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What Really Drives Successful
Change Management

 

Originally aired on 03/18/21

50 Min Watch Time

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Mason Williams:

All right, good morning and good afternoon and welcome to our webinar today. We are going to be talking about what drives successful change management. I will be your host today. My name is Mason Williams. I’m our Vice President of Project Delivery in North America for InEight. And with me, I’ve got a great panel today that I’ll introduce you to in a second. But we’re excited to bring you guys this topic.

Mason Williams:

So today we’re going to explore the importance of communicating change management within your organization. We’re also going to discuss aspects around avoiding common change management mistakes, empowering your end users how to adopt through training plans, and then a really good, unique discussion on how the product development itself influences successful change management.

Mason Williams:

So before we dive in today, just to go through some housekeeping things we’ve got, just follow the icons from left to right, we’ve got the chat capabilities, so feel free to chat, that it’s always good to do. And go on those points that are made in the webinar. Also, ask us a question. So use the question icon there to ask us a question. And we’ll get to those questions towards the end of the webinar. And then we’d love to get your feedback on the webinar at the end. That’s really important to us so we can continue to drive high value content for you.

Mason Williams:

So with that, I will introduce my panel members today, and then we will get off and running. So with me I’ve got Ines Gvozdich, she’s a UI designer in Australia down in Melbourne. So she’ll be talking about how the product development influences successful change. We’ve got Megan Siefker, Megan Siefker is the Director of Client Success here for InEight in North America, and she is really one of our biggest change management champions that we have at InEight. And then I’m really pleased to introduce Adriene Gould. Adriene is a customer of InEight and recently gone through the digital transformation process. And Adriene is the Operations Support Program Manager at the CCC Group.

Mason Williams:

Alright, well, we’re going to dive in and see what… If your opinions changed throughout the webinar or not, then we’ll probably pop that poll question back up at the end of the webinar and revisit that. So appreciate you providing that early feedback. So we’re going to jump in and first talk to Adriene. And she’s provided some really good insights from the customer’s perspective on what to expect with regard to change management. And then Adriene, just my first comment to you is I know, the CCC group has recently tried change management before. And I want to hear about some struggles. And I know that when you came to InEight, you guys had put some things in place to better prepare yourself. And if you can just talk to some of those struggles that you had of a prior experience, that would be great.

Mason Williams:

I’m sorry, I jumped ahead. So excuse me, everybody, I’ve missed my cue there. So Adriene, before you do that, why don’t you give us a good detailed introduction, and then I’ll move on to the other members.

Adriene Gould:

Sure. My name is Adriene Gould. Thanks for having me. I’m currently the program manager for operations Support at CCC group. We’re an industrial construction company. I help safety and project controls with process change and application support. My background is in business analysis, and IT project management.

Mason Williams:

Alright, thanks, Adriene. Thanks for catching me there. Well, I’ll go to Megan. Next, Megan, go ahead and introduce yourself and what you do.

Megan Siefker:

Sure, Hello, everyone. I’m Megan Siefker. I am a Customer Success Director at InEight. So I work with customers through their implementation, first to ensure we’re implementing the right solutions to meet their business needs. And then going through a full process assessment to understand not just the tools that might be changing, but some of the processes that need to change. So deal with a lot of change, a lot of digital transformation with our customers, have learned a lot over the years working with different customers. So really excited to talk about change management, which is such a critical piece to implementing a new technology or processes or really anything impacting your business.

Mason Williams:

Excellent. Thanks, Megan. Ines.

Ines Gvozdich:

Hi guys really excited to be here. I am the user experience designer for Document at InEight. So I primarily work with the product team, and development and really kind of get requirements together and understanding why we’re implementing a design and doing the research and back end on that. Prior to InEight I was working at an e-commerce store as a growth analyst. Little bit of graphics design, little bit of project management, but primarily again, looking at user experience design and really ensuring that the customer has an enjoyable experience from landing to getting the product at the end.

Mason Williams:

Excellent. That’s great. As you can see, we’ve got a good well rounded group here that kind of covers the full spectrum. So I’ll jump back into it, Adriene, we’ll get back to that question that I was asking you about it. And that was I know, the CCC group had previously tried to do some change management with some other software in the past and had some struggles there. And I just wanted to hear about kind of some of those struggles and what you went through.

Adriene Gould:

Sure, this was not our first rodeo, we have had a few implementations, some are with systems that we do still have. And maybe it didn’t go smoothly. And some of those systems have actually already gone away by now. And so the first thing we did was to conduct a lessons learned and bring in as many people as were still around from our last attempt, and openly honestly talk about what went wrong and what went well. We need both aspects to that.

