Our previous posts in this three-part series discussed the importance of recognizing office culture, accountability, inclusiveness, and the potential fears of your digital evolution for effective change management. In part three we explore where to begin when implementing your pilot project, and why you should celebrate every success of your pilot project.
Tip #5: You have to start somewhere
A pilot implementation has long been considered a critical component of any system development life cycle. But how exactly do you pick a department, team or other group which will make for a successful pilot and help draw change forward?
Things to look for:
- Support: Middle management is receptive to the idea of digitization, supportive of staff participation and willing to dedicate person hours and other resources necessary
- Right-sizing: Ensure the volume and complexity of the group’s record holdings are the right size to ensure success within a reasonable time period while still showing a significant impact
- Need: An ideal pilot group is one with an admitted problem that only improved records management can solve
If these three criteria sound conflicting, that is because they are. The key is to select a pilot group for which that conflict isn’t insurmountable. A group with disorganized records can be an excellent candidate for a pilot, as long as that disorganization is not the direct product of disinterested management and apathetic staff. In other words, if the records are a mess because no one in the department could possibly care about recordkeeping, then you should start somewhere else. Those groups will need to be tackled in the foreseeable future, but doing so will be much easier once you already have a successful pilot under your belt.
Tip #6: Celebrate every success
Whether you’ve just completed a pilot implementation or experienced a positive outcome at some other stage of the digital evolution, effective change management requires that you celebrate every success.
It is especially important to communicate measurable impacts not just to recordkeeping groups but also to the business itself. Consider the example of a customer claims department which successfully consolidated and digitized 15,000+ paper files from across different office locations. Typical records management benefits of such a move might include:
- the ability to search for and locate information from across different organizational units and geographic locations
- instant access to records
- multiple search capabilities
These and other features lead to immediate records management improvements worth celebrating, such as decreased retrieval time and more comprehensive search results.
Other impacts worth celebrating are those affecting the business and its customers. For example, you might say:
By reducing file retrieval time, digital filing allowed staff to resolve customer claims thirty percent faster. Management has forecasted this improvement to reduce the company’s claim processing cost by x dollars over the next three years.