The Business Value of Organizational Change Management

What’s the Business Value of Organizational Change Management (OCM)?

Several years after I started focusing on Organizational Change Management (OCM) consulting, a leader at the firm where I was working asked me, “What’s the business value of OCM?” This was an insightful question, and with my unique background of an MBA, hands-on technology consulting, management consulting, and OCM consulting, one that I felt qualified to answer.

After giving it some thought, my reply to the leader was, “Companies often justify technology investments by developing business cases. There’s an implicit assumption in every business case that’s along the lines of, “Our business community will use the new ways of working (the technology, the processes, the governance framework, etc.) as it’s designed.” You’ll probably never see this assumption written down, but it’s there.

Unfortunately, most IT professionals know this doesn’t turn out to be the case. While IT initiatives are often successful at getting the “system” up and running, we often don’t see it used as we thought it would be, and as a result, don’t see the expected business benefits achieved.

While IT initiatives are often successful at getting the “system” up and running, we often don’t see it used as we thought it would be…

This is not a new phenomenon – it’s been around since the beginning of IT.

OCM Challenges

How Do We Best Manage Adoption?

So, what should an organization do? This is perhaps the question I hope to answer in this series of blogs.

My first recommendation is to develop what I call “organizational ownership” of the change. Recognize that few (if any!) IT initiatives are only about technology. They affect people and the way they work. Change often creates angst throughout an organization, and this angst is magnified when users feel like “IT is doing this ‘to’ me (as opposed to ‘with’ me)” or “IT is doing this and they don’t have enough understanding about the way I work” etc. etc.

Change often creates angst throughout an organization

My concept of “organizational ownership” is just what it sounds like – getting the whole organization to feel a sense of ownership of the change. While OCM is often thought of as a combination of communications and training, creating “organizational ownership” proves to be a much more effective way of driving widespread adoption of the new ways of working (aka the change).

Let me know what you think, and if there are any specific topics you’d like me to address please comment or drop me a line.

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