Adriene Gould:

And just conducting a lessons learned, I think just the experience of it in the activity itself got people to realize that we’re going to be a lot more engaged this time. And we’re going to make it work. That helped quite a bit. And now when we’re approaching any kind of potential issues that we can look back on that and see on our lessons learned we identified this as a potential issue. And we came up with some mitigation efforts of what we could do to prevent it from becoming a problem again this time.

Mason Williams:

Well, that’s pretty cool. And so did you track those throughout the implementation or did you make sure you guys revisited that lessons learned?

Adriene Gould:

I do, I definitely bring it up enough that I’m sure that the team feels like it too. If something comes up, I can point that this is in our top three, this wasn’t our top five. And anything that was our lessons learned that did get transferred to our risk register. And as a group, our team leadership came up with what we would do about it when it comes up. And if that risk does come up, we look back at our register and say this is what we plan to do about it, and what we’re going to do about it, so it definitely all relates, and it’s all incorporated, and change management is integrated to the entire project lifecycle. No project always goes according to the execution plan. So you have to be prepared for that change from the beginning.

Mason Williams:

Excellent. For context, can you just give our viewers a brief overview of like, because so CCC group is that they’re located in many areas across I think even the globe, can you give us a little overview of just how big you guys are. And then how much more that change management becomes important.

Adriene Gould:

Yes. Very important, especially with the conditions that we’ve had in the last year. And we are based in Texas in the United States. So we do have the majority of our people here, but not necessarily in the city. They’re spread out throughout the state. We also have quite a few people across the country and some in South America. So we’re definitely all spread out. And that was a little bit of a benefit that when the pandemic hit, we already knew how to go about with web conferences, and digital whiteboards and things like that. So we were already used to some of that.

Adriene Gould:

But that does still make a dispersed team… It’s difficult to do an implementation when you’re used to having people look over your shoulder when you’re learning how to use a new software. So it set some struggles with that too. But we started very early. And we started with a large team, it was about 30 people, and all just listening and getting exposure to a lot of different systems, and a lot of different demos. We went to Con Expo, we did a lot to get input and make sure we get to the right product, and had a lot of people involved in the selection process. So that we had all different opinions and ideas represented, different areas of the company, foreman through VP, everybody was involved.

Mason Williams:

Wow, that’s pretty smart. Can you talk about the communication strategy that you guys used to keep up that change management vibe, as we as you get implemented this second go around.

Adriene Gould:

The communication strategy is one of my favorite things to stay on top of, because my personal brand is transparency, I want to make sure that everybody knows what’s going on, everybody that wants to know what’s going on can find out. And I try to reach people on the platform that they prefer. And if somebody prefers email, I’ll make sure they get an email, some people don’t like email or it gets lost, and they want a phone call. Whatever works best for my target audience and my stakeholders that’s how I try to reach them.

Adriene Gould:

We have different rollout plans for communication, depending on the stage of the project, and the stakeholders. So of course, our core team, we do have a weekly meeting, but we talk every day. And then we also have different meetings, different sessions for different types of the audience, we bring in SMEs as needed. So it’s constant communication, and it’s a lot to juggle. So it is best to stay on top of it and just be open with everything, all our projects have documentation is in one spot, that everybody has access to. So we do what we can to keep everybody in the loop.

Mason Williams:

That’s excellent. And then I heard you say not only did you have a weekly meeting you’re in daily communication, but that consistency, and frequency is key.

Adriene Gould:

Definitely.

Mason Williams:

How did you get it you keep check on that throughout the process. So you started robust out of the gates, got the core team engaged? How did you consistently monitor that?

Adriene Gould:

It’s just constant maintenance. There, there are some lulls. Over the holidays, some people kind of faded away, and we just had spring break, didn’t hear from too many people for a week. And so it has its highs and lows. And but that’s beneficial too, because we started to have a little bit of overload. And I think people get meaning fatigue when it’s too often. So sometimes need a little bit of a break. We have had a little bit of transition with team members as people left the company and more people come on for different modules. And so that puts a little new life into things too. And we have new voices on board, that need to get caught up to speed. It’s had its ups and downs. But just staying constant with the core team. We try to keep the few four or five people that are at the center of things in touch every day.

Mason Williams:

It’s interesting, it’s like a construction project. You plan and then you go execute the work. And then you’re constantly trying to stay up on network but just like anything when you’re implementing a solution, it is, it’s a job but then you’re also like you said you’re going to have that meeting fatigue and you’re going to have people get transitioned out. That’s just like anything else in that you’ve just got to stick to it. So great, kind of with that in keeping that communication strategy strong and dealing with some of those internal changes as well. Can you talk about the importance of engagement from the senior leadership?

Adriene Gould:

That was definitely identified as the most important thing in our lessons learned. We had most of our people participating in the lessons learned weren’t directly participants in the previous implementations, but were end users of the software. And they didn’t feel like there was any kind of engagement from leadership. Leadership, of course, might have felt differently, because they were only working with the few people on the core team. So that communication didn’t expand and rollout, IT didn’t roll downhill. So it didn’t get felt by everybody in the audience.

