How to Manage Change: a Do-It-Yourself Guide

People typically find change difficult and various studies show that a large portion of CRM implementation projects fail, often due to poor user acceptance of the new platform. In the corporate world, consulting companies charge hefty fees to help you manage change: they sell workshops, offer project management services and support for the leadership team.

RunMags is all about cost effectiveness and our mission is to make magazine publishing manageable and profitable. That’s why we have created this Do-It-Yourself Guide on how to manage change within your organization and thereby saving money that otherwise would be spent on consultants.

Background

To support our customers in implementing RunMags in their organization, we have developed a RunMags specific Change Management methodology and best practices. As RunMags is really a CRM, marketing, fulfillment and billing system, the method is certainly focused on managing the challenges concerning implementing an IT platform, changing business processes, and motivating staff, but the foundation is generic in nature and can be used for virtually any change project.

Use this guide to avoid the pitfalls often associated with an organizational change, the implementation of a CRM platform or the roll out of your new sales rep bonus scheme.

Pragmatic approach

As organization structure, culture and history varies from publisher to publisher, managing the change process when introducing a new company-wide software tool is bespoke by default. In a hierarchical organization, the change can be dictated in a very different manner than in an organization with a more informal management culture. But that doesn’t mean that it will last. It might just become the new flavor of the month that the staff adapts to, knowing that in six months, there will be a new thing.

The RunMags Change Management methodology is created to provide a framework that can be used in a very pragmatic fashion, regardless of which organization we’re implementing our software in. Key is that management is aware of the challenges and actively communicates to support the change throughout the various stages.

We must certainly manage the technical aspects of rolling out the software, but the softer side of the change is equally important - and this is what most organizations miss. In order to be successful, you absolutely HAVE to understand the personal drivers of your staff and align them with your change project.

Change Acceleration Process - CAP

Upon understanding that change was going to be the only constant in any future organization, Jack Welch, the visionary leader of General Electric, commissioned a team of consultants to scour industry and academia to study the best practices in change management and come back to GE with a tool kit that Welch’s managers could easily implement. The result was the Change Acceleration Process, commonly referred to within GE simply as CAP.

One of their insights was that a technical strategy alone is insufficient to guarantee success. Rather, the team found that it is lack of attention to the cultural factors that tend to derail projects when there is a failure. Failure, for our purposes, is defined as failing to achieve the anticipated benefits of the project (i.e., the benefits that justified the project in the first place).

The RunMags Change Management methodology is based on the principles of CAP, but where CAP provides support for any type of change project, the RunMags Change Management methodology specifically support the steps in implementing RunMags in a publishing company.

Breaking down the Process

The following steps are included in the CAP model above. The table describes each step in detail and provides advice specific to a publisher implementing RunMags in the organization.

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