Change is (usually) as good as a holiday
Change management is an excellent buzz term in most industries and seems to relate to buying new stuff and using it; but when it comes to messing with peoples workflow, subconscious or otherwise, you better be ready to deal with resistance.
This is my iPad
I was an early adopter of the iPad and being an IT geek, there was no need for change management needed. We all jumped in head first and never looked back. While it certainly would never win awards, one of the must-have features was the screen rotation lock, located on the side.
This little switch made sure that as I moved about, the screen was not randomly spinning around each time I adjusted my seat or turned the iPad around to show the display to someone else. What made it invaluable was that I work extensively with Windows Remote Desktop and therefore am most comfortable in landscape mode.
But all was not to stay simple and I was quite surprised one day to find that a software update from Apple had changed the functionality of the switch to muting the audio. Thinking this was some kind of mistake, I submitted a support case with Apple and was advised that it was not a fault but a “new feature”.
Now if I wanted to lock the screen I had to:
1) Unlock the iPad
2) Double-press the Home button
3) Swipe left-to-right
4) Click the lock icon on the left of the screen.
Needless to say that this change in workflow was very annoying and made working on the device with one hand that little more difficult. What was also baffling was that the mute feature held no value as you simply held the “volume down” button for 2 seconds to activate mute. It may have seemed such a small adjustment to Apple but there was clearly no “change management” considerations.
At that stage Apple was adamant that it was their way or no way so myself and other iPad users I knew all submitted constant feature requests to Apple in a combined effort to get our rotation lock back and, after what seemed an eternity, Apple did allow users to choose what the switch does.
The point of the story
While this may sound like a win for me, what it is really reflecting is how resistant to change people can be. When it does come time to plan your next major IT implementation, the following steps will help ease the migration pain:
– Consult the users: Find out beforehand how they are performing a task. You may find that individual results may vary.
– Testing: Have the users test all of their daily tasks on the new platform so see what differences will arise.
– Educate: Make sure that everyone knows beforehand the changes to workflows with education and training for your users.
– Support: With most corporate IT solutions, technical support is generally handled by a vendor. DO NOT send your users looking for support without knowing exactly what their issue is first.
The communistic approach
The users are the lifeblood of your enterprise, comrade. Make sure they know “the party” is looking after them