Change Isn’t Easy, But It Doesn’t Have to Be Hard

Thinking Outside of the Box

It’s been over a month since the ASAE’s Great Ideas Conference in sunny, warm Orlando, FL. This has given us plenty of time to process and have conversations about some of the ideas and discussions that took place – because there were a lot!

One session in particular sparked thoughts about software implementation and change management. The presenter, Thad Lurie, CAE, CIP, MSEd., Chief Operating Officer, EDUCAUSE, made a few great points off the bat regarding change…

  1. We don’t know, what we don’t know
  2. Everybody wants progress, but no one wants change.
  3. It doesn’t matter if a new way is better, people want the old way back – it’s familiar.

What do these mean, and how can an organization overcome these challenges to ensure a successful implementation?

ApproachWe don’t know, what we don’t know
That speaks for both the vendor and the client, so why not get everyone in a room and do some discovery? Analyze and talk about how both teams operate, understand the work styles and uncover how the two sides can best work together to design a solution that meets the needs of the client.
CreateEverybody wants progress, but no one wants change
Change is hard for everyone, but lessening the blow is possible by configuring a solution that works for the client organization. Then taking steps to test and communicate the solution to ensure it..

  • addresses the challenges that were uncovered in discovery
  • is user-friendly and makes the users’ job easier
  • is understood why the change is happening and how it will help users

Launch_2It doesn’t matter if a new way is better, people want the old way back – it’s familiar.
Training is key. If the primary users know how to use the new system effectively and understand how it is helping them, the more likely they are to accept (or even embrace) it. Once the new way is up and running — celebrate! This is important. Be sure to celebrate the accomplishment with the primary decision makers and users, after all, a successful software implementation is something to be proud of!

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