Key Roles in Change Implementation Projects

Implementing a new tool means many challenges for the entire organization. On the one hand, these are challenges related to the very process of creating the system and quite tangible tasks that require a thorough plan and efficient implementation. On the other hand, these are tasks that touch upon a difficult topic, which is managing people in change. This includes motivating, reducing resistance as well as supporting users in the learning of the new system. For both types of challenges, we need an efficient team that will manage these challenges appropriately. So what should it look like and what roles and responsibilities should the change management team consist of?

Sponsor

One of the most important and characteristic roles in the change project is the role of the sponsor, who usually is the board member or a high-level manager due to their responsibility for the company strategy. The main task of the sponsor is, of course, to sponsor the change in the context of financing and the decision to launch the change project. However, his role does not end there. The sponsor, due to his position in the organization, has a particularly important role in the process.

First of all, it is communicating the vision of change throughout its implementation and strengthening the sense of necessity. The management board is responsible for the direction and development strategy of the organization, so its authority is one of the most important elements motivating for change. But not only that. Thanks to his insight into the whole organization, the sponsor can – and should – remove obstacles on the way to the project’s success. The sponsor’s responsibility is also to motivate the change management team to cooperate.

Leader of Change

No change will work without a leader, i.e. a person who knows both the goal and the way to it and persistently strives to implement the plan. The role of the change leader is to introduce change from beginning to end. He does so by skilfully engaging the right people in the organization and monitoring the level of motivation. This person monitors the level of readiness for change among its recipients and reacts by activating appropriate people, such as sponsors or department managers. Most importantly, the leader knows the stakeholders of the change, their communication needs, and in the case of implementing a new work tool – knows what training needs its users will have. On this basis, with the involvement of appropriate resources, the leader builds a change management plan.

Agents of Change

The more complicated the change, the more support is needed in its management. In the case of more complex organizational structures, the leader should engage change agents, who most often are found among line managers in teams working on the tool. Being close to teams and knowing their daily work and challenges, change agents can effectively manage tasks at the team level as well as build adequate energy and openness to the new system. What’s more, in the adaptation phase, it is the agents of change that directly monitor system use and can respond accordingly. They praise and reward the first trials and successes. When they see that the user is having problems using the system, they provide additional support.

System administrator

Developing the role of a System Administrator is extremely important in the process of implementing Salesforce – regardless of the complexity of its architecture. Such a person’s tasks can be very basic, yet relevant duties, such as giving permissions to new users or resetting passwords. The System Administrator also deals with the technological development of the tool and supports the business team in its proper configuration. You can either create such a role within the team or use the support of an implementation partner – such as Cloudity. However, regardless of the decision, the System Administrator is necessary for the proper functioning of the tool, and thus its full acceptance in the organization.

The roles presented above are the absolute basis for effective management of any change in implementation projects. The size of the project and the total number of stakeholders of the change – as well as the impact it will have on them – will decide whether we will involve three or more people in the above roles. It is worth remembering that such a team should exist from the very beginning of the change process, and its role ends only when the assumed level of system adoption is reached.

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Article by Justyna Sobczak