How Performance Supports Bring Clear Value to Ensuring Smooth Software Changes

* This article is part of a White Paper called “How to Create a Painless Software Change Experience in the Financial Service Industry.”

When it comes to change management, just the use of the term sends some people to the defensive barriers.

Here is what McKinsey (2012) said about change management in one successful large scale project:

To ensure the smooth start-up of new front-end and core systems that more than8,000  people would use, one company team launched a massive—and successful— change-management program.

The program included a regular newsletter, desktop calendars that highlighted key changes and milestones, and quarterly town-hall meetings with the CEO. The team made sure all top business-unit leaders were involved during the user-acceptance phase.

The company included at least one change agent on each team. These agents received training that instilled a clear understanding of the benefits of the IT change.

The actions helped the company to verify that it had the required business capabilities in place to make full use of the technology being implemented and that it could deliver the business value expected in the overall project business case.

For “business capabilities” read “skills, knowledge and capability”. Now, we have a new breed of software – performance support software – that streamlines the skills/knowledge building process while taking process cost out and adding valuable ongoing real time job support.

New tools such as WalkMe provide such performance support capability, even with cloud enablement.

Going beyond that, the tools are also capable of providing metrics to managers, so that the performance support process can itself be further tuned to users’ needs and process bottlenecks can be identified.

Typically the change management process engages team leaders (change agents as McKinsey calls them) in the demonstration of performance support software during internal ‘roadshows’ and in the relatively simple configuration process (aligning the software with specific tasks.)

During training, many users do not raise questions for fear of being thought of as incapable (or at least slow) of understanding the process or concept.

Performance support software avoids this entirely by being available as needed on the job without users needing to ask questions from supervisors or the help desk. It will give users confidence in the software change process.

These performance support applications are now being adopted for major projects, in the financial service industries and beyond. For example, Western Union recently carried out a roll-out of Salesforce.com, and after using WalkMe reported increased adoption levels among employees.

This article is part of a White Paper called “How to Create a Painless Software Change Experience in the Financial Service Industry.”

Claim your free copy by filling the form below.

The White Paper covers a range of topics including:

Chapter 1: 3 Key Challenges of Software Change Management

Chapter 2: What is Performance Support and How Can it Help Employees Get to Grip With New Software Configuration?

Chapter 3: How Performance Support Brings Clear Value to Ensuring Smooth Software Changes.

Christopher Smith
Chris is the Lead Author & Editor of Change Blog. Chris established the Change blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Change Management.
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