Managing change: 5 steps you can follow

If your manufacturing company is focused on digital transformation and considering implementing some kind of organizational change (maybe implementing a manufacturing software like Prodsmart), change management is probably one of your main concerns.

It’s a challenging process which should be carefully managed and requires strategic thinking and planning to ensure its success. Since all companies will at least at some point deal with some kind of change – and to guide our clients through the implementation of our production management solution, which allows them to collect data in real-time through mobile devices – we have collected five simple steps that you might take into account when preparing your change management:

Step 1: Answer the preliminary questions: What? Why?

Usually change occurs to improve either a process, a product or an outcome and for a specific reason.
You will not be changing just by changing. It is certainly part of a strategic plan that will guide your company in a near future.
It is important to pinpoint why are you layering a new manufacturing software for production management over the old spreadsheet or paper form, the reasons behind changes in processes and/or operations. To cut costs? To Reduce Wastes? To improve efficiency?
By having and sharing this answers you will engage different stakeholders in helping you in the change management process: If they understand how a manufacturing software can help them perform better, you task is much easier!


Step 2: Make a people-centric plan

Having a plan will help you.
So will make it about the people.
Start by embracing your vision of how will success looks like after the change and define the roadmap: Where you are now and the steps you need to take to achieve the final destination. Planning will prevent sudden and impredictable changes, will dramatically reduce the impact of new infrastructures, processes or manufacturing software in your business.
Even a new tool for production management, which might seem very technological, will depend on your employees embracing and using it, so make sure you keep them as the center of your plan.
One tip we can share is to start by identifying your key stakeholders, informal leaders who will be affected by the changes but can also affect the entire group of workers. If possible, involve them in the planning phase of your change management plan and consider their inputs!

Step 3: Listen and learn

Change can bring fear and uncertainty, causing resistance.
Connect with your employees, listen to their concerns and try to address them as much as possible. It will empower them with information to understand the new processes and the reasons for change.
Communicate with them and try to have them thinking about the big picture, the importance of the change to the organization as a whole and therefore to each employee as one.
You might find some resistence – still listen to dissenting voices, who can give you important insights.

Step 4: Provide the most important Tools

Apart from giving your workers adequate tools to perform their new tasks, or the old tasks according to the new processes, you need to train them. They need to feel comfortable with the new technology and train their proficiency. Consider this training period as a chance to troubleshoot problems and improve the implementation.


Step 5: Give it time

Technological changes can be quick. The setup and implementation process of our MES manufactuing software is very fast but cultural change doesn’t happen overnight and requires more time. It also depends on the change that you are trying to implement: Our customer success team usually works closely with our customers to plan for small steps which will lead them to achieve the desired long-term effect. It’s a long term effort.
Change can be a bumpy road but if you follow these steps you will probably be able to lead your organization through change and overcome every challenge that arise.

If digital transformation and change interests you, sign up now and find how we can help you.