Adriene Gould:

So we knew that this time, we had to have leadership engagement from top to bottom. And so if you’re not near the CEO, on the org chart, you’re only near your manager, you still have to hear from him. And he’s going to hear from his manager. So that kind of communication between all levels of the hierarchy, it was really important. And we need to know that our leadership is on board with just the expenses, we want a return on investment, but it’s a big expense. And we are in a pandemic, and we are remote. So there’s a lot of factors that made it even more important right now, for everybody to know that the team’s on board, the whole team.

Mason Williams:

Excellent. Megan, I’m going to throw you a question. What have you seen out when you’re doing deliveries with top down leadership engagement and how important is that, from your perspective?

Megan Siefker:

Yeah, for sure, I’ve seen that that’s one of the most important factors in the overall success and outcomes. I think just having that top down leadership support increases the awareness and the desire for people to participate in the change, which is so key. When you just try to shove something down their throats, and they don’t maybe understand the business reasons for the change, or the risk of not changing, and what that would have an effect on the business, then they’re less inclined to really actively engage in what do I need to do to get the training, and do the work that it takes to implement, because change, it is a process, and every individual has to go through that process. And they need to know they have the backing and support of executive leadership. Not just from a decision making point, but really to show that support that we all need to get on board, because this train is moving forward.

Mason Williams:

Yeah, I think some customers feel people don’t come in with that strong feeling. They think, “Okay, we’re just going to implement something here.” And meanwhile, we’ve got the business driving over here. Whereas know that an implementation, especially on really shoring up your operational base and how you’re going to go do businesses is just vitally important to your organization and should, should definitely put at the forefront.

Megan Siefker:

So yeah, and that’s one of the common things that I’ve seen is you’ve got your IT organization, who often takes the role of selecting new technology. And so if they’re the ones who are driving this change, the business teams are not as likely to adopt it. The IT team may have made the decision to purchase a technology. But you really have got to have those business leads be the sponsors to say, “Yes, we are implementing this for a reason.” Whether it’s a process change or technology change. It can’t come from someone who has no direct impact on the people that are being affected by the change.

Mason Williams:

Thank you, Adriene, just to kind of get back to, how are you guys ensuring that you’re going to get adoption? How would you work through that?

Adriene Gould:

A lot of that comes back to that communication plan, and that we make sure people realize that it’s coming. So it doesn’t come as a surprise, and we’re already getting people involved in the training, getting exposure to it at university, so that it won’t be so scary to try something new. And they know that this is the way, it’s not going to be something passing, it’s not going to be optional. This is going to be expected of people, we’re going to have reporting with dashboards, and they’re going to be expected to be able to present this on a monthly basis.

Adriene Gould:

And so just exposing people to what’s expected and what’s coming has been a big help. We do have a particular operation meetings with leadership so that they know the status of the project. We keep updating our milestones and our progress and any hiccups we have in the timeline, so that they can spread that knowledge outward. And just having regular relationships with our co-workers. A lot of us have worked together for a long time. And we can share our progress and get excited about it. And we find something new in the software like “Oh, I can do that. That’s so cool.” Just those little moments really help the buy in.

Mason Williams:

So what couple of things did you put into place around the training to really push out the training through for the organization? How do you service different roles and those types of things?

Adriene Gould:

Yeah, we’ve had a few different implementations with security, I had some concerns about it lining up with our people, because we don’t always have a job title that matches the roll. A lot of people wear multiple hats. So we had to be real careful to not make a group for John, we have to make multiple groups for John’s roles, and make sure that we try to have it consistent so that it’s easy to maintain, but also easy to understand as we transfer responsibilities around.

Adriene Gould:

And so we started with InEight University, with all the pre-made stuff, that was great, that was a huge help. And one of our implementation tasks was to develop a training matrix that took our internal roles and responsibilities, and matched it with the roles that are out of the box in the system and with the stuff that’s in the university, and kind of decide how we’re going to align these roles up with permissions. And that helps guide the training so that when we have a new hire come in, they know that they’re given these one or two roles in the system at a project level, and they can be directed towards the exact training courses that they need to get certified in. And so having that relationship built out has been a huge help. And I think that helps with some of the buy in, because users just logging into a training thing, there’s so much. There’s so much to learn and so much that it can be overwhelming. But if you know that you need these three hours of training, first, on week one, focus on that. And it’s bite sized portions and it’s controlled, and it’s manageable.

Mason Williams:

Smart. Sounds like you leveraged your lessons learned pretty darn well I hear.

Adriene Gould:

Yes.

