Contributed by Mark Deans and Change 4 Growth
As a change practitioner, my career has centered around helping companies make improvements to the systems and tools they use to perform work. Organizations continue to take advantage of rapidly evolving technology capabilities to streamline, automate and simplify the management of data used to run their business. Most recently this has labeled as “Digital Transformation.”
Perhaps one of the most frustrating aspects of these initiatives was watching the rapid evolution of technology used in our client organizations while the most evolved tools I had at my fingertips were a collection of disconnected Word and Excel templates that required a significant amount of effort to maintain. The manual effort required to keep information up to date forced a disproportionate amount of time to be allocated to managing the data instead of using the insights the data provided to intervene and ensure adoption.
Luckily, this frustration is diminishing, thanks to the availability of several platforms that finally modernize the execution of change management. Commercially available tools and internally developed platforms harness the power of modern digital transformation to more easily gather, manage, analyze and report upon data that is crucial to change management. Change practitioners are not the only ones that benefit from modernizing change management; project leaders are provided vastly improved perspectives into the effectiveness of change efforts, project managers benefit through improved visibility to the execution of the change effort, and the consistency in delivery ultimately benefits the impacted stakeholders in the organization.
Perhaps the easiest way to accomplish digitizing change management is taking advantage of the power behind the Microsoft Office 365 platform. At Change 4 Growth, we took significant actions to modernize our tools and templates by connecting the data within Office, building an end-to-end platform that mirrors our change management methodology, and built custom applications, reporting capabilities and automation using Power BI, Power Automate and Power Apps. The up-front work to elevate and digitize our toolset has resulted in a significant improvement in our ability to consistently deliver our work for our clients. As a leader, I can quickly understand the status of a project, timeliness of deliverables, and effectiveness of our efforts. We now have improved visibility across all projects, which allows for trend analysis across our entire portfolio of projects, and thus allows us to deliver improved services. This kind of visibility will prove invaluable to our clients as they gain the same type of insight into their efforts.
While we chose to build our own platform, there are plenty of change management platforms commercially available. Much like most tools available in the market (iPhone versus Android, for example), each has their pros and cons. Here are some notable options for change practitioners to consider:
- ATLAS™ by C4G
- Jtask Pulse
- The Change Compass
Regardless of the tool you choose, there is great benefit that can be found by taking advantage of a digital platform.
Mark Deans is the Vice President of Professional Services at Change 4 Growth. As VP, Mark oversees the delivery of C4G’s client engagements, including Organizational Change Management, Learning/eLearning, Leadership Development, Culture and Employee Engagement, and Project Delivery. Mark is also the Product Owner of C4G’s digital OCM platform, ATLAS™ by C4G.