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June 3, 2019

3 things to consider when investing in enterprise change technology

Many organizations now face challenges posed by the increasing pace and complexity of change. All they have to help them deliver this change are IT Service Management platforms built for yesterday’s world, along with a mix of spreadsheets and phone calls - all coordinated with lots of manual effort. In a rapidly changing landscape, traditional IT Service Management is broken, and a new tooling approach is needed to ensure success. When investing in new enterprise change technology, there are three key things to consider:

1. Is It Built to Meet New Demands?

In this change-driven economy, organizations are being mandated to introduce more change, more quickly while maintaining resilience. Organizations have to be able to plan for change and evaluate change risk months in advance of a weekend involving major change - something that cannot be done easily or safely using existing IT Service Management tools. New technology must enable teams to rehearse change and determine critical paths, dependencies and risk. It must allow visualization of planning and progress and access to key data that helps to inform decision making. It must address the areas of risk posed to business by using existing Service Management Tools. Crucially, the technology you invest in must give your organization the capabilities it needs to ensure success in a rapidly transforming change-driven economy.

2. Does It Orchestrate Humans and Technology?

 When we think about the role of humans in the workplace, it can be easy to consider them ‘blockers’ in an increasingly automated world, slowing down processes and increasing the chances of error. However, humans are skilled in ways that technology never will be. They need each other to perform in the most efficient way possible. That’s why it’s vital we ensure the technology that teams use is designed to support the way they naturally operate.

The biggest technology gains are made when technology augments the natural skills of humans, helping them to become more productive and efficient. For example, when people need to make decisions, take action and collaborate, the right technology will provide the right data, support and connectivity they need to optimize their natural skills.

When teams of people need to collaborate on a daily basis, communications can sometimes occur in lots of different places and therefore become hard to track (and even harder to audit afterwards, when they’re also out of context). Communicating in this way also means it’s difficult to keep everybody up to date with the latest status, and the manual chasing and reporting required to do so slows down the progress of the work itself. The right enterprise change technology will enable communication to become part of a seamless process, rather than a separate entity to be painstakingly managed. Inbuilt communications and things like status dashboards can bring your people together, optimizing their natural collaborative skills and allowing them to focus on the work being done.

3. Does it Facilitate Audit and Improvement? 

Enterprise Change Management tools must enable teams to learn and improve, as well as making auditing for regulators accurate and pain-free.

The pace of change is not going to slow. If your organization does not get better at delivering change and doing it quickly with resiliency, it may not survive. But how can you achieve consistent performance improvement? Enterprise change management technology must enable your teams to analyze what went well and what could be improved next time. Were execution estimates good? Where did teams perform well? Was anything missed going into the weekend? Are there recurring risk factors from event to event? Where and when did incidents occur? Are there delivery or failure patterns to be identified? Having access to key data points allows teams to understand how a change event went and how to improve for the next.

Existing IT Service Management tooling does not provide a single source of record for a change event. When the time comes to audit post-event, teams are having to manually piece together disparate data and rely on participants’ memories of what happened. This is a laborious process that often results in imperfect data and failed audits. If your new technology investment can record in real-time every step of the event, then your audit trail is accurate and ready to go. This frees up your people post-event to do more valuable work.

IT Service Management tools were not made for today’s rapidly increasing pace of change. Of course, broadly speaking there are a lot of things to consider when investing in new enterprise change technology; business needs, employee needs, scalability, support and training options, budget and much more. However, if you want to get the best out of your potential tech investment, first think about how it can:

  • Address the challenges being posed by increasing pace and complexity of change
  • Empower your people, augment their skills and enable their improvement
  • Provide the data you need for the perfect post-event audit.

When you support the human-machine relationship, you achieve collaborative intelligence. To read more about this, and its importance in the future of work, check out this previous post: The future of work: Collaborative intelligence.

Madz Wakefield
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