Ken Day is a Senior Applications Consultant with over 20 years of Kronos experience. In this blog, he discusses the benefits of implementing the Kronos Paragon Implementation Methodology into a change management strategy. 

Every organization struggles with change. In fact, it is often mismanaged, put-off, decelerated or completely stalled until the unavoidable "product upgrade" project comes knocking. Change Management does not have to be an oxymoron;it should be virtual oxygen for positive business outcomes. There are key ways organizations can begin to reframe “change” and “management” as a proactive combination for controlling engagements and driving a successful outcome. In this blog, we will take a closer look at the Improvizations’ change methodology – specifically, how to make sure your team is on the same page before you try to turn the page. Improvizations’ approach is designed help a project team clearly communicate about a project’s complexity and status.

When we are first engaged for a WFC product upgrade or optimization project, we interview the staff to understand holistically the system’s role in the organization and take the pulse of the operations by reviewing and extracting the existing configuration. We call this a "setup snapshot", or Pulse, and it establishes a configuration baseline that drives the entire upgrade project.

The guiding document, automated by the Pulse of the methodology, allows the upgrade team to review and share ideas about the setup. It is essentially a comprehensive spreadsheet - a dynamic document tailored to meet the customer needs by combining the current state system architecture information with consultant expertise and information gathered from working directly with your project team. It is loaded with as much or as little of the customer's setup as needed to drive project engagement objectives.

For example, if the project objectives call for analyzing and optimizing existing interfaces and the pay policies feeding those interfaces, the tool output options are tuned accordingly. Settings would be enabled to include only rules affecting those categories and any immediate dependencies. This helps the engagement team reduce technical clutter and focus on what's most important.

Once the project team has a relevant ‘set-up snapshot’, it allows them to work in a format that is ready-made for immediate review and collaboration. The content needing review by the team is presented in a virtual space that facilitates better management of any changes to strategy/content. Change can’t happen successfully until everyone shares a foundation.

Sharing a common understanding of the system and the objectives it serves within the organization is key to being able to move forward collaborative. As a result, we recommend a more "plain language" format complete with terminology and simple graphics that depict actors, workflows, digital assets and processes in a simple use case picture.

The war-room is the nerve center of successful change management. Sharing a collaborative understanding of current state, like the kind we’ve highlighted above, at the outset helps foster a shared sense of purpose, ensures everyone feels engaged and on the same page, and sets the baseline for the complex team work required to be successful. On the last three engagements where Improv introduced this style of collaborative documentation to the upgrade team, we organized the first review in a conference room setting with a large wall monitor. Once the spreadsheet was opened to the Topics and Contents tab with the almost 100 category links organized in a "table of content links" style, the customer realized the level of complexity of their Kronos project. Nothing like a spreadsheet with relevant and shared team content "set up" to organize disparate skill-sets and set an engagement up for change management success.

In summary, when creating a change management strategy the best way to ensure success is to communicate and plan for complexity by fully validating the current state. Collaboration and documentation is key – no one is ever entirely on the same page across all their Kronos users, sites, and role. Working in a format that is ready-made for immediate review and collaboration allows the project teams to reduce technical clutter and focus on what's most important.

Are you preparing for an upcoming Kronos project?

Download our free white paper, Successful Implementation Strategies, for more information on change management. 

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