5 Keys to Effective Digital Change Management

Today, all change management is digital change management.

But for a discipline that has been historically people-focused, the shift towards “digital” can be difficult.

The new focus on digitally-driven business practices brings up many questions for change practitioners.

For instance:

  • How do you create a digital change strategy?
  • What technology should you implement?
  • How can technology help you achieve goals and overcome obstacles?

To name just a few.

In this article, we’ll address these questions by providing 5 keys to successful digital change.

These ingredients can help you make the transition to a change approach that is still people-centric – but fueled by digital technology and strategy.

1. Digital Transformation Strategy

Digital transformation is a type of change that is common in today’s business world.

It refers to the adoption of:

  • Digital technology
  • Digitally-enabled business practices
  • New workflows
  • Digital business models
  • Customer-centric strategies

Among other things.

Effective digital change management requires a digital transformation strategy.

Here’s how to develop one:

  • First, learn about digital transformation. Understand the ramifications of today’s technological revolution and how it will impact your business. 
  • Define organizational goals that will help your business compete. Digital technology can be a strategic differentiator in today’s environment. Work with IT personnel, such as the CIO, as well as the CEO, to find and define a technological direction for the company.
  • Develop a people-centered digital change strategy. Understand that digital adoption may require significant, continuous skills training. This adoption strategy should include training, adoption, resistance management, and other factors consistent with any new change program.

A digital transformation strategy, in short, is a digital change strategy. 

2. Digital Adoption Solutions

Digital adoption solutions – also called digital adoption platforms – are e-learning applications.

Like learning management systems, online education, and e-learning software, they help with onboarding and training.

As mentioned above, such training is absolutely critical in a business world driven by technology.

However, digital adoption solutions are quickly becoming the go-to learning solutions for many enterprises.

Here’s why:

  • Digital adoption platforms offer in-app training. In-app tutorials, guides, and teaching delivers immediately relevant information. This cuts out irrelevant teaching material, increases knowledge retention, and boosts productivity.
  • They can be customized as needed. The best platforms, such as WalkMe, can be extensively customized, regardless of the underlying software. Custom workflows and guidance means that each business can train according to its needs.
  • Analytics and data can offer insights and further improve ROI. The data collected by these software programs can help administrators pinpoint areas where users need the most help, for instance.

Learning solutions, particularly digital adoption platforms, are quickly becoming survival tools.

3. Data Strategy

Data can offer insight into people, including employees, customers, and stakeholders.

In change management, as in other disciplines, data is crucial for gaining insight and informing decisions.

Below are a few ways to add value with data in your digital change management strategy.

With data, you can:

  • Understand how different groups are interacting with your initiative
  • Know what needs fixing, adjusting, or improving
  • Gain insight into change management metrics
  • Match appropriate team members to suitable project functions
  • Inform decision-making and provide direction

With data, you can improve results across the board – by cutting costs, increasing efficiency, and achieving better results.

4. Technology

Choosing the right technology is a must.

Here is why:

  • Early adopters can gain a competitive edge in the marketplace
  • Technology can improve business processes, which translates into better bottom-line results
  • Modern business ecosystems depend on technology – businesses that ignore it can’t keep up with partners or the competition

In change management, there are two main areas you should focus on:

  • Technology that helps you improve the change management function. The right change management tools will streamline organizational change and help you stay modern, relevant, and profitable.
  • Technology that improves the business. Choosing appropriate digital tools is no small matter. In fact, it is perhaps the most important decision your business will make when it comes to digital transformation.

As mentioned earlier, you should work with business leaders to choose technology that benefits the organization.

5. A Digital-First Business Approach

Digital-first does not mean “humans last.”

Instead, according to IDG, a digital-first business strategy means creating change that:

  • Focuses on the customer experience
  • Improves processes through automation
  • Uses digital technology to drive new revenue
  • Implements technology to transform the workforce and the workplace

A digital-first business strategy, of course, will be reflected in your change strategy.

The objectives for any change program should be designed to achieve these goals.

Final Thoughts

A digital change management strategy is one that includes:

  • Digital technology, processes, and workflows
  • A focus on people and digital solutions
  • Aims that support the organization’s strategy

At the same time, it should be founded upon solid change management theory, knowledge, and practices.

Digital change management is not about abandoning the past, in other words.

Instead, it should build upon and enhance existing change management practices.

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.