Spare the Drama … But Keep the Change

change management can be boiled down into three steps:...

As Document Management Consultants, we see the transformational change that document conversion can bring about for the end users of the new electronic images. We know that the document management services we provide our clients have the potential to impact them far beyond the document scanning, records management or document tracking tasks for which we have been engaged.


Hurling and joking aside?according to a Deloitte CIO survey, seven of the top ten barriers to successful systems implementations are human factors. The number one barrier is resistance to change.


Change can be a huge catalyst for breakthrough growth. Change leader Jack Welch once said ?When the rate of change outside exceeds the rate of change inside, the end is in sight.?

As consultants and project leaders, we may interpret resistance to mean that something is wrong with the new process that we have so carefully built. In reality, what end users are actually resisting is any one of the following:
? Loss of power or status
? A heavier workload
? Looking stupid
? Things that don?t fit into our mental model of how the world works or how to do their jobs
? Being forced into doing something we don?t understand or agree with
? The unknown
? Being dictated to
? Possibility of negative outcomes or being the odd one out

How do you acknowledge the resistance to change, but spare the drama that often comes along with it? Understanding that it?s always easier said than done, change management can really be boiled down into three easy steps:

1. Walk a mile in your end user?s shoes. – Crawl into the minds of a user. Understand what they do and how they are evaluated. For document conversion initiatives, our FileSolve consultants observe how paper is currently located, retrieved, moved and processed. Then we encourage our clients to picture themselves completing their daily task load using the new process we have designed.

2. Draw a Map. The shortest distance between any two points is a straight line and everyone needs to visualize the same straight line or path. Define in detail the beginning and end of your user?s journey, then map out exactly how they will personally migrate from point A to point B.

3. Tell the Story. Feedback is a gift! Sometimes as process owners, this fact gets blurred and negative feedback internalized. Once we accept the fact that it is human nature to share stories (both positive and negative) surrounding a change, we can make a conscious effort to manage those stories. Actively solicit all feedback from promoters and detractors. Openly and often communicate this feedback with all other users, including lessons learned, before that feedback is shared behind closed doors. This will demonstrate transparency, promote a feeling of community (?we?re all in this together?) and teach all users how to stay on the same straight line journey.

Ironically the only constant in the business world today is change. When the above three steps are implemented effectively within document conversions from point A (paper) to point B (digital images), FileSolve clients find that the results translate to higher than expected ROI for the organization.

{Dilbert Comic Strip Credit}

Posted by: Meredith Ritchie
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