I recently read an article titled, “UX in Change Management” which detailed how a “new project was launched…without any consultation of users of the existing system” and as a result, “users from offices all around the world rejected the new tool” (Kuter, 2016). It explained how in this case, “UX was far from just wireframing” and that “creating a positive communication with users” and “making focused changes to the interface and testing them became the strongest vector of change management and acceptance of the new system” (Kuter, 2016). This reminded me of several different topics discussed this semester, in both classes, such as change management which was touched upon in the CVS case study, UX design elements like wireframes (mine is shown here), and the iterative process of an agile/adaptive process approach discussed in the Watson case study (Shih, 2016).
In Watson’s case, the iterative process was paramount, as was ongoing communication and user involvement as they tested what they created when they invited over 100 former contestants and observed them during practice matches (direct observations – elicitation) (Shih, 2016). They then used the findings from these sessions to implement improvements (Shih, 2016). The article I read mentions how in the case of IT, sometimes this side of the project is“not visible to users” and so regular communication is important. It is recommended to “send regular emails about the project, organize monthly open demos, propose a beta version for download to interested users…and regularly ask for feedback and work on improvements” (Kuter, 2016). In the case of creating and launching a product like this, using an agile/adaptive approach is important because it is always evolving and changing; the creators need to be flexible and ready to respond to unpredictability or issues that occur and be ready to continuously improve the product (Aston, 2017)(Freedman, 2010).
Regarding overcoming resistance to change, the article, “Navigating the Politics and Emotions of Change,” discusses how “skepticism, fear, and panic can wreak havoc on any change process” and that “these types of feelings can create resistance” (Auster & Ruebottom, 2013). Essentially, that is what happened in this instance with this new tool. The individuals involved in this change process were skeptical about it, largely in part because they didn’t know much about it, due to a lack of communication, which then led to negative attitudes and bred resistance. This ties to the CVS case study because when it was implementing its new fulfillment process, leadership needed to address employee concerns and persuade them that these new changes were “right” and “necessary” (McAfee, 2006). One of the ways they did this was by eradicating confusion about the process by “clarifying roles and responsibilities,” explaining “why” this process would be beneficial and why it was necessary, and by creating “agents of change” in the form of pharmacy supervisors who went back to their individual stores and championed the new process (McAfee, 2006)(“Overcoming Employee Resistance,” 2016). The UX in Change Management article wrote how communication makes a user feel as if their opinion is “valued,” which leads to them being more likely to understand the project, and thus contributes to a positive attitude towards said project, which CVS leadership also realized and addressed when they explained the “why” of the new initiative (Kuter, 2016).
The UX in Change Management article also identifies strategies to help overcome resistance and ways to initiate change successfully and many of them mirror or relate to what CVS leadership did. One of the ways Auster and Ruebottom recommend overcoming resistance is to identify who are “key influencers” because they have the “resources, skills, or social networks needed to win over the hearts and minds of the larger group” (Auster & Ruebottom, 2013). In the case of the UX project, the author of the article, Marie Kuter, corroborated this sentiment and identified users as key influencers when she writes how “consulted users will be the best ambassadors” for the initiative because they “will talk about it…to their coworkers, managers, at lunch, during meetings, etc.” (Kuter, 2016). She also touches upon how consulting a wide range of users, not just those who already have a positive outlook on the project, can help defuse tension before it occurs, which we discussed in class (Kuter, 2016).
Has anyone experienced change in their organization? Was it met with resistance? How did leadership address it? Additionally, is anyone familiar with agile processes? Have you used this type of process approach?
Aston, B. (2017, February 3). 9 Project Management Methodologies Made Simple. Retrieved from https://thedigitalprojectmanager.com/project-management-methodologies-made-simple/
Auster, E. R., & Ruebottom, T. (2013). Navigating the politics and emotions of change. MIT Sloan Management Review, 54(4), 31-36. Retrieved from http://libproxy.temple.edu/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.libproxy.temple.edu/docview/1399095512?accountid=14270
Freedman, R. (2010, June 22). Adaptive Project Framework: A new level of agile development. Retrieved from https://www.techrepublic.com/blog/tech-decision-maker/adaptive-project-framework-a-new-level-of-agile-development/
Kuter, M. (2016, November 29). UX in change management. Retrieved from https://www.mariekuter.com/ux-change-management
McAfee, A. (2006, October 20). Pharmacy Service Improvement at CVS (A). Retrieved from https://hbr.org/product/pharmacy-service-improvement-at-cvs-a/606015-PDF-ENG
Overcoming Employee Resistance to Change. (2016, June 29). Retrieved from https://www.paycor.com/resource-center/change-management-in-the-workplace-why-do-employees-resist-it
Shih, W. (2016, October 21). Building Watson: Not So Elementary, My Dear! (Abridged). Retrieved from https://hbr.org/product/building-watson-not-so-elementary-my-dear-abridged/616025-PDF-ENG