Mason Williams:

Just to kind of ask a different questions that I’ve seen in implementations, and it’s quite often that you get in the throes of it and people are doing great, and the solutions are coming along. And at InEight, we do process assessments and design workshops and things, sometimes we run into challenges where get to well, a functionality, a potential functionality gap or a perceived functionality gap that maybe can be handled by altering of process or something. And just like, how did you guys ever overcome any of those types of challenges?

Adriene Gould:

I think we still are a little bit every day. That’s part of the change management, we knew coming in that we were going to have to change. And that was the biggest lesson learned is that in the past, we’ve had systems that we would customize to the point that they were not manageable with upgrades. And we have had different processes in different regions, because we are so spread out.

Adriene Gould:

So we knew coming in that we would all have to come to terms with change. And we come to the table willing and prepared to change to the other guy’s way, not force the other guy to change to our way. And so just having that attitude, and that understanding that we’re moving forward, it’s okay to change, try something new. That much has been a big help. But we also all agreed that we would use the system as it was intended as it was designed and not do a lot of customizations. And that really helped with a lot of the mental block toward change. And because we know we have to change, we have to use it this way. And that’s helped quite a bit.

Mason Williams:

I think that’s an excellent, great point. And yeah, it because you’re right. I think sometimes we try to overthink and try to think every little scenario and then that’s not fully tested out and down the road that becomes overcomplicated like you said, excellent. Thank you, Adriene. Okay, well, I’m going to shift gears a little bit here and talk to Megan some more about being a client success Director InEight and dealing with change. So, Megan, what have we experienced, and what expertise can we provide to help support with change management?

Megan Siefker:

Yeah, so I mean, it’s really exciting when we get a customer like CCC Group who has done the lessons learned and been through that kind of some failed past experiences. But that’s not every customer. So what we don’t want is to be that customer’s first failed experience, because they don’t have that pool of lessons learned, which is what we can bring to the table. So we have people who are certified in change management and understand the importance of executive leadership, the importance of a communication plan, and training strategy that is role specific.

Megan Siefker:

So these things we can bring that to our customers as a knowledge base of our lessons learned and the lessons learned that we’ve encountered with other customers. So I think that’s huge on the expertise, because not all customers have a huge knowledge base in change management. So that’s something that we provide an offer templates and here’s an assessment that we can do at the beginning to kind of gauge your readiness for change, and then have that inform what we might do for a communication plan. So little things like that.

Mason Williams:

Yeah, it’s great because like Adriene said, they started with change management in mind before they went on the transformation journey. And in many, I think we see change management comes second. So interesting. So on that point, Megan, what common change management mistakes should change agents avoid and that might be good for you too Adrienne.

Megan Siefker:

Yeah, I think definitely, we kind of touched on the executive leadership. What we’ll look at in the beginning of an implementation is let’s identify those key project stakeholders that are going to be the sponsors. They might not be deeply involved with the implementation, but they’re going to serve that role of that executive sponsorship, and make sure those people have the level of influence over the business teams that are being most impacted.

Megan Siefker:

And then also, are those people that are in those roles, do they have the knowledge of what does change management mean? If not, do we need to coach them up? Like, why is it so important that you stay actively engaged? And what does that active engagement mean? Where should you come into meetings or maybe you’re not needed at all meetings? But where can you have the most impact? So doing a little bit of coaching with those executive sponsors, and making sure the right people are in those roles. So that’s something kind of early on, we’ll look at.

Megan Siefker:

And then just kind of analyzing, making sure you understand everyone that’s going to be impacted by the change and what’s that level of impact. Because it’s going to be different for different groups. And so that’s going to adjust our training plan our communication plan for those different groups. And we want to make sure that we understand what is the current status of that group of impacted individuals, are they very resistant to the change, maybe they’ve been through some struggles in the past, maybe they were not part of the by in process of selecting the technology, and they’re very passionate about their current tools or processes.

Megan Siefker:

So making sure we understand that and if there is any resistance, addressing it right away, not just going through the motions and getting to training, and they’re sitting in there, not really paying attention, just planning on kind of brushing it off. So, understanding where resistance lies early on, so that we can be proactive about it and get to the root causes of that as to “Here’s why we’re doing this. Do you have any objections? Let’s talk through that.” And help them come to solutions with you to manage that resistance.

Mason Williams:

Excellent. And Adriene kind of said it when she spoke that they have an internal team, a core team that constantly talks about that we have to make sure that they hold each other accountable. And on some of our really larger opportunities I’ve seen that where there’s multiple implementation things going on, at the same time. And that just adds to the overall complexity of the project. And I’ve seen the steering committee, steering group meetings really helped that where members from InEight senior leadership, and senior leadership from the customer come together and are able to touch base on a monthly occasion to talk about any challenges with the product and what that really does is that just reassures that top down engagement. So that team, all has their buy in from management on both levels.

