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Change is inevitable when an organization deploys new technology and based on my experience, the management of that change is often the reason for failure to adopt the new technology. By nature, most people don't like to change, and change is often threatening, especially to employees that have been in their roles for a long time.
Change Management is critical to implementing an Electronic Records Management (ERM) Solution because failure means the organization is at risk for lack of compliance.
Change Management and Project Management are typically both required to enable change. But why is Project Management at the forefront, and there is little focus on Change Management? Most organizations realize that Project Management is essential to a successful project. We all know what a Project Manager is, and most of us are even familiar with the PMP certification for Project Managers. But how many projects have you been involved with that had a Change Manager?
The PMBOK Guide, Fifth Edition defines Project Management as:
Project Management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements.
Project Management is accomplished through the appropriate application and integration of the project management process groups of initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing.
The PMBOK Guide does not define Change Management, although it does identify the need for integrated change control within the project, but that is more about controlling the scope of the project than managing change.
One definition of Change Management, provided by Prosci, is:
Change management is the process, tools and techniques to manage the people side of change to achieve the required business outcome.¹
Project Management has gained relevance in the last decade. CIO magazine reports that by 2020, there will be 700,000 new Project Management jobs in the US. It could be that the concept of Change Management is just lagging behind Project Management. Or many organizations view Change Management as part of Project Management.
In either case, both of these disciplines are essential to any project but why is Change Management critical to an ERM project?
Project Management will ensure the project is completed on time, on budget and within scope, but Change Management will focus on the people and help them transition and adopt the technology, the ERM solution.
There are many areas of change that may be required when implementing an ERM solution. This article identifies four areas and then outlines three critical factors for successful Change Management.
Here are four areas of change that may need additional attention when implementing an ERM solution.
We know that change is inevitable, but how can Change Management help? Here are three critical factors that are centered around the people and how to help them transition and adopt the ERM Solution.
As with Information Governance, unless you have support from all levels of management, the ERM initiative may not be taken seriously. It will be an uphill battle for a Records Manager to convince the rest of the organization the importance of the project.
When you are embarking on your journey to deploy an ERM Solution, and you are thinking about Project Management, don't forget about Change Management. Remember that Sponsorship, Education, and Culture are three factors that can positively affect your ability to institute change along with your ERM Solution.