Change management

As organizations deploy modern geospatial capabilities to improve their operations, a common challenge is how to prepare the impacted workforce to quickly adopt new workflows and new technology. Change management is a key element to ensuring these projects and initiatives are successful, a structured, defined approach for planning, implementing, and managing change within an organization to ensure intended outcomes are achieved. It addresses change across individuals, teams, and the broader organization, whether related to technology, business processes, or organizational structure. Change management should be incorporated into your strategy for GIS to enable individuals to adapt and work in new ways that will maximize business benefits and minimize disruption.

When implementing any change within a system, especially a geospatial system, consider the key stakeholders needed to ensure the change will be successful. These stakeholders will likely include executives and sponsors, as well as anyone else whose work will be impacted by the change. Take time to understand and document the needs, concerns, and expectations of each stakeholder group, and consider their level of influence and involvement in the change process.

Follow a common framework

The Prosci ADKAR model is a common framework for five outcomes an individual needs to achieve for a given change to be successful:

  1. Awareness– for the need for change
  2. Desire to participate and support the change
  3. Knowledge of how to change
  4. Ability to implement desired skills and behaviors
  5. Reinforcement to sustain the change

Prepare a communication plan

Preparing and acting on a communication plan will help to achieve awareness, desire, and reinforcement. The plan should define key messages and target audiences as well as communication channels and timelines. Overall, the communication plan’s purpose is to address concerns and promote understanding of the change.

Prepare a training plan

To help ensure knowledge and ability are addressed, consider developing a training plan. The training plan should identify and define skills and competencies required to successfully enact the change, and outline the path impacted stakeholders need to take to develop those skills. Esri offers a wide range of training options, including pre-defined learning plans for certain roles.

Esri offers solutions to help organizations support their workforce through change and accelerate the pace of ArcGIS adoption, including consulting, coaching, training, and workshops.

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