Megan Siefker:

Yeah, and I think that’s why a communication plan is so important. Adriene touched on the preferred format, for key messages. But also what we like to look at is the preferred sender of certain messages. So, who are messages best received by, and if you put together a solid communication plan, which we can help with that by providing some templates, then you’re just checking off those boxes, and you’re not having to think like steering committee meetings is something we’d have on the communication plan. So we make sure we’re aligned with those key decisions. And then we’re keeping that engagement throughout the process. That’s identified on that communication plan. We know we all need to do it, and there’s no questions. You’re not waiting for things to go south, you’re being very proactive with the change management.

Mason Williams:

And along with method of communication. To Adriene’s point earlier to some people want it on a text, and some people want to email and yeah, it’s interesting. You got to really tailor it.

Megan Siefker:

Yeah.

Mason Williams:

Tell me more about, so you said something about the readiness assessment. Can you elaborate on that some more?

Megan Siefker:

Yeah, so we look at assessments at the beginning of an implementation and kind of help just go through each impacted group and identify what’s the degree of impact and then where do they fall? We use ADKAR, which is the phases of change defined by Prosci, but what’s their level of awareness? What’s their level of desire, knowledge and then ability. And an organization then we’ll start to see the benefits are realized the outcomes that they’re going for when the majority of the people get to that ability stage.

Megan Siefker:

So we’re continuously looking at that, and assessing those groups to make sure they’re processing through the phases of change. If we get through training, and we’re looking back and there’s still like a knowledge gap, then maybe we missed the mark on the training. So we need to assess that. So we want to make sure we’re continuously checking in on that. And so we have some structured assessments for that, to ensure before we roll this out, that we are at that ability stage, and we’re not held up at some barrier in a previous phase.

Megan Siefker:

So that’s one. We also do the sponsor assessment to ensure the sponsor has the right influence and the right knowledge to effectively participate in that role. So there’s quite a few assessments out there that just kind of help gauge where are you at and what do we need to focus on to ensure the successful outcome.

Mason Williams:

Yeah, and that all that supports what Adriene spoke to in terms of around that, understanding that there is a need to change, and when you run into some, in that mitigation strategy, we’re figuring out where might we have roadblocks down the road, and we can start mitigating those early still help make that transition smoother on those processes or changes that the organization is going to take on.

Megan Siefker:

Yeah, and sometimes just asking the question makes you think, “Oh, wow, we didn’t think of that as a customer. We haven’t been through this change.” And it kind of triggers those conversations, which are good to start early, rather than when it’s too late.

Mason Williams:

Yep. All right. Good stuff, Megan. All right. And Ines I’m coming to you.

Ines Gvozdich:

Excited.

Mason Williams:

Alright, Ines, tell us how the solutions and the products are developed to create the best workflows for the people. And maybe before you do that maybe elaborate on what a UI designer does?

Ines Gvozdich:

Well, we’ve actually got user experience designer and a user interface designer, so I’m kind of, at InEight, covering both of those fields. So as a user experience designer, we’re really looking and understanding and how a user interacts and how they feel when they’re interacting with this product. So it’s all about that kind of base model of researching, understanding all their needs, frustrations. And then user interface is kind of applying these components onto a screen and thinking about how a user is going to click on those.

Ines Gvozdich:

So do I need to make this button red or green? What do I need to place it to make sure that they’ll see it? And how are they going to flow down that page? So it’s really they’re using one another, and you kind of need both to create this kind of successful product, really briefly, if I was to explain it like that. But to jump in and answer your question, I would say in terms of how we make products and develop them in terms of best practices for our users. At its core, and what Adriene and Megan have been really saying, it is all about communication.

Ines Gvozdich:

I would say it’s all about communication, and these agile environments. So be being able to cross communicate over these departments within your organization. Teams can’t design blindly, we really can’t assume what companies or clients need. The products that really thrive. And the ones that do really well are the ones that put their target audience first. So I’m going to kind of jump into like a little bit of a process in terms of developing those best practices just really briefly.

Ines Gvozdich:

But in terms of UX, we’re really looking at understanding, exploring and materializing. I’m not going to go too deep, because I don’t want to spend too much time on them. But if we think about understanding, it’s really where we are really researching and defining. So we’re researching who this user is, what are their frustrations, whereabouts in the product is it frustrating, where do we have to make this change?

Ines Gvozdich:

And based on that research, then we’re starting to define, okay, what are our goals? What is the scope? What’s our timeline? What are our milestones. And with that information, then we start jumping into this exploring. So we really start to generate as many ideas as we can, let’s get them out, it doesn’t matter how great or small this idea is, let’s just get as many on the page as we can, because we can really branch out when we’re applying a change.

