Change Story – Critical measures to define and evaluate the success of digital products

It is easier to resist change than to drive it, which is why protests always get more media coverage than support for a change.
If you are planning to embark on a digital modernization journey or are only planning to develop a digital product that targets a point solution, your success is largely determined by the extent to which you can influence stakeholders to change their behavior, processes and way of working.

Ingredients of change

The recipe for every successful change consists of six ingredients: vision, skills, benefits, resources, actions, and communication. If any one of these is missing or lacks potency, the change will fall flat even before it is served, as you can see from the table below. Missing one of these pillars results in a specific undesirable outcome.

Ingredients of ChangeIf missing,
it will result in….
Result
VisionConfusion
SkillsFear
BenefitsResistance
ResourcesFrustration
ActionsFalse Start
CommunicationProtests

If the people expected to adopt the change don’t see any benefit for them, they will do anything and everything to resist it. Also, if the change sponsor doesn’t put the right set of resources to drive the change, there will be frustration because any influence will be invisible.

Now, if you have your vision, skills, benefits, and resources in place but don’t articulate the plan of action sharing how the change should be implemented, you may just witness a false start before the whole campaign dies down. The final ingredient that brings this story together is communication. The change story is one component of communication which is critical to get all interested and relevant stakeholders on the same page. A good change story should articulate every aspect of the change. To illustrate this, let’s take a look at one possible template.

Describe the organization's vision for specific digital products or initiatives that will drive the desired change

Action plan

Problem statement and identified cause

Articulate the business problem that you are trying to solve, along with its main cause.

For example, the average cycle time of key products may be 20% higher than the target because of the longer stocking time for intermediate products.

Proposed solution

End-to-end visibility into the manufacturing process will help you highlight the stocked materials and reduce the cycle time.

Actions

1. A new product should be developed to increase the flow visibility
2. Manufacturing, quality and supply chain teams will use the product in all department meetings to improve the flow control

Quantitative benefits

Collect current benchmarks of relevant KPIs with specific improvement targets after implementing the change

For example, a two-point increase in NPS score; 10% reduction in cycle time, 2% cost savings, and a reduction in days sales outstanding.

Qualitative benefits

For example, increased collaboration, availability of real-time reports, and an end-to-end view of supply chain.

Resources

List the roles, people and systems that will implement the digital products or initiatives and drive the change. For example, product owner, transformation leader, a new product, and a new set of trainings and certifications.

Skills

Mention the functional and behavioral skills that organizations must develop to successfully adopt the change. For example, training on new software, growth mindset coaching, agile training, new way of working

While the template is self-explanatory, it’s important to note is that the change story is a guide that helps drive the digital initiative as well as evaluate its success. Therefore, it is only prudent to review it in every monthly steering committee meeting along with the risk register, so the key stakeholders can ensure that the story remains relevant to the changing business needs.

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About Manish Jain
Principal Consultant/Director
Based in Toronto, Manish Jain is a director of Digital Transformation Consulting with specialization in Agile Industry 4.0 solutions. He is also a member of Atos Expert Group on Immersive Experience, and Decarbonization Special Interest Group. Before his current role, he was heading Sales Strategy & Operations at Atos Syntel. With an MBA in Strategy and Finance, and 16 years of experience in technology strategy, architecture, design and development, Manish has served clients in multiple industries. He is passionate about customer experience and digital technologies and believes that the customer should always come before technology.

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