Large doesn’t always mean complex. Planning your change management program

June 3, 2017 Dan Moses

Top five considerations for your large enterprise organization

Change management is something most organizations agree is essential to their deployment’s success, however, it’s often the first thing sacrificed under project timeline and budget pressures. Change management is vital to preparing your people and supporting them through a business, technical and organizational change. It requires a collaborative effort by change management, functional and technical teams, so the time commitment and level of focus should not be underestimated. Organizations that support a culture of change management are four times more likely to be viewed by all levels of management as contributing strategic value to their organization versus those who do not.

Whether you are in the early stages of planning or already in the midst of a deployment, these considerations will help guide your change program.

1. What is change management?

Change management is the discipline of preparing people and supporting them through change. It is focused on the people side of change by:

  • Understanding what is changing, who is affected and what it means to them.
  • Preparing employees, managers, HR and finance to adopt Workday effectively through communications, engagement and training.
  • Engaging and enabling key influencers and leaders to drive change.
  • Determining and addressing where resistance to change exists or where change is difficult.
  • Measuring and mitigating risks.

2. How do I know if my change program is effective?

Effective change management offers the following benefits:

  • Drives business results by changing behaviors.
  • Minimizes disruption to employee productivity.
  • Accelerates pace of change and realization of desired outcomes.
  • Addresses and mitigates risk.

Throughout your deployment, it is important to collect feedback, have two-way dialogue with key individuals and groups and to use readiness assessments to understand whether actions are effective and mitigate risks. At launch, take advantage of data points from service centers and HR teams, metrics of actual system usage and downloads of support materials to understand actual behaviors and calibrate continued support and communications.

How does a change management program for a Workday deployment differ from one for an ERP implementation?

Change management is different in a Workday world. Traditional approaches must be tailored to account for these differences.

  • Workday projects usually launch within nine months, so change management activities must be tightly coordinated with the larger project team.
  • Demonstrations are feasible throughout the project, reflecting real data and configurations – this speeds understanding and buy-in to key decisions.
  • Personal data must be protected in accordance with country-specific regulations; cloud-based systems will require additional messaging and engagement with works councils and data privacy officers.
  • Mobile access is a big win across all populations and a key difference in user experience.
  • Consider the distinction between true customization (ERP) and configuration (SaaS such as Workday); setting expectations is critical.
  • Emphasis on on-demand training solutions.
  • Data privacy considerations come into play when working with real data.
  • Training solutions can be much simpler and are available on-demand, at point of need.
  • Change is a constant; a sustainability strategy is essential to ensure your population is prepared for future Workday releases.

4. What considerations should I keep in mind before developing my change management plan?

  • Communicate with HR early and often.
  • Start communicating with managers closer to go-live (two to three months out).
  • Start communicating with employees one and a half to two months out.
  • Extended change management team design is integral.
  • Active and thoughtful stakeholder management is key.
  • Determine how you will measure progress along the way and success at launch.
  • Be sensitive to changes (real or perceived) that affect pay.
  • Tie into the larger change story – within HR, finance or the company.
  • Educate leaders, executives and managers that Workday will help them be more informed and make better business decisions.

5. Do I need a partner to help execute my change program?

As mentioned before, an effective change program requires dedication from change management, functional, and technical teams. In addition it requires a strong team of key stakeholders to see the program through in its entirety. Ensuring you have the proper support – whether internal, external or a mixture of the two – from the beginning will set you up for success to meet your goals. Workday projects are fast and fluid; having the right partner with proven best practices and experience can help you stay on track.

Ready to get started? Download our checklist to see what major milestones are critical to your Workday change management program.

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