Ines Gvozdich:

And then we would start kind of tweaking these ideas, building them up until we can build a prototype. And what I mean by prototype is just having this product that’s not quite the finished product, but allowing our users, our internal stakeholders, anyone that’s really going to be interacting with this change, to be able to visualize and really get a kind of tangible feel of what this might be. And we’re able to use this product to jump into materializing, which is essentially allowing our customers and our stakeholders to jump in and Test the product before it’s finalized. Because with agile environments, we really want to be jumping back and forth and getting as much feedback as we can. So with testing, we can get feedback, go back to the design, fix it up based upon the user’s feedback. Really ensuring that they’re part of this entire process, until we’re at a point where we’re quite happy. And then we bounce it off into implementing.

Ines Gvozdich:

And implementing is just really ensuring that this final design product that we have, is communicated clearly to whoever’s next. So in some organizations it might mean development. Maybe it just stops there and goes over to a contracted team or something. But it’s really about ensuring that that communication from each stage is super clear. So that the product that you have shown the user during this process is what they’re going to get, and it isn’t going to be a surprise at the end of the day.

Mason Williams:

Yeah. I don’t know. 

Adriene Gould:

And our end users couldn’t quite articulate what they were looking for. But the user friendly, the field of the system was rated very highly, in things that they wanted to get out of the product. So even if they can’t articulate the terms and the labels, they know what they want.

Mason Williams:

That’s pretty cool. Thank you.

Ines Gvozdich:

And I think that’s probably one of the really exciting things about having user experience a part of this process as well is sometimes when we’re observed observing what customers are doing, we’re able to kind of bring forward and say, we saw you struggle in this one little section, let’s investigate that, let’s see what we can do to improve that section and maybe speed up the process or maybe make the process a little bit simpler. So that’s what’s really exciting about maybe even having Adriene and myself sit down together and work on it together. That’s how we’re going to produce these, this best solutions, essentially.

Mason Williams:

Can you talk about InEight document because I think you work with InEight document in particular? So can you give us examples on how best practices are built into that?

Ines Gvozdich:

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, that’s one of the best things for me about InEight is how much they prioritize this experience. And what I mean is user experience and this funnel, and these agile channels that were able to have such clear communication with everyone in the organization. For me, in particular, so in terms of InEight document, our process kind of follows the stages of starting at product team, which will usually incorporate your owner, your director, tech, developers, and then myself as a designer.

Ines Gvozdich:

But at the end of the day we’re really ensuring that our client is a part of that process, too. So for a quick kind of explanation of how that works. Let’s say for instance, Adriene comes to us and says, “Oh, my goodness, I’m so frustrated at this one component, we keep having people come in and out about how it’s not working. And it’s a little bit frustrating.” Okay, Adriene, let’s figure this out together. Let’s work out what’s frustrating for you? Why is this section frustrated? Is a different client frustrated about this too. What are our competitors doing? Can we kind of maybe incorporate something like that, let’s do as much research as we can.

Ines Gvozdich:

Then with that research, we start designing. So the requirements from my product owner will come to me, and I’ll start looking at the requirements, start creating these low fidelity designs. And what I mean by low fidelity is pretty much just these generated sketches. So let’s make it as simple as possible so that we can really start discussing and developing this idea. So I’ll sit with the product team have these like small ideas ready. And we have 25 plus years experience of computer software here. So all in general, or new construction, dev, everything design, and we’re putting all these together to really be able to critically break down the design and create this final direction.

Ines Gvozdich:

Once we sort of have that initial design, we jump into that prototype. And this is again, where we jump back in with our users. So Adriene will come, she’ll see the prototype, we’ll be like, “Okay, we heard you, this is kind of what we did. Again, it’s not the final version, this is just the prototype for you to try, let’s sit down together.” Sometimes in these workshops, we do great. And sometimes we completely missed the mark.

Ines Gvozdich:

But that is the best thing about this process is that we can sit down and find those errors earlier on before we chuck it in development, spend a lot of time and money, get everyone else frustrated and exhausted. So by having the customer here with us the whole time, we’re able to make these adjustments back and forth and continue the process. So after Adriene kind of gives us those updates, we go “Okay, cool. Let’s go back.” Make them again, maybe see her again, until we get to a product get to a point where we’re kind of happy with this.

Ines Gvozdich:

At the same time, we do have to ensure that we’re within our time constraints as well. So if we’re saying hey, we’re releasing it at X, Y, Z, we need to still make sure that we’re going to release at time. So sometimes, we might not be able to have every single thing that we wanted. But we have to think critically about what is going to create the best possible change in this process. After that happens, essentially, we go over to development. So then I sit down with the development team, make sure that whatever I’ve created is, again, communicated clearly to them. Which is great, because it’s so easy to have those conversations, everyone’s really open with bringing up things that might improve it, or anything that we have missed.

