The Soft Stuff is the Hard Stuff
A common theme at ASUG Annual Conference and SAPPHIRENOW was that technology is not hard, but getting people to embrace new technology is challenging! Two excellent presentations at the ASUG Annual Conference emphasized the importance of organizational change management in complex interdependent organizations.
The Treasury Board of Canada presentation, Changing Analytics Delivery in the Government of Canada, discussed how they successfully implemented a centralized reporting infrastructure using analytics solutions from SAP. This solution services more than 150 source departments and agencies. Philippe Johnston, Senior Director, Business Solutions & Application Development for the Treasury Board of Canada said that the strategy to navigate change included finding potential early adopters, investing in training, and gradually rolling out the new tools. The Treasury Board identified analysts interested in using the new business intelligence tools in their daily jobs, inviting them to use the new business intelligence tools first. The Government also invested time and resources in training staff throughout the roll-out period. The Government also identified high priority areas to roll out early to make an impact – and builds support for change.
In one of the last ASUG sessions, the State of Indiana presented Using Data and Analytics to Make a Difference. The State of Indiana Management and Performance Hub (MPH) was established by an Executive Order signed by Governor Mike Pence. Presenters, Dave Matusoff, Executive Director of MPH and Josh Martin, Chief of Staff for MPH said that success was not assured from the start. At first, the State of Indiana faced a big challenge in getting different agencies to share data across organizational silos.
The State of Indiana offered excellent advice to anyone trying to implement analytics solutions and dashboards to solve really big problems.
- Start with the most important use cases to make a difference. Infant mortality was part of the Governor’s agenda, so was a top priority and an early use case. The opioid epidemic, tax fraud, and crashes on state-controlled roads are important to citizens and government officials. This leads to the second point.
- Get executive sponsorship. The Governor’s support was critical to making sure the new analytics solution received top level attention in departments throughout the state. But that didn’t mean there was a line at the door on the first day the Management and Performance Hub opened for business.
- Create collaboration. Many factors contribute to collaboration. Data privacy and security was important. Being able to anonymize data so that individuals are not identifiable in studies helped build confidence and trust in the new tools.
- Publish results. Sharing the data and analysis made other agencies realize that there were many potential use cases worthy of analysis by the Management Performance Hub. And now the backlog of use cases is beyond what anyone may have imagined when this SAP HANA platform was established.
Organizational change management is a critical success factor for any change – whether a new technology or government policy.
What was your road to success? Was organizational change management critical? What benefits have you achieved? We’d love to hear your stories!