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Change Management: The Key to a Successful Digital Transformation Part 1 Blog

David WIlt, Operations Architect, Professional & Managed Services | May 6, 2024
General Blog

Change management, defined in the dictionary, is the skillful handling of modifications and advancements within a business or similar organization. It plays a crucial role in a successful digital transformation and emphasizes the importance of effective change management. The process starts from the ground up, underscoring the need for a comprehensive approach.

If you’re thinking about digitally transforming your factory, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. You will need more than the right software to guarantee success. So, what’s the best approach? One helpful method is to follow the PDCA concept, which stands for Plan, Do, Check, and Act/Adjust. This framework involves a continuous improvement process that should be applied cyclically in four stages to enhance products or processes. We will dissect the steps of the Plan and list how they affect the outcome. 

Remember that teamwork is an important part of the planning process; assembling the right cross-functional team will ensure minimal unintended consequences as you proceed.

We will use another classic, the 5Ws and 1 Hs (Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How), as the first step in the planning process. You will need to account for the many ways the new change(s) can affect the organization, and utilizing the 5Ws +1H is an excellent way to cover the bases. We must ask many questions in this Plan phase to avoid future problems; it won’t be perfect, but it sure paves the way! Let’s get started. (PS – you don’t have to go in this order as long as you complete the task)

What will be the change? What you are changing is usually one of the easier things to flesh out. You only need a minor detail as the remaining W’s cover them, but you must clarify the change.

  • Are you adding a tool to replace an existing one?
  • Are you modifying an existing tool?
  • Is the change a process more so than a tool? And if so, what is its purpose?

Who is going to be affected?

  • Which departments?
  • Is it only for internal use?
  • What about contractors?
  • Will temporary workers be affected?
  • Which levels in the company? On managers? Only the warehouse folks?

Where is the change taking place?

  • Only locally?
  • Only specific departments?
  • Enterprise-wide?

When is this going to be implemented?

  • Will it be rolled out in the middle of the night?
  • Will there be support in the early stages?
  • Will there be a backup plan in case deployment is less than successful?

How will the change be rolled out?

  • Is there going to be a pilot?
  • Is there going to be training ahead of time?
  • Will there be a core team of experts who focus on troubleshooting and training?

Why are we doing this?

  • Is some existing system being replaced?
  • Is a current process or tool seen as unsupported/obsolete?
  • Is this going to add to the bottom line?
  • Is it a federal mandate?
  • Is it to avoid regulation changes?

Planning is a crucial step in change management that sets the tone for project delivery expectations. Although it can be complicated and time-consuming, it doesn’t have to be done alone. With the right partner, you can get the necessary guidance and support unique to your factory to plan for your digital transformation. At InSource Solutions, we understand the importance of planning and can help you pave the path for your roadmap. So you can move on to the next step, “Do.”

Stay tuned for the upcoming segment, in which we will delve into the “Do” phase of the PDCA cycle as it relates to digital transformation. I am very excited about this topic!

InSource Solutions can help guide you through planning a successful digital transformation to ensure a successful journey. Don’t hesitate to contact us today.