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Change Management – the Key to a Successful Digital Transformation Part 2 Blog

David WIlt, Operations Architect, Professional & Managed Services | May 10, 2024
General Blog

In the first part of this Change Management series, we discussed the classic quality concept of PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) and how it is used during the planning stage of change management. Change management is the skillful management of modifications and advancements within a business or organization. It plays a critical role in achieving a successful digital transformation and emphasizes the significance of effective change management. The process starts from the ground up, highlighting the need for a comprehensive approach.

Skillful change management is crucial for achieving successful digital transformation within an organization. Starting from the beginning, a comprehensive approach should be emphasized. The PDCA framework (Plan, Do, Check, Act/Adjust) can be used to initiate continuous improvement and highlight the importance of planning, teamwork, and asking the right questions. Part 1 of this blog series focused on the “Plan” phase of PDCA. We will focus on the “Do” phase and its various steps as we continue with the concept. 

The “Do” phase is critical to achieving successful and desired change, and it involves assembling the right cross-functional team to minimize unintended consequences. Depending on the nature of the change being implemented, the “Plan” team can also sometimes participate in the “Do” stage.

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

In part 1 of this series, we discussed the “Plan” phase which included:

  • What would be the problem to correct?
  • Who would be affected?
  • Where was the change taking place?
  • When was the change to be rolled out?
  • How would this be implemented?
  • And most importantly, why are we attempting this change? Is there a reasonable ROI for all the work put into this?

Organization of the Do stage is important as it is that carryover from the Plan phase. It is best practice to have a champion for the entire PDCA cycle to keep continuity and reduce any misunderstandings. The primary tools to keep the process moving along are thus:

  • Project Charter – created and signed off by member of local leadership, displays members, approximate timeline, goal of project with expected outcomes.
  • Swimlane Flowchart – created to show the process modifications to be enacted. (chart below)
  • Action Item list – used to track actions required to keep Do stage on track and people accountable.
Change Management in Digital Transformation Graph

Up until this point, the Change Management work has been getting done offline. Now that we are moving into the Do phase employees on the floor will be affected. Even if the Do is being done on a seemingly minor section of a line, we still need to have a communication plan to those affected; here is a typical list:

  • Production scheduling – communicate concerning impacts to a line.
  • Maintenance department – communicate potential issue and ensure line will be in good working order.
  • Production manager/supervisor – confirm with operators the upcoming activity.
  • Lead operators(s) – ensure they have been informed/trained of anything outside of their normal operating sequence.
  • Quality department – verify QA sampling will not be affected, potential the products produced with the new process may be on hold to verify quality offline.
  • Sanitation – communicate any changes that may affect their routine – as needed.
  • Floor logistics – ensure they understand any changes to their work (if QA puts product on hold, etc.)
  • Warehouse – communicate specific location if needed (quarantine holds)
  • Other

Now that you have all the bases covered, it is time to verify the production schedule and when the updated activity is to begin (which day and shift.) It is important to have a floor presence when the activity starts as there may be a bit of trepidation when the new process begins.

Communicating before, during, after the trial run about the work goes a long way toward having a successful kick off.

Bottom line – The Do phase of the PDCA process is where you first see if your Plan was “doable.” Getting the plan in motion starts to validate the initial theory “was the plan able to be put into motion as expected?” In Part 3 we will discuss the intricacies of “Check” and see how well we Planned and Did! – looking forward to it!

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