Change management is a discipline whose importance is often under-estimated
Software implementation projects are difficult. For that matter implementing any new process or system can be a real challenge. We see this internally at Candoris as we continue to grow and evolve as an organization and we also experience it with our customers on the software consulting engagements we undertake. Changing how we do things takes effort and often causes stress.
One way to think about how we human beings approach change is that we take a rational approach, we see the value in a new idea and we embrace it. This makes sense intuitively. I mean, who would resist something that is going to make our lives easier? Progress is good and a logical approach would indicate that we each do our part to support it.
Unfortunately, this isn’t exactly the way it usually works. As much as we like to think we live in a meritocracy where the best ideas win, we don’t. The status quo bias is real, which means that any deviation from the status quo is viewed as a loss. Even positive changes induce stress and we often resist them. We get in ruts that are difficult to escape; old habits are hard to break. This is true in individuals as well as organizations.
We oversee a lot of projects that involve new business processes, new software and new systems. Working technology, beautiful interfaces, and innovative software are all great but implementing them seamlessly is easier said than done.
Unfortunately there is no simple or universal solution; change management is a discipline whose importance is often under-estimated. While it can’t be boiled down to a few simple steps, acknowledging that change is difficult is a good place to start. We’ve also found that a little common sense goes a long way and that good communication and patience are keys to success.