Imagine your company is planning to implement a new pricing software solution to improve your pricing processes, margin lift and overall, profitably. However, you have realized that your organization is facing several pain points. Those include resistance from employees who are used to, and comfortable with, your current manual pricing processes; not to mention a lack of resources to support the change management initiative, and a lack of buy-in from internal stakeholders who are skeptical about the benefits of the new pricing software. What’s more, you are concerned about communication breakdowns and the potential for miscommunication during the implementation process. Sounds like you have a Change Management roadmap to put in place and need to consider who to involve in the procedure.
At Pricefx, we have more than a dozen years of experience assisting our customers in overcoming internal resistance to change in their pricing software implementation processes and assisting those organizations to successfully emerge out the other side to become more lean, efficient, and profitable in their pricing initiatives.
In this article, we will look at change management in a general sense in addition to where your pricing software project may fit into your change management initiative. Consider the steps below in your change management roadmap, key people to include and some potential roadblocks to clear out of the way to ensure success in your change management project.
4 Steps to Include in Your Company’s Change Management Initiative
To effectively manage the range of potential pain points that may hinder the success of your organization’s change management initiative, your company will need to develop a comprehensive change management plan that outlines the steps required to manage the change in addition to the inclusion of a range of key stakeholders and end-users in the process. This will require careful planning and preparation, as well as effective communication and engagement with stakeholders and end-users.
A change management roadmap provides a framework for effectively managing change within your business, and should outline the steps required, including, but not limited to (depending on your company’s unique business model):
Assessment: The first step in change management is to assess the current state of the business and determine the goals and objectives of the change initiative. This assessment should involve stakeholders and end-users and should consider the impact of the change on the organization as a whole.
Planning: The next step is to develop a change management plan that outlines the steps required to manage the change. The plan should include a communication strategy, training plan, and support plan to ensure the success of the change initiative.
Implementation: The implementation phase is where the change initiative is executed. This phase should involve the project team, stakeholders, end-users, and the pricing software vendor, wherever appropriate. The project team should communicate regularly with stakeholders and end-users to keep them informed of progress and address any concerns they may have.
Evaluation: The decisive step in change management is to evaluate the success of the change initiative. This evaluation should consider the impact of the change on the organization, stakeholders, and end-users, and should identify areas for improvement.
The success of a change management initiative depends on the involvement and support of key players which we outline below.
The Key Players to Involve in Your Organization’s Change Initiative
Change management is a critical aspect of any business transformation, including something as radical and important as transforming your company’s pricing with an automated software solution. The success of your organization’s change management initiative will largely depend on the involvement and support of key players. Not only should a change management roadmap outline the steps required to effectively manage your internal change, but also the key players involved in the business transformation process;
1. Executive Sponsorship
The first key player in change management is the executive sponsor. This individual is responsible for setting the vision and strategy for the change initiative and ensuring that the necessary resources are in place.
Executive sponsorship is critical to the success of a change management initiative as it provides the necessary support and guidance to the project team and helps to secure buy-in from stakeholders.
The project team is responsible for the day-to-day implementation of the change initiative. This team should include your in-house subject matter experts, project managers, and change agents who have the skills and expertise required to manage the change.
Best practice change management allows the project team to identify any change to the project baseline early, and in doing so, enable the control, management of changes, objectives and potential risks that could affect the project outcomes such as:
Setting up a change management system for the project.
Developing a method that allows anyone engaged in the project to initiate a notice of a potential change.
Facilitating effective management and reporting of all changes, irrespective of origin.
Delivering early warning and identification of trends (potential changes) to allow for timely assessment (scope, alternatives, cost, and schedule) and decision making for work to proceed as required/approved.
Expediting the processing and resolution of change impacts.
Ensuring that the project’s change management system is well-maintained, and it correctly reflects the current scope changes, cost forecast and schedule impacts on an ongoing basis.
Effectively evaluating trends and development of identified changes into approved budget reallocations and scope changes.
Ensuring that all changes are approved prior to implementation or commencement of any work.
Ensuring all approved changes are effectively communicated to all affected disciplines, groups, and organizations.
Preventing unauthorized work being executed.
Stakeholders are individuals or groups who are directly impacted by the change initiative and have a personal stake in its success. Stakeholders may include customers, employees, partners, and even suppliers. It is important to engage stakeholders early in the change management process to ensure you have their support and their buy-in to your project.
The project team should involve stakeholders in the planning and implementation phase of the change initiative and communicate with them regularly to keep them informed of progress and address any concerns they may have.
4. Your Organization’s End-Users
End-users are your internal individuals who will be using your new system, process, or technology. They will play a critical role in the success of your specific change initiative, as they will be the ones responsible for using the new system, technology, or process daily. It is important to engage your targeted end-users early in the change management process, and to provide them with training and support to ensure they are comfortable with the new system or process.
Engaging your key users to communicate with your end users can assist in the end users beginning to feel less threatened by the change initiative and more open to adopting it.
5. Your Pricing Software Vendor
If your change management initiative involves the implementation of a new pricing software solution, it is important to engage a vendor who has experience and expertise in solving your specific pricing pain points.
Your pricing software vendor should be involved in the planning and implementation of the change initiative and should provide support and guidance to the project team.
Your pricing software vendor should also have a strong customer service and support and/or customer success team in place to provide ongoing support to your organization’s end-users.
Managing a change management process can be a complex and challenging task for any organization, regardless of the task or business process that you are looking to manage.
If you can successfully overcome this range of potential roadblocks below that organizations often face when managing change, you should go a long way towards your change management goal or process sooner rather than later:
Lack of buy-in from stakeholders: One of the biggest challenges in change management is securing buy-in from stakeholders, including employees, customers, partners, and suppliers. Without their support and engagement, it can be difficult to effectively manage the change.
Resistance to change: Change can be difficult for individuals and organizations, and it is common for individuals to resist change. This can include resistance to new systems, processes, or technologies, and can be a major barrier to the success of a change initiative.
Communication breakdowns: Communication is key in change management, and breakdowns in communication can be a major pain point. Miscommunication or a lack of communication can lead to confusion, frustration, and a lack of buy-in from stakeholders.
Lack of resources: Change initiatives often require significant resources, including time, budget, and personnel. A lack of resources can limit the ability of organizations to effectively manage change and can impact the success of the change initiative.
Inadequate planning and preparation: Effective change management requires careful planning and preparation. Without proper planning and preparation, organizations can struggle to effectively manage the change, and may encounter unexpected challenges and obstacles.
Now You’re Ready to Change!
Change management can potentially be a roadblock to all your new initiatives including pricing software implementation as it involves a significant shift in processes, systems, and behaviors. To remove these roadblocks, companies should prioritize clear communication and stakeholder buy-in, effectively plan and test the change, and ensure that all employees are trained on the new pricing software.
As we have learnt above, getting prepared in addition to effective planning and testing can minimize the risk of disruptions and ensure a smooth transition.
If you are managing a pricing software implementation project in particular, training is critical for successful change management, as employees need to understand how to use the new pricing software effectively. Providing ongoing support and resources can help employees adapt to the change and make the most of the new system.
Ken Edwards has many years of experience as a web content writer, from the dawn of time of the internet through to the current day. Included in this are varied topics from scuba diving travel, Australian Government Health & Ageing Policy Initiatives, Online Casino and Sports Betting, Vehicle and other Asset Finance, financial legislation and regulations, and now to AI-informed pricing software with Pricefx. When he’s not busy writing, you’ll usually find him hiking somewhere in Europe with his wife Lucie and his dog Max.