Ines Gvozdich:

Goes to QA, which is essentially quality, making sure that there is no bugs, so that when the customer again, goes and interacts with it, it isn’t like, “Okay, why isn’t this button not working?” And then once it gets through QA, it goes upon release. And just to conclude with that, I’d really say like, that’s one thing about InEight, again, really prides itself on this kind of vigorous channels, clear communication, and really just the agile environment, with being able to go back and forth quite quickly in keeping that customer with us.

Mason Williams:

I think that is so cool that you’re able to get that immediate feedback with the customer. And that’s so important in order to get that final product just like you said.

Ines Gvozdich:

Absolutely. Yeah, for sure. Otherwise, you’re making assumptions about what someone wants, when you don’t know what they want. And it’s just not going to work.

Mason Williams:

So on the document UI experience, how do you use customizations to build a change solution?

Ines Gvozdich:

I mean, this is a bit of a tricky question. But to be frank, it’s a balance between understanding what the customer needs and what our company needs. We can’t make this kind of dramatic change without considering what else it’s going to affect. Adriene might need one thing, but what if our other customer or client might need another thing? So we really need to sit down and look at it and think about what can we change, again, without disrupting the entire process?

Ines Gvozdich:

Do we make small changes, do we make big ones? But I will definitely say, and I’ve said it before, the best thing here is having that agile environment with your team, in terms of best practice, that way, you’re able to make these rapid changes and get feedback quickly. It’s really the only way that we were able to be like, “Okay, this will work or this won’t work.” But yeah, again, it’s just that bridge between understanding what everyone needs and having that agile environment.

Mason Williams:

That’s excellent. Well, that exhausted all my questions for you. Did you have anything else to add?

Ines Gvozdich:

About UX?

Mason Williams:

Yeah, anything else, you wanted to cover or are you good?

Ines Gvozdich:

I’m good. I think we got a good cover of the process there.

Mason Williams:

Well I think it’s such, to me, it’s a really neat topic. The whole change management topic. But I don’t think people think about the user experience as being a part of that. So I think that was a really good deep dive in and get a lot of good stuff out of that.

Ines Gvozdich:

I would definitely say like listening to Megan and Adriene, there’s so much of what they’re saying that crosses into that UX process. I’m so glad that we’re able to be like, okay, let’s just make sure that we’re talking to everyone, let’s make sure that we’ve got that process down. So it’s really exciting. I feel like UX crosses over everything, even if it might not seem like it does, but for sure it’s putting that user first.

Adriene Gould:

As the customer, I can we do really appreciate.

Ines Gvozdich:

It’s definitely exciting to sit with people and be able to kind of do things together. Yeah.

Mason Williams:

With the user experience and in the training, and then the InEight University. And so all that has to be in synchronization so that you’re getting that up to date. And so people are in this solution that they’re not looking at from two years ago. It’s the latest release. So it’s a lot of work. All right, well, I think we’ll get into our final question for our panelists. So looking for just a final takeaway, that so what would be the key change management principle you would give to someone who is about to embark on a complex technology change journey. And, Adriene, we’ll start with you.

Adriene Gould:

The main thing I would tell somebody trying to start this journey is to make sure everybody is willing, everybody’s got to be on board. And to really embrace the culture of change. You have to be open about what kinds of changes are going to come and at what speed. And then the other part of that is don’t hesitate. Technology moves fast. Particularly in the construction industry, we tend to be a little slower to pick up on new technologies and that hurts us. So we can’t hesitate too long. We can’t take too much time to make a decision and move forward on things. So just be willing to dive in and get going.

Mason Williams:

I think that’s really important. You’re right. Don’t be hesitant and dive in. Yeah, no time like the present. All right, Megan, what would you offer up as a major takeaway?

Megan Siefker:

I would just say being aware that change management is that human factors. So it’s not just thinking about what technology is going to change, but how are the people actually going to be affected by that and how do we communicate to them? So having a plan for how you’re going to change the individuals that are most affected, whether that’s doing the right communication. But we put all this planning into a construction project, that’s kind of the same type of thing that we need to think about when we’re going into an implementation is, this is a big undertaking when you’re talking about doing a digital transformation with your organization.

Megan Siefker:

And so we need to put that same level of effort that we do into planning large capital projects that we do to plan something of this size and undertaking to implement new technology. And make sure that we are thinking about not just what tools are changing, but how those tools affect the people, and what can we do to help them move through the process that is change?

Mason Williams:

That’s a great point, Megan. And oftentimes I see customers wanting to… “I want this tomorrow.” We’re very construction oriented people, we’re on schedules, we’ve got to meet that deadline and we lose sight of that human element. You’re asking people to really take what they’re doing today and flip it upside down to some degree and start doing it a little bit differently with the new system. So that is something to definitely take into consideration there. It’s a great point. All right, Ines, what do you think.

