Change management: How to support a remote ATS implementation
On technology change projects, like a remote ATS (Applicant Tracking System) implementation, it is essential to get the dynamic right between the People, Process and Technology elements, in order for long-term, sustainable business performance.
Welcome to our latest guest post from Organisational Development and Change Management expert at Embridge Consulting, Wendy Henry.
Now, the balance between these elements is a challenge at the best of times. But when project teams need to work in a virtual way, this can add further complexity around team working, communication and employee engagement.
Like so many, I experienced this first-hand when several of our projects moved from office-based to online, transferring workshops and design planning to a virtual platform.
Initially there was some scepticism. Would it work? How can we do this successfully online? But we have proved that it can be done and, yes, it can be highly successful! Here at Embridge, we’ve found that our clients have embraced the virtual work arrangements during our projects.
So, how have we done it?
One of my key focus areas is the business change support to the project team itself. They are a key stakeholder group who can typically be made up of people from within the organisation, external partners and consultants. They may be new to each other but must collaborate to achieve successful project outcomes.
How we can support them to be the driving force behind the change with our new way of virtual working?
Here are my top 3 recommendations we used on a recent project:
‘Working Together’ principles: Virtual launch events for all project team members
One challenge is our physical work space. The way we used to work, typically in a large open plan office somewhere, gave us a tangible sense of working together. Now we are working on our own, usually from our kitchen tables, dining rooms or even the kids’ bedrooms amongst emoji pillows and a variety of fluffy toys….
As such, I’ve found that running several project launch events has been key to reinforcing a sense of team. Run them with all parties and set out what the project is looking to achieve, introduce who is delivering what and, most importantly, introduce a set of ‘Working Together’ principles.
You can then use these principles in small breakout groups to discuss how each team member adopt them, right from the start. Your partner organisations also need to participate in these sessions, by either presenting key aspects or as participating team members. You can then revisit these working together principles, say, six to eight months into the project, to remind and refresh the team of their importance.
Despite the challenges organisations have faced over the last few months, recruiting the best talent quickly remains critical – and solutions to support this are vital. Our ATS solution provider and partner, Hireserve, has put together a handy guide for a remote Applicant Tracking Solution implementation, which you can download here.
Reinforcing the ownership of change: Virtual change management awareness sessions
All project team members need to be aware of the importance of integrating change management activities with the project management cycle. It is essential to reinforce the role they need to play as change advocates throughout the project.
You can run a few virtual sessions to walk them through this and work through any barriers that are preventing them from confidently championing the project. An even better thing to do is to provide key project team members with virtual change management training on the approach – especially those who will need to lead and manage employees in engaging with the future changes.
Working remotely means you can really target this activity to all project team members by promoting the benefits to them and those they work. The key message here is ‘ownership of the change is everyone’s remit’ and not just the job of the change team.
Setting this out from the beginning is crucial and you need to keep reminding the team of this as the project develops.
Regular communication: Weekly programme team stand-ups:
Virtual in-person communication can be effective. If certain team members cannot join, you can record the session and post on your project channel – thus ensuring consistent messaging and no second-hand information needing to be passed on.
Running these virtually also means your partner organisations can join as no travel to client offices is necessarily needed. Enabling all project team members to hear the latest information first-hand once a week (for example), helps reinforce that sense of working together as a team and it enables consistency of messages and effective collaboration on a day-to-day basis.
So, what is the fundamental key to a successful virtual project, like a remote implementation? For my money, it always comes down to communication and clarity. Be clear on expectations on working virtually together, ensure you keep your team kept informed with clear and consistent updates, and remember that mantra: Ownership of change is in everyone’s remit!
Embridge was founded in 2009 as an independent consultancy advising businesses who were looking to embark on a change programme where efficiencies and cost savings can be delivered using modern technology.
Built upon its reputation for quality and excellence, Embridge Consulting has experienced exponential growth year on year over the last few years.
Today Embridge has a dedicated team of over 60+ professionals proudly supporting ERP clients globally with their business systems and digital transformation projects. To find out more, please visit: embridgeconsulting.com