How to Effectively Manage Change in Salesforce and Beyond
What is Change Management?
Embracing change in Salesforce platform tools is often difficult, but crucial for businesses to survive, thrive, and realize the benefits of their technology investments. As a leader in your organization, it is important that you follow a methodical process to make change easier on your team. The term ‘change management’ refers to a structured approach for guiding employees through organizational wide changes with a positive, lasting impact. The tips outlined below will help you communicate, implement, and evaluate changes through a plan that drives Salesforce (and other cloud solutions) user adoption, increases user efficiency and creates a sustainable steady state.
Before implementing any changes, it is important for project stakeholders and technology administrators to be transparent about the project impact on their users. An effective method for communicating to Salesforce users is by customizing the homepage with updates about the upcoming release and location of important documents. In addition, administrators can create knowledge articles about new features or post cheat sheets to the content page. Another effective method of communication is to promote project #hashtags that users can easily search and learn about upcoming changes. Finally, we recommend that you identify an executive sponsor who can serve as an active project champion. In order for end-users to be excited and feel truly accountable to the change, they need to witness their executives and senior-level managers embrace the change first.
With a detailed plan communicated and executed prior to release, there are several steps that should be taken as the release is in motion. On day 1 of major releases, administrators may hold open office hours and conduct scheduled training sessions with users. They will want to keep an open dialogue within a global Chatter group which posts updates, including challenges and success stories. For the first 4-6 weeks, we recommend that the Salesforce Administrator also posts global usage metrics and information conveying any issues and how to address them.
One of the biggest factors discouraging adoption is when employees fail to understand why they should be embracing new features. Success goes beyond teaching functionality; employees must understand how and why the changes will directly benefit them (e.g. getting their work done more efficiently with faster click paths).
After go-live, end-users will likely navigate what is known as the ‘J-Curve’ of change. This curve is characterized by an initial period of disruption when users are resistant to the change. As time passes and they become more familiar with new functionality, there will be a slow rise in productivity and performance until the desired state is reached. As an administrator, it is important to help your end-users navigate the initial decline in productivity and ensure them that tangible benefits will soon be realized.
Throughout the entire release cycle, ongoing feedback may be collected from users and integrated into modifications to the platform. In order to drive adoption, it is essential to develop Salesforce as a platform where users are valued and rewarded for their contributions. Administrators can use polls or create a Chatter group to survey new functionality use or easily share their ideas and questions concerning the release. Another effective way of motivating users to embrace change is by gamifying the process. There are several gamification applications available in the App Store such as Hoopla, Gamivation, SuMo Motivate, and many others. These Apps help users embrace change by reinforcing positive behavior and ensuring sustainable adoption.
While change may be hard, it doesn’t need to be painful. Salesforce end-users will be best-equipped to navigate organizational and associated system changes when a strong change framework is put into place. Consistent and informative communication, helpful training materials, and opportunities for employees to share feedback will help users to understand how and why change is necessary, as well as embrace and become promoters of the change itself.
User adoption is a process, not an endgame - it takes time to reach the desired state where changes will positively impact your business. At Kredo Solutions, we care about enabling your employees to embrace change by accelerating their adoption of new technology and processes.
Does your company need help creating a Salesforce change management process? Get in touch today!