Last time in our Mine Digitization and Automation series, we started to delve into the change management aspect of your digital transformation. As you probably noted, this change management effort is best started before or concurrently with your decision to pursue new technological advantages, because you need to know if you are truly ready, and understand what work may need to happen before expensive decisions are made.
Remember, two key things need to be assessed for change readiness – the scope of the change itself and the unique characteristics and attributes of your organization in general. Understanding these factors is critical as you create a change management plan that will address potential risks to your project.
(This leads to another question, though – should YOU be creating the change management plan? The answer is likely no – change management is a specialty, so as you consider digital changes, a vendor with in-house change management capacity might be preferred. Your organization might have an internal change management office, and they are likely very skilled, but we’ll deal with considerations around whether or not you wish to rely on them in another blog.)
Here are some of the things you will want to consider.
Assessing the Change
- What is the scope of the change? Who does it affect? Workgroup, department, division, enterprise?
- How many employees are directly impacted?
- What type of change is it? Process, technology, organization, job roles, merger, strategy?
- What is the amount of change from where you are today?
These are just a few questions a skilled change management expert will use to assess your change readiness.
- What is your culture and value system? Is your culture accepting or resistant to change?
- How much change is already taking place?
- Are there residual effects of past changes?
- What are the sponsor’s leadership styles and power distribution?
- What is middle management’s predisposition toward the change?
- Is there employee readiness for change? Do they have the skills and behaviors required?
- Who are your influencers, official and unofficial?
- Is data recognized as a strategic asset at all levels of the organization? Is there a strong and formal stewardship of data?
A lot of mining organizations take a “command and control” attitude towards change, in that they believe if they say their people need to change, their people will accept the change, willingly or not.
You may have heard the business aphorism that has been popular since the early 2000s, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” It’s a fact, so whatever your plans or strategy, if you’re hoping for a successful change or transformation, you’d best know what you’re getting into and that you’re proceeding with a team that is fully bought in for what’s to come.
Next time, we’ll address some of the drawbacks and challenges of digital transformation. Find out next week as the Mine Digitization and Automation series continues.