Change may well be the only constant for modern businesses, particularly in these current, unprecedented times. As the events of the past year make unmistakably clear, effective adaptation is crucial to long-term success.
At the outset of the stay-at-home orders, many businesses needed to build a remote workforce quickly, but they were lacking the tools they needed to do it. Simple aspects of daily operations, such as communication and productivity, were now challenged in ways never seen before, and large-scale digital transformation was no longer a luxury but a survival imperative.
Managing major change can be challenging for organizations of any size, particularly for dynamic teams with many members and priorities. One essential consideration is change management software. These platforms are designed to help teams monitor their progress and collaborate effectively in achieving significant change.
Choosing the right change management software can represent the difference between a company’s smooth transition to a new work model, or hardships that could lead to eventual obsolescence.
This article will provide a concise overview of change management software and guidance on selecting the right platform for your team’s needs.
Change management software: What it is and why you might need it
Change management software is geared toward optimizing the management and monitoring of a company’s daily processes. This could mean a facet as standard as customer onboarding, to an element as dynamic as IT digitization.
A strong change management software platform provides businesses with the capability to structure these processes in a new way, place infrastructure in areas of critical need, and have more effective means for evaluating crucial data.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought paradigm shifts for many companies in every area, from hiring models to customer development. The particular changes facing a given industry or niche will vary as widely as the businesses themselves. This is why it’s important to choose the right change management software for the unique issues your team may encounter as you move toward greater usage of remote possibilities.
When determining which change management software may best serve your company’s needs, the primary culling technique should rest on evaluating specific functions and features associated with different designs.
Factors such as the size of your company, whether your team is fully remote or hybrid, how much hiring you plan to do in the immediate future, and the current skill-familiarity of your workers may dictate which software lends your processes the most benefit.
The following list outlines some of the key features and functions useful to consider when choosing change management software that can bolster—rather than burden—your efforts to transform into a digital model.
Essential functions of change management software
- Keep everyone on your team up to speed: One of the most pressing challenges faced by vast numbers of businesses as they digitize is communication. Your change management software should streamline effective remote collaborations between team members and leadership, and collective conversations relative to company output.
- Visualize your team’s workflow: Without in-office interactions and the tangible access to guidelines, expectations, and feedback that characterize in-office culture, productivity has the potential to decline significantly. Look for change management software with the capability to provide your team members with infographics, visualized data, charts, and other workflow presentation tools that work for your company’s work style and help keep everyone engaged.
- Assign tasks to specific team members: Having your remote workers know who’s responsible for what can be a challenge without a tool to delineate tasks in an organized manner. The change management software that you choose should facilitate a structure for assignments and offer workers clarity on their roles within each project.
- Facilitate updates and feedback: When implementing your company’s remote redesign, the generation of weekly or monthly progress reports allows your team to engage with the fruits of their active alterations and evolving skills in real time. These updates and feedback methods can take the form of graphs, charts, newsletters, or any other infographic that best suits your company.
Selecting change management software: Key features to look for
The future of remote collaboration calls for a co-evolution of talent and technology. This will require most companies to think carefully about the infrastructure of their hiring policies, expectations, internal processes, and growth goals.
Each of the following sections focuses on a feature, function, or attribute that business leaders might find advantageous or necessary when selecting change management software.
An intuitive user interface
The change management software interface is the first and arguably most important piece of the puzzle. You want an interface that uses algorithmic metrics and pre-built insights to anticipate and gauge the needs of your remote team members.
For example, suppose your company specializes in a fast turnaround on projects that come in at all hours of the night. In that case, a well-designed user interface will offer custom alert notifications when messages or deadlines post and provide several assignment listing options (by deadline, size, client, etc.).
It may also be able to do things like:
- Learn which types of assignments go to which workers and auto-send those to their appropriate team members
- Be able to discern that a given team member has never opened or utilized a key tool that could help boost their productivity and prompt the user with a quick informational pop-up or learning opportunity
- Capably absorb pre-established templates, mail servers, or task managers for easy cohesion into daily expectations, while simultaneously providing streamlined productivity
Naturally, much of what an interface can provide to a team is contingent on the skills of the team itself. When it comes to investing in independent professionals, Upwork can help you find the remote talent you need to get the job done.
Customization of workflows and tasks
It’s imperative that the team members who will utilize your change management software the most have the most control over the optics, layouts, and presentations of the information pertaining to their jobs.
Implementing a static change management system is almost as inefficient as not implementing one at all. Make sure that any system you choose contains a multitude of ways that your team members can customize workflows, tasks, messages, and other pertinent variables of their jobs.
Robust visualization options
As in-person conferencing and other tactile means for exchanging ideas and feedback diminish, visuals need to increase at an equivalent rate. Your remote team members’ ability to see and conceptualize projects and long-term objectives greatly impact their ability to perform at optimal levels.
From an administrative standpoint, being able to track initiatives, generate reports, strategize marketing, graph profits and losses, and view output in an immediate and creative way greatly reduces the guesswork and time spent gauging these variables in other ways.
Consequently, you should look for change management software that thrives on robust visualization options. For example, if you run an accounting firm, your system should be able to show you any timeline, node graph, pie chart, or real-time report on accounts, specific clients, and even individual worker progress.
Swift integration with other tools
For true organizational adaptability to occur, a change management software that is noncommunicative with other tools that your company relies on is rarely the best option. Check to see if the system you’re considering meshes well with commonly used apps and platforms that you don’t plan to give up or switch out in the immediate future.
For instance, if your remote team primarily relies on task manager apps like Slack or Asana, your change management software should come with open templates that allow for those apps to be plugged into the interface. While most systems will come with their own tools for basic processes, like communication, your best options allow business leaders to determine whether those tools are appropriate upgrades to what is already preferred by the company’s remote team.
Accelerate change with quality independent talent
When choosing change management software for your business, make decisions based on functions and features that strike a balance between familiar modes of operation and intended growth.
Bending too far in either direction leaves your remote team with the same, or new, obstacles. If the software isn’t different enough, the same problems will still present themselves. If the software is too different from what workers comfortably know, it could result in new, potentially expensive problems for the team.
Upwork represents a reliable resource for experts in implementing change management software and professionals who can effectively implement necessary changes in order to help your team function as smoothly as possible.
Whether you need help building a remote team from scratch via our global talent pool or want to make day-to-day operations run smoother with the team you have, Upwork can help lead your company through a successful digital transformation.
Get This Article as a PDF
For easy printing, reading, and sharing.