This year I have had the opportunity to work with many great business partners to plan the implementation of Esker document process automation solutions. It is always a good feeling to see these projects get underway knowing they are positioned to be successful. Change management is one area we highlight during the early planning conversations and it can make a big impact when incorporated into the overall project plan. Two partners really made me smile this year with their knowledge of change management and, more importantly, the follow through.
Posts by Sean Kinsey
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During the 20 years before I came to find Esker, I worked in a couple large corporate IT shops, and also with a couple professional services organizations with corporate and government clients. During this period, the experience for the project teams across a majority of the projects was fairly consistent: mainly (and unfortunately) we did projects without any significant consideration for the users being part of the process of build out or implementation.
Certainly there would be a sponsor with a budget, and we implemented what they envisioned would improve the business. Some of it worked, some of it was less than hoped for. But what always stood out to me was that no matter what we were doing on these projects … we were always changing how the users worked. Duh. Easy observation. Big job though.
My interpretation of this is that we were changing the way users interacted with their day-to-day job, and with their colleagues, and with their customers. Fundamentally changing the way they experienced work. Again, duh, right? But from the IT side of things, this change imposed on end users can so very easily be neglected. A lot of IT folks gravitated to the profession because they enjoy working with computers for being logical and free of emotion.. But in corporate IT … on the business side of IT… this can be a fatal flaw. So the way I began to describe this concept and reality about 10 years ago was as “social change,” and I learned that planning, communicating the social change to the users as part of the implementation process brought positive results. At the time, I did not call it change management, nor did I realize the importance or the specific domain knowledge base in which I was operating … I just knew it was important to acknowledge it, and that acknowledging it worked. Read more
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This morning I read the June 2nd installment of News from the Peak from Mike Cohn at Mountain Goat Software, and it really resonated with a conversation from earlier in the week when discussing a release upgrade of a custom Sales Order Processing solution with a long-time Esker partner. We first engaged with their Customer Service operation in 2009 to streamline the Order Entry operations to SAP and create more time in the day for the Customer Service Reps (CSRs) to proactively engage and serve their customers.
Mike’s article presents a simple approach to prioritization in support of his area of interest and significant expertise, Agile and Scrum software implementations. His basis suggests the use of Now and Not Now categories, taking the position that it may frequently benefit product development projects to start with this process of organizing the priority of tasks. Read more
During the past month I have met with many project sponsors and these conversations have all involved a common question from my customers: What can we be doing to make sure the project goes well? The answer to that question will vary depending on the project but it always fits within the classic mix of people, process and technology. Read more