05 Oct 2020
Digital visual management - Industry 4.0

5 steps to coordinate change management digitally

With technological changes, every company is investing more in process digitalisation. This is known as the 4th industrial revolution or the factory of the future: a new way to organise production resources by incorporating new technologies into the company’s value chain. Digital transformation is based on basic aspects which must be well-defined for it to be a success:

  • 1. A precise strategy with clear objectives
  • 2. A user-centric design, which is personalised depending on expectations
  • 3. The integration of software, platforms or new technologies, which is a key part of this approach and helps standardise it within the company.

What are the stages of change management with digitalisation?

Stage 1 – Preparation

It should be noted that change management is a key point in the digitalisation process The key to success is in team management: putting people first in the project. Various studies demonstrate that any change will result in misunderstandings and uncertainty amongst people who have been working at the company for a while, and who have found a “balance” in their everyday. The idea of a successful digitalisation process is to ensure that they are included in the project and that they offer as many ideas as possible to fit into this new approach. Without this general involvement, the digital transformation will lose significance, and not result in the desired results.

The objectives of this first phase are to motivate those involved in the digital transformation change, and also to anticipate related risks.

Stage 2 – Definition

The second phase involves defining the desired results, as well as designing the user experience through the new integrated technologies. You must define the solution elements with all parameters, and also a common thread to coordinate the approach. One of the main elements is the implementation of regular performance management meetings with different parties. To do this, we must raise people’s awareness of change management which includes the new digital strategy (in terms of objectives, performance indicators, long-term vision). The aim will be to identify the main points to successfully carry out the change policy for the people in question, depending on their roles and responsibilities.

Stage 3 – Design

The design is a crucial point when establishing a digital transformation. During the design phase, we define a precise digital transformation plan which includes data modelling, and helps group together all stakeholders with a shared vision. For this purpose, it is necessary to reinforce the roles of the team and stakeholders in this approach. Establishing a change plan with measurable performance indicators helps measure deployment, which is based on the defined digital strategy. Another key element is the digital transformation training plan, as it ensures a good understanding of the approach and ensures parties can independently manage this change. The objective over time is to create an overall strategic action plan using associated action plans per theme, which are realistic and measurable over time, with well-defined time frames.

Stage 4 – Analysis

Coordinating change management is broken down into several stages: firstly creation, then construction, and finally verification. These stages are the logical outcome when establishing a digital transformation. With project management tools to define action plans and tasks, progress is easy to measure. Defining an exclusive environment for project management “forces” collaboration and discussions between change managers, project leaders and all change stakeholders. The activities during these meetings are as follows:

  • 1. Sequencing tasks and distributing them between different parties
  • 2. Reviewing the assigned tasks in a general project management environment shared by different departments
  • 3. Making a connection between the willingness for change, its directives, and the technical reality of its development
  • 4. Defining regular working meetings to check that the defined action plans are relevant
  • 5. Closely monitoring and handling all tasks arising from the action plans.

Stage 5 – Launch

The launch phase is crucial: we must manage the change with the adoption of new digital tools. If change management has been closely linked with digital transformation, the parties should have everything they need to carry out this process development successfully. This means that all pre-launch activities are already in place, those involved in the change are correctly trained, and the operational processes have been adapted to add user data, and to benefit from information centralisation through digitalisation. The idea is to organise the structure in the most suitable manner so that the digital transformation makes sense, and above all that all stakeholders are involved in this change.

To summarise

Digital transformation is a turning point for company activities. It has become necessary over the years due to the infinite development possibilities which it provides. It can even be the “key to survival” in some cases. That said, it remains a delicate operation which requires significant work beforehand and process restructuring; effective change management is also a key point affecting success. Transformation plans must be very precise, monitored carefully, and regularly checked to remain completely relevant. A successful transformation plan stems from the involvement of change stakeholders to use digital management and digital tools established to create real added value thanks to digital.

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