The world is changing faster than ever before; often in very unexpected ways. Organizations that can adapt quickly to change, with minimal disruption, will do far better during periods of disruption than those who cannot, ultimately prevailing over competitors that struggle to adjust to the new reality. Change management software provides a structured approach to rolling out changes, minimizing the challenges associated with managing and adjusting to new ways of working.
Briefly stated, change management software provides a structured framework in which business leaders can create workflows, assign tasks and responsibilities, comment and collaborate, and record the results. In other words, change management provides a practical framework and toolset for planning and implementing virtually any kind of change within an organization. Whether your company is struggling to adapt to rapid growth, new regulatory requirements, or the broad-based effects of a pandemic; change management software can help you along the way. Let’s look at some of the key benefits of a good change management system:
Benefit #1: Get Everyone on the Same Page
First and foremost, effective change management software provides a structured process that enables everyone in your organization to see and understand what is happening at all times with respect to a particular change process. To accomplish that, it needs to be robust enough to handle the task at hand, but intuitive and user-friendly so that everyone throughout your organization can benefit from it.
In Intellect’s Change Management module, the process begins with a workflow, which consists of a series of individual actions, approvals, decisions, and so on. To simplify things, a process may also contain sub-processes. This provides users with a complete roadmap that clearly shows where the organization is in any given process, what the next steps are, and who is responsible.
The American Society for Quality (ASQ) points out in their summary of change management that “changes usually fail for human reasons… effective communication is one of the most important success factors for effective change management.” That’s why it’s so critical to have these kinds of communication mechanisms in place. With the right software, everybody knows what they are responsible for, who owns the current task (or tasks), and where they fit in to the overall process.
Benefit #2: Stay on Pace
With an effective change management system, accountability is always clear. When you’re using Intellect’s workflows, for example; each task, decision, or approval can be assigned to an individual or role. After a predecessor task has been completed, Intellect triggers a notification in the workflow process to inform the next responsible person (or people) of what needs to be done, and by when. Users can be granted visibility to the entire workflow (or just part of it), which means they can see exactly where their tasks fit into a larger change management process.
Automated workflows speed up processes within your organization by eliminating the need for manual, person-to-person communication via e-mail. It’s no longer necessary for the project manager to oversee a chain of dependencies and remind employees of what needs to be done. The software takes care of all those things automatically, which means there’s no delay between the completion of a task and notification to the owner of the next task or decision in the queue.
Workflows can also serve as a reminder when tasks are overdue. If a process falls behind schedule, there is a clear record of which tasks were completed, when, and by whom. That builds accountability within your organization by making it crystal-clear who has responsibility.
Benefit #3: Reduce Risk
Change management software also significantly reduces the risk associated with organizational change. This is driven in part by the two benefits we already discussed, – that is, vastly improved communication throughout the organization, and automated workflows that speed productivity and establish clear accountability.
In many cases, though, the mere act of mapping out processes and decisions can add significant value. Intellect provides a visual workflow design tool that makes this exercise simple and intuitive. When multiple employees have the opportunity to review a process, comment, and potentially even edit a change management workflow, – managers can ensure that a wide range of stakeholders have vetted the process. A thorough process of collaboration and input results in lower risk, a stronger sense of employee ownership in change management decisions, and better outcomes overall.
Benefit #4: Document It (and Learn from It)
Change management systems provide a clear audit trail. This supports effective quality management processes and continuous improvement. Managers can see which tasks have been completed, when, and by whom. They have visibility to approvals, decisions, and other important information pertaining to any change management process that the organization has gone through. In order to continuously improve, organizations should develop a habit of reviewing completed projects and assessing what went well versus what did not. A good change management system makes it easy to review tasks, decisions, timelines, providing a clear structure for those so-called “post mortem” discussions.
Benefit #5: Master Regulatory Change
Virtually every organization nowadays is affected by regulation. For some, – such as FDA regulated manufacturers of medical devices, pharmaceuticals, or food & beverage, – regulatory compliance is constantly top of mind. Yet for many others, regulation is becoming increasingly important for day to day operations. Cybersecurity frameworks such as NIST and CMMC, or privacy regulations such as GDPR and CCPA, are bringing regulatory compliance to the forefront for executive management.
Change management software provides an important tool in achieving regulatory compliance, regardless of the operational domains or governing agencies involved. In order to keep up with all of this change, though, companies need software systems that can be easily adapted to fit new requirements. It’s not enough to have software that can be customized, – a good change management system should allow non-technical users to configure the software to fit their needs. It shouldn’t require programming skills or outside experts to get the job done, and it shouldn’t necessitate spending more money every time the company needs to adapt its system to accommodate a new regulatory change.
Intellect’s QMS platform is built around the concept of “extreme configurability”. Our software is designed to adapt to the way your organization works, rather than forcing you to change your business processes to fit the software as most other QMS products do. Everything we do is built around the philosophy of adaptability and intuitive, user-friendly software that makes life easy for you and your employees, while still providing the robust capabilities of an enterprise-grade QMS platform.
If your organization wants to rein in the chaos and manage change more effectively, contact us today to discuss your needs, and to arrange a free demo.
Now that you've learned about the 5 benefits of change management, learn about "5 Tips of Successful Change Management".
Written by Peter Hargittay
Peter Hargittay is the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) and VP of Corporate Development at Intellect. Peter is responsible for rebranding the company as Intellect from Interneer and for positioning the company for significant growth. Peter joined Intellect in 2013, and is responsible for corporate, product, and online marketing, business development through the Intellect partner channel, demand generation, sales enablement, and go-to-market strategies. Peter has more than 15 years of experience in building successful software and services businesses. Prior to Intellect, Peter served as the VP of Marketing and Sales Operations at Arise Virtual Solutions, and previously held executive marketing roles at Aegis, PeopleSupport, Intersil, and FileNet. Peter received both his BA in Economics and MBA from California State University, Fullerton.