Regardless of what type of organization, sector, or business climate you happen to find yourself working in, there is always a hassle of dealing with those who don’t quite understand IT. In fact, there are some people who are not only willing to support your ideas when they understand the potential benefits, but they will even come to you asking you how they can improve efficiency in the first place. The problem with this situation is that when it actually comes time to implement and then manage that change, there are more than enough corporate dinosaurs who don’t like change and will spend more time and effort going out of their way to avoid it than they would have if they would just embrace it in the first place.
Difficulty of Use
The biggest reason that the IT sector or department in any facet will get a bad corporate reputation is simply because of the steep learning curve. Explaining what the difference between hardware and software is or trying to differentiate the difference between cloud computing and having an internal hard drive is like trying to teach calculus in French to an English speaking third grader who is struggling with multiplication. In short, you are trying to teach higher level concepts to individuals who don’t even have the base yet.
The important thing to do is to have a plan that integrates any sort of change. Thankfully, the first step to almost every plan is always the same. You need to have some sort of period that is full of definitions. Not only are you defining the actual systems, objectives, and goals of the process, but you want to define the key terms on what you will be using, what is needed, and what everyone needs to become informed with. By giving everyone a starting point you are already doing one of the most important things to any change event. However, while defining a starting point may be one of the most important, it is also possibly one of the least utilized and most forgotten steps.
Making a Part of the Process
The next phase of any change oriented system is to understand where it fits. If you are trying to get people onboard for a new system, application, or even just a process of turning off their monitors when they leave for the night, they need to be clear where this fits in with their current processes. Everyone has processes in each and every organization. And whether you are doing something monumental or you are just reminding others of a minor detail, if they don’t have a frame of reference of “where,” “when,” and “how often” to employ a given process, they will just put it by the wayside until it is forgotten.
With change management and especially with information technology related processes you absolutely have to instruct individuals of the appropriate method for implementation. You do this by telling them the specifics of when, how often, and where they need to go in order to implement. For something as simple as turning off the monitor to save power overnight, this would be, “every night, before you leave, you need to follow the best practices process for shutting down your monitor.” Once they have the specifics down pat and they know the expectation of implementation, you can move forward with your next task knowing they are equipped to handle theirs.
Knowing It’s OK to Not Know
The hardest thing about change management within an organization is that no matter how much anyone wants to improve and find efficiency, sometimes there are a few egos that get in the way of not doing things correctly. When this happens, you have to work with the individuals as soon as possible not only to get them up to speed, but to also realize that these egos can do damage within the workplace if you do not bring them onto your team. However, these same people who will spread the gossip of misery and gloom behind your back about the new systems and processes can also be the ones who talk up how good the system is and how much savings the process creates as long as they get a chance to understand it. That’s why when it comes to getting the most out of a new technology, you want to train individuals to the level that they are comfortable with. That is the same method of training and communication that top companies such as cloud collaboration for IT by Bluejeans uses in order to be sure everyone is on the same page and that they all are moving forward.
Change management is a hard subject. Telling people that they need to rethink what they know and to step outside of their comfort zone can always be a scary thought because you don’t know how people will change or react. That being said, by implementing the right processes and following the least controversial path you can wind up receiving a lot more benefit for a lot less stress and work.