productivity, profitability and innovation. They also can cause significant changes to staffing needs, workflow and day-to-day operations. This often makes it challenging to ensure that the change goes smoothly and that the company exploits the full benefits of automation.

More effective change management

In order to make sure new automation solutions have the high-level backing you need to implement them successfully – and that your employees actually use them – you should follow change management best practices and tailor you approach to the unique challenges presented by automation. This means working closely with key people at all levels of the company, addressing major challenges and focusing on the benefits that the new solutions will bring.

Here are five steps that will lead you to success:

1. Address challenges head on

Automation is a disruptive technology that will have a major impact on job outlook and the way people work. Companies shouldn’t avoid these issues, but instead embrace them and focus on positives. Although automation tools will change the way people work, it also frees time so they can focus on more creative and innovative areas. New tools also allow workers to perform their tasks faster and with fewer headaches, reducing stress and making work more enjoyable, which carries over into improved customer service.

2. Emphasize integration

Many people postpone adoption because they are afraid their productivity will take a hit while learning new systems. Modern ECM solutions are designed to integrate well with existing systems, letting users access the content and information they need directly from the ERP or HRIS screens they are familiar with. This means users don’t have to learn an entirely new system and can work within their Outlook applications without even opening the ECM application.

3. Leverage flexibility

By focusing on the flexibility of automated ECM solutions, companies can help their employees see the benefits of using them. They often offer multiple end-user clients and ways to access content, from mobile apps and web browsers to the cloud. This allows users to access their data and work with the system however it suits them.

4. Make training a priority

When implementing any new solution, effective training is critical, helping to educate about benefits, ensure effective usage and encourage adoption. In-house teams and consultants from the solution provider can help with implementation and training, easing the burden on your own IT staff.

5. Monitor progress and make improvements

No solution implementation is perfect in its first weeks or months. The project team should keep working past rollout, monitoring adoption rates and problem areas while developing solutions to address any issues.

Change for the better

Companies that leverage the power of automated ECM solutions, business process management and enterprise information platforms can benefit from major increases in productivity and lower labor costs, but their efforts will not be effective unless they implement effective change management programs. By taking steps to minimize negative impacts of the change and smooth the transition, your organization can increase adoption and ROI for these solutions, making life better for everyone involved.

Michelle Beal is the business systems analyst supervisor at Gleaner Life Insurance Society. She has been with Gleaner Life for 20 years, starting on the business side of operations and moving into an IT role as the system administrator, shortly after the organization implemented OnBase in 2002. While the number of systems she and her team oversee has grown tremendously over the years, OnBase remains her favorite. Michelle currently serves as the Vice President of the Insurance VOGUE (Vertical OnBase Group of User Experts).

Michelle Beal

Michelle Beal is the business systems analyst supervisor at Gleaner Life Insurance Society. She has been with Gleaner Life for 20 years, starting on the business side of operations and... read more about: Michelle Beal