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Change Management Principles to Drive Adoption in Dynamics Projects

December 01, 2020

Change management creates an environment that fosters adoption by providing team members with the tools to communicate and engage in the process of change — in a way that feels safe and supported. We recently presented at the Dynamics Communities (DAC) conference on this topic and wanted to share key insights to help business leaders institute a change management process for their Dynamics projects.
What is the value of change management? It enables leaders to:

  • Provide clear insights into challenges and how to reduce risks
  • Focus efforts and energy on "mission-critical" stakeholder development
  • Empower and mobilize stakeholders early
  • Align the team on a common vision and goals

Ultimately, it helps ensure a smoother process that helps people prepare for, adapt to and adopt the change.

Change Is Hard, Planning Makes It Easier

Humans typically resist change and go through a common emotional process that we like to call the "valley of despair." This starts with initial awareness, denial, blaming and panic/dread, then graduates to acceptance, optimism/hope, discovery/learning and finally, feelings of satisfaction. By being mindful of this normal psychological adaption to change, leaders can anticipate and prepare their teams for the experience. Change management helps navigate everyone through this process and answers the question:

What do people need to be successful in adopting the change?

Planning for change management then involves considering the people, technology and process aspects needed to prepare your team to adapt to the change and feel successful about it. Communication is key, and the technology you choose to support how you track and communicate the change process is vital.

6 Stages of Change Management to Speed Up Adoption

A change management process is designed to prevent people from falling as deep into that valley of despair and get them through it faster. By creating awareness, providing visible leadership and anchoring it on a shared common vision with actionable engagement, then celebrating wins, it's possible to sustain the change and positively drive adoption.

We use a six-stage process to help clients navigate change:

1) Create awareness. Build a shared understanding of the need for change among all project team members. People need to know how the change will benefit the way they work, the impact on customers, and the overall effect on the business.

2) Offer visible leadership. Leading through change requires communication, coaching and modeling the importance of the change effort.

3) Share a common vision. Change requires everyone to have a common vision for where they are going and to know what the project will bring in the end as it aligns to the overall business strategy.

4) Create actionable engagement. Ultimately, people create change by their behaviors, including whether they adopt the change or not. Providing the right tools and training needed to create actionable steps will help reduce resistance and garner support and buy-in to develop new processes, structures and skills.

5) Celebrate the wins. Providing visibility into the successes along the journey is key to sustaining the momentum needed to get to completion. There is more to celebrate than just "go live" — each milestone is important and worth noting.

6) Sustain change and adoption. The end of the implementation is just the beginning of the change journey. Post-go-live is the time to strengthen each skillset, refine processes, and use change readiness to support others in creating a plan to reinforce the change.

Change Management Improves Business Agility
A well-designed change management process will make people feel supported, heard and part of the value of the change to the organization. Empathy and compassion, as well as patience, go a long way to help everyone get comfortable with change. As people experience change and become more confident in their ability to do so, they become more agile and enable the business to adapt to disruption and seize new opportunities faster.

Need some help with change management for your organization? Contact us at

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