Thursday 23 March, 2017

Introducing a new software system is no easy feat, no matter what type of industry or organisation you work in.  In fact, it’s widely viewed as one of the most challenging processes any organisation can go through (Harvard Business Review).

One of the biggest barriers to implementation is organisational resistance to change. Project leaders and executive management must find ways to work with and overcome this resistance.  The key to doing so is change management.

Change management is defined as “the process by which an organization gets to its future state, its vision.” What makes it different from traditional approaches to planning is that while they “delineate the steps on the journey,” change management, by contrast, “attempts to facilitate that journey.” (Lorenzi & Riley, 2000)

Creating a Culture of Change

Having a strong, well-thought-out implementation process and aligned staff is key to the success of the new product or system.  The leadership team must have a good understanding of their organisation’s culture and the abilities of their employees.

The establishment of a number of key tactics can help to avoid unsuccessful implementations and failed investments for aged care organisations.  These include:

  • Support from the top down
    The foundation of any successful organisational change revolves around the leadership team, their ability to set politics aside, and to collaborate, agree, and commit to the change process.
  • Formation of a Project Team  Teamwork is so important when implementing new technologies. Similarly, it is also necessary to support change management processes.
  • Systematic Planning The presence of a clear plan for change is a vital to boost software implementation projects.
  • Broad Participation A company wants to engage staff within the whole life cycle of implementation in order to keep them in the loop and responsive. As Lorenzi and Riley note, “People who have low psychological ownership in a system and who vigorously resist its implementation can bring a ‘technically best’ system to its knees.”
  • Effective Communication Before and during any software implementation, meaningful and effective communication at all levels of the organisation is essential.
Croydon eCase Go Live 1

Catholic Healthcare’s Holy Spirit Croydon staff celebrate the ‘Go Live’ day of the eCase software in their facility.

Change management is essential to any successful software implementation process. It is required to prepare users for the introduction of the new system, to reduce resistance toward the system, and to influence user attitudes toward that system.

Change management is certainly the most difficult part of the implementation process. Yet once resistance is phased out strategically, change can be phased in, and metrics can be used to track the new installment’s progress and success.

Leaders have to take the time to understand user resistance, realise where it’s coming from, and figure out a way to remove it from the implementation process. Companies spend lots of time and money when determining what and when to implement a new technological advancement. By utilising change management techniques, they can make sure they don’t lose out.

For assistance or advice on how to plan an effective Change Management Strategy contact the Health Metrics Advisory Team on 1300 810 119.



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