February 10, 2017

How do you engage 14,000 people in their move into the cloud?

Angela Kristiansson

Employee Engagement & Project Workday CMO Lead, Tieto

So, we were asked to drive a culture change process for our Workday implementation… but the provider didn’t offer a Change Management (CM) service. What did we do? Stick to the traditional waterfall model? Or invent an agile CM approach that fully embraces the dynamic nature of the final product? We went with the latter – after all, we love a challenge!

To start with, let’s recognize that the typical HCM cloud implementation consists of stages like Plan, Design, Prototype & Configure, Test and Deploy – and that alongside these, the actual product is subject to constant change. So, our change management approach views these different development and testing phases as welcome opportunities to review the change facilitation plans and conduct a further analysis of the stakeholder map. These iterative reviews were basically an evaluation of the change impact the new product design would bring in comparison to our “old world”.  We called these reviews change impact assessments, and we captured the outputs in change log books.

The brains behind the design are vital to the success of a paradigm shift of this nature, and in our case the brains are the Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) who are the process owners and final authority of the design.  Hence our SMEs rapidly became the cornerstones of our decision-making process, i.e the change impact assessments just mentioned.

We knew that user enablement – as opposed to training – would have to be done differently. If the product is only final at the very end, if the plan is to launch straight after the year’s end rush, and if your processes are subject to constant change as the cloud application comes with updates to the system every six months, then traditional training is not sufficient.  But we also knew we’d have to make the transition from the old to the new world as seamless as possible.

So we replaced conventional training with “how to” instructions – known as WalkThrus - directly integrated into the application. Most users just want to know “where do I click next?” The WalkThrus answered users’ needs by replacing clumsy learning methods, such as wordy PDF manuals, with straightforward directions.

Next, we built awareness among a critical mass of employees, enabling a good understanding of the project and the need for renewal. This was complemented by a variety of tool demos. These insights then proliferated throughout the company.

We also needed the heavy users, such as people managers and HR, to understand how the system operates. For this purpose we prepared five short videos, which could be easily viewed on the way to work.

HR’s approach was centered on strong participation and dialogue. Large tester groups, SME demos, briefing calls for HR business partners, workshops unifying the local teams, and knowledge sharing sessions all fostered a spirit of cooperation across the entire HR community – both on a micro- and a macro-scale.

But how could we be sure that all our hard work wouldn’t be smothered beneath the frenetic pace of everyday life? Enter our country reps. The country reps acted as the eyes and ears - and also heart - of our change organization in each country. They implemented the global communications at a local level, and they were at the forefront of driving the change, ensuring that the knowledge sharing and the dialogue with key stakeholders was a pleasure, not a chore.

The success of their local actions was evaluated by means of local change readiness assessments. These proved to be an important input, helping us to understand the go-live readiness of each country, and creating the needed transparency to allow us to nurture and support where and as needed.

In a nutshell, it was an exciting journey and a great ride. We really pushed ourselves, and our efforts were rewarded by a successful launch at the end – and along the way we also invented a new agile change management approach for HCM cloud implementations! 

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Read more: Tieto Named Workday Services Partner and Workday, Built for the cloud. Proven in the cloud.

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