Ines Gvozdich:

I would definitely say and I’ve said it before, these agile environments, being able to ask people get things tested and get that feedback. And I think doing that rapidly is probably one of your best things, you’re getting, like informed research to direct what you’re doing. If you’re going to try something, try something small. Let’s test it with a group of people, see how it goes. If it doesn’t work, cool, good thing, we tested it with a small group of people instead of just implementing the entire thing. Because you don’t want to have to go back to get the whole organization to relearn something all over again. So I think definitely having those staged sections of testing, applying, getting that research and trying, again, to hopefully work a part of your process. Yeah.

Mason Williams:

Thank you, I guess just to sum up those are all great points, embrace that culture of change is what Adriene said. Be open, don’t hesitate you’re stepping into it. So just go in tackle it, and be open to it. And as Megan spoke to, you consider the human element, and then what the adjustment is, and then the agility that the Ines spoke to. So it’s quite a full monty process on top of the solutions, et cetera. So excellent stuff.

Mason Williams:

So I think we’ve had some really good conversation today. We’re going to open up the poll question again, and see, if your minds changed. The very first time around, I think that 75% of the everyone said that the business objectives were the most important for change management. Let’s see if we changed your mind and open that poll up again. So we asked “What is the most important factor when it comes to change management?” And then the first option was training in support strategy. Second, is engaging communication strategy, clear business objectives, and top down leadership engagement.

Mason Williams:

All right. Good stuff, I think. So it looks like we’ve kind of pivoted from clear business objectives to now top down leadership engagement. So all these are very important, I guess. But I would say that, in my personal opinion, I would say it really does start from the top with that change in mind from the very start to really make that as impactful as possible. So great, I’m really, really think that’s great getting that feedback there. And it sounds like we got the message across.

Mason Williams:

So alright, with that can includes the open discussion portion. And we’ll get into some question and answer here with you and my fellow panelists, I may also engage you to support me on some of these questions. So one of the questions we have here is, “How do you weigh one customer’s requirements or desire against one that is the opposite? And if an unseen third option might accommodate both parties?” So yeah, that’s a challenging thing that we run into all the time.

Mason Williams:

And that really is back to the about assessing what that need is in that requirement is and how detrimental that requirement is to your business. Or how does that requirement… Is that based on an existing process today, and that process is unable to be somewhat modified in the new solution toolset? And so that’s what, we really start to look at how can we solve this? Is this a reporting output type requirement that can be solved with a custom report, that can give you that answer that you need? Or is it really something in the solution that enhancement of that functionality needs to be taken into consideration?

Mason Williams:

And so with that we do we have those discussions with you and other customers and weigh out what we need to do, and how imminent that feature, function or gap is. And do we need to put that on, is that a roadmap item? Have other customers had similar requests for that. And so that may make that, we’re hearing a lot of that, and we really need to move on that functionality. And then how else can we solve that? I would ask Megan, or Ines, even if you have any further feedback on that question.

Megan Siefker:

Yeah, I’ll say to a lot of those items that we tried to take and put something into settings so that if it’s going to negatively impact one customer, they have the ability to toggle that off in the settings. Which is one way to kind of provide that third option the either or option. And I’m sure Ines has some thoughts on that too.

Ines Gvozdich:

Yeah. 100%. Same as what Megan was saying, sometimes we might have to have just like a customized options specific for that client. Unless it’s something really big, and then it’s going to influence something that we can’t actually toggle, then that’s when we have to really sit down and consider “Okay, is this going to improve it for everyone? Or is this detrimental?” Like Mason was saying, and that it’s situational. It’s specific.

Ines Gvozdich:

I can’t say for sure that it’s one way or another, it’s really specific to those situations. But that’s where we have to sit down and have those conversations and really think about, okay, how can we apply this for you? Or is it going to improve or it’s not going to improve. And then that’s the hard conversations to have. Sometimes testing really helps with that from UX. Sometimes we can create a prototype and see how it goes and see if that works and have AB testing and maybe try both clients’ sides, if it is a cross thing. But yeah, it’s very specific to that situation. Yeah.

Mason Williams:

Yeah. So I think, really, at the end of the day, there’s lots of options there. And a lot of like, discussions and considerations we make. And I think that’s what’s nice about it is it’s being agile, being flexible, and having those conversations and so it really isn’t about this customer versus that customer, it’s always about finding the right solution for you. So, okay. Well, we have come to the conclusion of the webinar today. And I just want to thank everybody, for tuning in.

Mason Williams:

And I really want to thank my panelists. So that was great conversation, guys. And it’s been fun getting to know you throughout the process, and you’re engaging with all of you. And this has been a good experience. And so just for our audience, for more on organizational change management topic, visit ineight.com. And then we got also tons of great webinars out there too, on ineight.com/webinars. So really would like to go there and take a look. But with that, have a great rest of your day. And it was great talking to you today. And thank you very much and we’re signing off.