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Jacobien de Lange

Change Impact Assessment: The Key to a Successful Digital Transformation

When a company embarks on transforming its digital landscape, it is often like being on a rollercoaster. For example, the implementation of SAP as an ERP solution. It comes with various changes that impact people, processes, and systems. User adoption is a pivotal factor to ensure an effective and smooth transition from current state (as-is) to the desired future state (to-be). At McCoy and Partners, we believe change management is a crucial part of successful of digital transformations.

The need for Change Impact Assessment

In this blog, we're taking a practical look at one of the aspects of Change Management, namely the 'change impact assessment.' Its primary aim? To bridge the gap between the as-is and the to-be. As we navigate through the transformation, we focus on identifying the specific gaps that need our attention and on selecting the best interventions to address them. This strategic approach empowers us to fine-tune our change, communication- and training plan, optimizing the effectiveness for each stakeholder group and eventually the user itself. It is essential that the end users know what is in it for them.

Analyzing the change impact

At McCoy & Partners, we empower our clients' key users to navigate the journey from the current state to the desired future state. With their deep understanding of the as-is, we guide them towards the to-be. As stated in the introduction, digital transformations have an impact on people, processes and systems. At McCoy & Partners we assess the level of change impact on these three major categories. Each category will be discussed in more detail below.

People

People are at the heart of any change initiative; it is therefore crucial to assess the impact of the SAP implementation on all affected employees. Implementing SAP often leads to the establishment of new roles and responsibilities within the organization. Employees may need to acquire new competencies and skills or a structural change in workload may also be a consequence of the SAP implementation. It is important to identify, understand and react timely as it helps to increase employees’ understanding of the reason for change.

Process

Second, the implementation of SAP brings significant process changes within an organization. It can lead to streamlining and optimizing workflows and reshaping how tasks are executed. Therefore, conducting a detailed change impact assessment becomes critical for identifying these process adjustments. It needs to be established before creating the new way of working. Moreover, having a process in place can also help identify which activities are to be carried out by which role. This makes the changes even more tangible and visible for all impacted users. Which further provides a common ground not only for all impacted users but also for all the SAP consultants and other stakeholders who work on the project.

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Systems

Last, when implementing SAP, it’s crucial to recognize the impact it can have on an organization’s systems. SAP integration often necessitates changes in the IT infrastructure. Change impact assessment is essential to identify these system modifications and devise a well-planned strategy to ensure a smooth transition and minimizing disruptions while maximizing the benefits of SAP implementation.

Accounting for these 3 categories of change impact assessments means defining an effective change impact strategy document. This entails interventions that are needed to manage the change to ensure that employees are informed about these process changes, understand their new roles, and are adequately trained to perform effectively in these new systems. But before diving into these details, the risks of not managing the changes should also be defined.

Risk evaluation of change impacts

Effective risk evaluation involves not only understanding the significance of changes but also quantifying and prioritizing them. The committed impact of changes can help organizations prioritize resources, allocate budgets, and implement mitigation strategies where needed.

Compiling all this information into a mitigation plan is an important step towards effectively managing the impact of change. This document should include detailed assessments of how the changes will affect different aspects of the organization, including processes, systems, and people. At McCoy & Partners, we use the outcomes of this risk assessment to further specify our change, communication, and training plan per stakeholder group. We can focus on ensuring stakeholders understand the scope and importance of the changes. And, through active communication, we create an opportunity for stakeholders to not only disseminate information but also collect feedback, address concerns, and gather helpful insights and suggestions.

Change Action Plan

A change action plan is the operationalization of the change impact strategy plan. Communication and training are critical to ensure the understanding, buy-in, and proficiency with the new SAP system.

A communication plan is developed to translate assessments and ensure that all stakeholders are informed and updated. The higher the impact the more important it is to start a dialogue with those impacted stakeholders. The plan describes who is the owner of that specific communication action, when it should be executed and finished.

Additionally, the training needs of different user groups are assessed and the required upskilling and knowledge enhancement for successful system adoption are identified. The training plan includes a mix of classroom training, e-learning modules, and hands-on workshops. It even considers ongoing support, user guides, and job aids to reinforce learning and ensure user competence.

The communication- and training plan form the crucial part of the change impact strategy document and will determine the success of mitigating the assessed changes.

Conclusion

Successfully implementing SAP software involves evaluating and addressing various changes in people, processes and systems. With change impact assessment and the resultant strategic planning of communication and training interventions, we at McCoy can help organizations pave the way for a seamless shift from the old to the new system. Our approach helps minimize resistance, increase user adoption, and maximize the benefits of your SAP implementation. You can contact Jacobien de Lange for more information!

Damen success story

Interested in the results of conducting a change impact assessment in practice?

Read the success story