For businesses that are good candidates for cloud computing, there are significant advantages, such as faster deployment timelines, greater flexibility, lower costs, easier upgrades, etc. To deliver these benefits, most cloud deployments minimize customizations, leveraging out-of-the-box best practice business processes.
For those organizations that do minimize customizations, understanding the future processes at the onset of the project presents a great opportunity to clearly identify the change impacts that a deployment will have on the organization very early in the lifecycle of the project. This enables organizations to avoid many of the pitfalls associated with managing change, and results in much better business decisions.
- Companies can compare change impacts across different application platforms, and factor this input into their software selection process
- Early understanding of impacts of change enables organizations to better define project scope, perhaps delaying scope elements that present significant challenges and focusing on early wins, resulting in better user adoption and acceptance of the new environment
- Early visibility into change management costs enables accurate project cost estimating, and better management of the overall project budget
- Clear visibility into the roadmap of change management activities, enables organizations to allocate the necessary funds and resources to better manage the change
Effectively managing change has been proven to be a critical component for successful deployments. However, most organizations don’t take this into consideration during initial project planning. Consequently, they find themselves ill-prepared to cope with the organizational challenges associated with their projects, because they haven’t established their OCM plan and they haven’t allocated the necessary resources and budget.
Below is a 3-step approach that can be performed during the planning phase of a project that can help your organization get an early start in managing change for cloud-based programs:
Step 1 – Capture and Analyze Change Impacts
The initial step is to understand the change impacts associated with moving to the new cloud-based environment. This step requires facilitated sessions with business and IT stakeholders that demonstrate the new processes and functionality within the cloud-based application, and capturing the change impacts using a structured and facilitated approach.
Step 2 – Determine the Level of Change Difficulty
Effectively managing change requires an understanding of those aspects of the program that will present the biggest challenges, such as political resistance, cultural challenges, changes in organizational structure, etc. Based on the change impacts from the previous step, this step involves engaging with key stakeholders to understand the potential roadblocks and establishing an approach, comprised of specific action plans and solutions to mitigate these risks.
You’ll need an experienced resource that can help identify the necessary actions within the key OCM components of the project, which include
1) Business Engagement
3) Stakeholder Management
4) Business Readiness
5) Organizational Alignment & Design
Step 3 – Create the OCM Roadmap, Resources and Budget
Now that specific OCM action plans and solutions have been agreed, this step establishes a roadmap illustrating the timing and the resources required to implement them. This gives early visibility into OCM costs and enables the organization to identify and allocate appropriate resources.
To find out more about managing change for cloud-based projects, contact us.