Change Management and what I learned not to do

Throughout my admin career, I have had the pleasure of working with many stakeholders. These stakeholders were either decision makers for their specific teams or decision makers for large portions of the company. Part of what I have learned from working with all of these different folks is that not all stakeholders are equal and that is especially true when dealing with Change Management.

Just as a reminder for those of who don’t remember what Change Management is, the Google definition box says: “the management of change and development within a business or similar organization.”

Salesforce, as is its nature, comes with a whole lot of changes. These changes can range from trying to train teams to stop using Excel and start using Salesforce, potentially a program they have never touched; to a major feature update which throws the present business process out of alignment, and with such change anyone involved needs to learn the new ways of doing things.

Because change can be hard for some, Change Management is a fundamental part of using Salesforce within a company. As a result, I would like to share something not to do or assume, if you are responsible for said changes.

  1. As previously mentioned, do not assume all stakeholders are the equal. You need to work with each stakeholder and understand their perspective and what their role will be in this change.
  2. Do not jump right into the changes that are going to be made, whether talking directly to a stakeholder or training the users who will be impacted. You need to first explain why this is happening.
  3. In collaboration to the point above, when explaining the why, don’t use negative terms. You should always try to find a positive spin for the change. It could be the benefits of such a change, like less work, or it could be that even though there is more work, the end result will be better for them (think cleaner data, better idea of commission packages).
  4. Lastly, when working with users don’t assume anything. You should always ask at the beginning of training session where people are with their understanding of whatever it is you are going to be explaining. This will keep you from having sleepy heads and being redundant while ensuring that the changes you are implementing go to willing ears.

These 4 quick tips of what not to do should help anyone in any field that is experiencing a change management process.

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