by Kate Kompelien
A successful change management transformation begins with one core tenet: enabling a change sponsor who can pinpoint people’s strengths and align them to the project goals, while sharing pertinent information along the way.
Failing to consider the change management aspect of CX transformation can translate into less-than-stellar results. According to Harvard Business Review, roughly 75% of corporate transformations fail or are abandoned. There’s huge risk involved in not aligning the right people to the right tasks and projects. Take IT distributor Tarsus Distribution as an example. The company switch from manual data entry to robotic process automation did not go well. Why? The reasons for the shift were not shared with employees in a clear manner, leading to distrust and resistance.
To take care of your people and company without falling prey to wishful thinking and insufficient strategies, look to tried and true change management and customer experience (CX) transformation models as your guide.
One such model is the RACI chart, which helps leaders organize people according to the roles they will have in a particular project as the person responsible, accountable, consulted, or informed along each milestone.
For employees to embrace change, they first have to be aware of what’s coming. Position the upcoming change to your employees in a way that creates desire to make it successful, and empower your employees with the right amount of knowledge and information they need to make—and then support—that change.
Emulate Change Management Models for Success
No change management approach is perfect for every type of organizational change. Re-org announcements require one approach, new technologies and process adoption might require another. As a result, there have been a handful of different strategies that have emerged to help organizations respond to these challenges in the way that works best for them. A few common models include:
- McKinsey’s 7-S Change Management Model, which covers seven aspects of a company that should be used to create a cohesive plan for change management: structure, strategy, staff, style, systems, shared values, and skills.
- Prosci ADKAR® Change Management Model, which points to “five outcomes an individual needs to achieve for a change to be successful: awareness, desire, knowledge, ability, and reinforcement.”
- RACI Chart, where people involved in a project or transformation are assigned roles based on whether they are the responsible, accountable, consulted, or informed party.
No matter what change management model you use to spearhead your CX transformation, pulling in key stakeholder groups before starting the transformation can do wonders. Here you’ll find a people-focused change management strategy using the RACI chart. Each person’s role and tasks within a project are clearly defined, along with milestone tracking and places where decisions must be finalized and approved.
RACI Chart Roles
Before we dig into some of the best practices we’ve observed when it comes to organizing and mobilizing your team around CX transformations, let’s get more familiar with the RACI model first:
- Responsible: The people who fall under the “responsible” column in a RACI chart are the ones who receive tasks and complete them.
- Accountable: Those who are placed in the “accountable” category delegate work to the people responsible, make sure it’s done within the project deadlines, and review and approve once the work is complete.
- Consulted: People who are “consulted” can be viewed as subject matter experts and leaders who provide their feedback and questions as the project takes shape.
- Informed: Those who are listed in the “informed” category should receive updates about the project but aren’t involved to the same extent as the other three roles listed above.
For a winning change management and customer experience transformation process, one of the key pieces before you get started is to truly understand who is on each cross-functional core team and channel. Decide where they should be aligned on the RACI chart. Then you can prepare for the project, create your approach, and kick it off. If you don't do this work up front, things can become more complicated later and lines of communication will often break down.
Use Case: Cloud Migration Change Management
To get a better feel for how RACI can help support a more successful CX transformation, let’s use the RACI model and apply it to an on-premises contact center migration to the cloud. In a cloud migration, there are several teams to consider. From deciding who the main stakeholders should be to lining up the internal teams—such as IT and internal communications—decide who will be responsible for the rollout. Using the RACI change management model can serve as a stepping stone to a smooth implementation.
Responsible parties may be your IT, customer service, and communications professionals who will help spread the word and provide training about the cloud migration.
- The IT team will be responsible for testing, rolling out, and training on your new solution. Your communications team should work alongside IT to keep everyone updated on start dates, coming changes, and information on training session dates and requirements as the new solution is onboarded. It may be helpful for the customer service team to serve as the pilot group for this migration, especially since they will likely be the first to use the new system as customer-facing employees.
Accountable parties for this transformation may include people on your leadership team and also external consultants who are shepherding the CX transformation. These individuals should serve as the CX champions across your organization.
- The leadership team and external consultants can connect teams together, helping to make decisions that align each of these teams and help them to row in the same direction. They should also focus on information gathering that can help inform IT design and address transformation apprehension with proactive, informative communication and training.
Consulted parties would be those part of the pilot group, employees who will use the systems daily or often, or other executives who are creating the vision and goals for the project and company.
- The pilot group of users should provide feedback on the cloud migration and its implementation, referring to what works well, what would be improved, and where knowledge gaps lie throughout the process. The pilot group could also channel the voice of the customer and discern if the incoming strategy and CX design will address customer needs.
Informed parties may be those at the highest levels of leadership and others who should know what’s going on, but not pulled into the day-to-day activities of the migration.
- More of the executive team would be placed in Q1. This group would receive final deliverables, a current state map, and list of problems solved—and what all this means for the future state of the cloud migration and other solutions on the horizon.
As with any migration, you’ll want to check in with customers and employees who are customer-facing to capture real-time feedback. By having these clearly defined groups, your organization should be able to much more quickly to adapt to implementation and rollout changes on the fly.
With a small-scale cloud migration or larger-scale CX change management transformation, planning is everything. While technology is critical to CX success, buy-in from your people and organization are just as important.