Change management is a catch-all term for all the ways of preparing, supporting, and helping teams, individuals, and organizations as they undergo change.

We believe that a successful implementation starts with a solid change management strategy. This should include your organization’s budget, goals, timelines, resources, and communication tactics (for both internal and external stakeholders).

To get you started on the right foot, we’ve outlined our recommendations for how to plan and approach your Avanti implementation.

Phase one: Build your team

Before embarking on any big change it’s important to ensure you have the right team in place to oversee the project.

Establish key tasks

  • Analyze the impact of your HCM and determine who it will affect the most
  • Get input from key stakeholders, including employees who will use the software
  • Establish timelines and goals and eliminate potential roadblocks
  • Create and lead training programs
  • Oversee the entire process and monitor employee engagement

Define your core team members

  • Executive Sponsor: The person who approves changes at the top-level
  • Project Manager: Your dedicated resource responsible for overseeing each phase of the project
  • Department Leaders: Determine which departments are most impacted and ensure each team has a representative

Phase two: Identify the scope and impact of the change

Before undergoing any major project it’s important to understand how it will affect you and your employees.

  1. Define who is being impacted (employees, clients, external stakeholders, etc.)
  2. Understand how people are being impacted (invite people to voice their concerns, and understand day-to-day role implications)
  3. Determine the best time to initiate the change (send a survey to employees/users to find out if there are any preferences or blockers for specific times)

Phase three: Set goals and map milestones

Ensure the reasons behind this change are crystal clear to you and your employees. It’s important to start with your end goals and create milestones to meet your objectives.

  1. Define goals (this can be done in isolation or in conjunction with your Avanti Partners)
  2. Set milestones within each goal (how will you know you’re on track?)
  3. Build a visual roadmap (have something your team can refer back to)

Phase four: Risks and dependencies assessment

No matter the scope, there are bound to be issues that arise. Taking time before the project begins to identify any potential risks can help mitigate interruptions to your project flow.

  1. Identify your core cross-functional stakeholders (revisit “who’s impacted” from Phase one)
  2. Book a meeting and outline potential risks (timing, resourcing, budget, etc.)
  3. Clarify any existing or potential future dependencies (other tools & software, conflicting projects, etc.)
  4. Build a plan of action (what’s fixable, what do we need to work around)

During this phase, it’s important that you prepare for any potential challenges you may run into. Including, but not limited to:

  • Employee resistance: Employee resistance can occur for a variety of reasons. Change management teams should seek to understand the reasons why employees oppose modifications. Common causes include fear of inadequacy in learning new skills, being unconvinced of the need for change, and lack of faith in leaders.
  • Technical issues: Complex software implementations can present challenges, especially if Avanti is being integrated with older systems. Change managers should be aware of this possibility and the delays it may cause.
  • Budget changes: Your budget might change because of other things going on within the organization such as new priorities, locations, pay groups, etc., or because the scope of the services simply increases. It’s important to discuss this in detail and have processes laid out for approvals if an additional budget is required.
  • Performance: With so many stakeholders involved in an implementation project, it’s possible some of them will perform poorly, affecting the total project. To remedy the situation, review goal-setting, communication frequency, escalation points, etc. Things happen and it's important to be prepared.

Phase Five: Communicate the vision

Although everything leading up to this change is important, it all means nothing if it’s not properly communicated. If you’ve followed the steps in each phase, you should have a good idea of what your change vision is—now’s the time to clearly communicate it to your employees.

  1. Define your core message (How will this change improve your employee's day-to-day?)
  2. Determine communication channel(s) (We recommend a combination of full company in-person/zoom meetings, plus department-specific meetings with leaders)
  3. Build enablement assets (Create a PowerPoint deck or PDF, having written material gives your employees something to refer to)
  4. Reinforce (You cannot over-communicate when it comes to change)

Additional Resources

Best Practice Models

Avanti’s SLT Recommended Reads

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