Practice Management - Part 2 - Change

Change is the core of my work. As a consultant, my job is to implement technology solutions to improve business processes and efficiencies and reduce costs, by automation, artificial intelligence, and business process re-engineering. Change is what we do but change is our challenge.

On a daily basis, I work with multiple customers who are looking to stay ahead of their competition. Some would like to do more with the staff they have while others need to downsize but get the same amount of work done. But then, there are some customers who want to completely reimagine how they work. The key to success in all these scenarios is to successfully manage the change within. Most organisations, and let’s say people/employees, are reluctant to change. “Will I lose my job?”, “My way works, why change?”, “Another new system that doesn’t work?”, “The system supports Division X’s business process but not ours. Our processes are different.” “We are number 1 in our market. We must not change!”.  These are a few of the typical questions and reasons. These are valid questions. It is critical we take them through the journey. “What’s the vision of the organisation?”, “Why do we need this change?”, “What’ll happen if we don’t change?”, “How can we adapt ourselves and our processes and overcome future challenges?”

The leaders of the organisations need to answer these questions and educate the employees to get them on-board. The leaders and us, consultants, must listen to front-line employees. They are the ones who will be using the systems day-in-day-out. Their opinions matter. Empowerment of employees increases their participation and support for the change. Training and support are also important factors in a successful outcome. Without the right skills, even the most engaging and supportive employee may struggle and may eventually give up.

There’s also another dimension of change that consultancies need to be aware of. Not only we need to help our customers change but also we need to change ourselves as well. There are two sides this.

  1. Technology changes rapidly (literally every week) and we need to need to keep up with the pace.
  2. Competition

It is tremendously important for us to stay up to date. If not, we would lose our competitive advantage. The competition is fierce. Mammoth organisations try to muscle their way in. Smaller organisations are lean and may try to undercut your prices. Globalisation allows even clever and more efficient ways to deliver the same outcome. To succeed in this battlefield, consultancies must continuously monitor their progress and constantly adjust their internal processes and practices. “How do we maintain healthy margins?”, “How can we maintain high employee satisfaction?”, “How can we reduce staff turnover?”, “How do we attract new future employees and continue to grow?”, “How can we achieve high customer satisfaction?”, “How can we sustain our current competitive advantage?” These are some of the challenges we face on a daily basis. Sometimes, we need to bite the bullet and take our own advice that we give to our customers.

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About the Author

Nadeeja Bomiriya is a Microsoft MVP, Chapter Lead – Dynamics 365 Saturday – Australia, Committee Member – Melbourne Dynamics 365 User Group, Technical Architect, and Dynamics 365 Practice Lead who lives in Melbourne, Australia.

Disclaimer: This blog post contains opinions of my own and not the views of my employer.

Practice Management – Part 2 – Change