BY: DEBBIE FREEMAN (SENIOR COMMUNICATIONS CONSULTANT)
Q: Why is it so important to focus on the employee experience (EX) when working on a change project?
Any time an organization is going through a transformation – whether it’s new technology or a big change in process -- you need to carefully consider the many people who will be affected. You can spend a bunch of money and create the best piece of technology in the world, but if your employees don’t understand why they need to use it and how to use it, then the tech won’t be properly utilized. In fact, AMR Research says, “Lack of end user adoption is the No. 1 reason for failed implementations.” With any change project, you really have to understand who the stakeholders are and have a blueprint to make sure they understand and feel comfortable with the future state of their jobs.
Q: TracePoint Consulting has a clear methodology for influencing EX. Why?
Many people may have heard the term “Organizational Change Management,” but only understand the basic theories behind the field. Our concrete methodologies help walk clients through exactly what needs to be done during a major change project. We show tactical ways to execute the various activities that will lead to strong end user adoption, focusing on four areas: overall organizational change management (OCM), education and end user training, communications, and user experience. Digital transformation is getting faster and faster, so OCM is becoming more important to help employees cope with the rapid changes. We also help companies understand the change process, provide a clear OCM roadmap, and support them throughout our engagement.
Q: What are the basics of the TracePoint EX methodology?
TracePoint Consulting uses a methodology called the “Build Up” approach. We provide analysis of who is going to be affected by the change project, and we walk those stakeholders through the coming changes, so they feel prepared in advance. A recent study of dozens of companies showed that 62 percent of the issues faced in an implementation are specifically people-related. From the beginning, we provide important information in introductory communications to the right groups at the right times, so there aren’t a lot of uncomfortable surprises. We look at the current processes and roles in the company and address how those will change with the project. We go over the expected business impacts and help design tailored training based on those.
Q: Why do you use this “Build Up” approach?
We have to make sure the whole project team is on the same page when it comes to the correct governance, mindset and excitement for the project. The “Build Up” approach helps us align everyone right at the start, agreeing on the clear approach to help people understand why the project is happening and provide targeted messages to each group involved. However, it’s all done in a way that provides plenty of “Build Up” time for the end users to digest and prepare for the changes before they happen.
Q: How do your employee experience offerings tie in to the methodology?
TracePoint Consulting offers a variety of packages that focus on OCM and the employee experience. We typically provide a one- to two-hour consultation for a new client to talk about the size and scope of the change project. Our packages range from providing basic assessments or leadership during a JumpStart phase of the project, all the way up to full organizational change management/end user adoption/communication packages that can furnish months of support for a complex project. We have formalized templates and extensive experience in the OCM arena, but we also customize those templates based on an individual company’s needs. For example, if you already have an OCM representative, a training department, or a communications official, then we can orient our services to shore up those areas. It’s important for us to get to know you, your resources and your needs.
Q: What deliverables can clients expect with each step?
We provide different deliverables based on the package chosen. However, in general, we provide an analysis of the stakeholders affected by your project, a communications plan to match your project objectives, an analysis of the business impacts coming with your project, recommendations about the proper training needed, and help with the user experience (UX). We can help you create an internal network to promote the change, as well as feedback channels, so you can better hear from end users about how the project is going and make adjustments.
Q: Can anyone pick up the methodology and deliverable templates and run with them?
Yes and no. We know that company leaders often have some experience in managing change. However, TracePoint’s OCM methodology includes specific tactics and deliverables that they probably haven’t used before. Our methodology and templates are designed to provide clear guidance and be easy to use. However, our consultants are experts who help walk you through the process and furnish additional insight and expertise. Our hope is that our team greatly assists you in our first change project together, but then your team will have enhanced OCM knowledge and can bring us in to play a supporting role in future change projects.
Q: What are some of the results you’ve had with this methodology?
We’ve helped a wide range of clients in a multitude of industries since TracePoint Consulting was founded. We’ve assisted smaller companies that just needed some basic OCM help and design of a single training course. We’ve also helped household-name companies completely replace a legacy technology system to go from 2-percent standardization to more than 70-percent standardization across the business. The common denominators are: 1.) providing high-quality support throughout all aspects of the change project, and 2.) creating great relationships with the clients, so we can potentially be there for support on future projects.
Q: How can companies learn more about EX and TracePoint Consulting’s services?
You can learn more about how TracePoint can help with your company’s change project by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org, visiting us at www.tracepointconsulting.com, or calling us at (888) 339-9790.
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