According to Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw, “Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” While making a switch to Google Apps may not exactly be on par with the “progress” Shaw was referring to, the common issues around resistance to change is a familiar scenario and one that companies will face when they make a switch to Google Apps and need to deal with Google change management.
Technology changes can be difficult. Especially when those changes affect the way that we work day in and day out. If your company is going to be making a switch to Google Apps in 2015, breathe a huge sigh of relief because we’ve developed an eBook designed to help your organization increase Google Apps adoption with ease. Change management is frequently overlooked by companies switching to Google Apps and in order to knock your implementation out of the park, change management is key.
It Starts at the Top
In the early stages (before any switches have officially been flipped) it’s important for your company to understand change is coming and this change is being directed from the top. An email from the top of the organization, the CEO or CIO, shows employees that the switch to Google Apps is more than a one-off “IT project” and should be taken seriously.
The CEO or CIO should focus on benefits, benefits, benefits - stressing how the change will benefit individual employees, teams across the organization, and the organization as a whole. Employees want to know ‘what’s in it for me?’ so show them.
As your company develops a Google Apps implementation plan, change management should be a significant piece and if resources are available, consider a dedicated change management leader who can help manage the communications plan, training, user readiness, and post deployment communication.
Communications will come up quite a bit related to your company’s change management efforts, as part of the broader Google Apps implementation. This is because communications is extremely crucial to the entire process. You need to create a positive atmosphere around the initiative to minimize any negative chatter that may come up.
Take a step back and evaluate how your organization communicates. What channels work best? What technologies are used frequently? Every company is different. Identify what will work best for your particular organization and begin to develop key messages and create collateral dedicated to your rollout campaign. Helpful tip: develop an “elevator” speech about why the organization is moving to Google Apps.
Ultimately the main goal during the preparation stage is to share your vision with your stakeholders, ensure that they are completely and entirely bought in so that your top stakeholders can deliver several early messages about the upcoming change to Google Apps. During the beginning stage of Google Apps implementation and change management, begin to think through your communications strategy and the tactics you’ll use across your organization.
Interested in learning more about Google Apps and change management?
Throughout the next few weeks, we’ll publish tips on how to successfully implement Google Apps with a specific focus on change management. For your ultimate action plan, be sure to download the eBook “Growing Google Apps”