Organizational Change Management and Customer Success with ServiceNow [and How to Get There]
By Bob Dell Isola, SVP, Global Services

Jun 22, 2018 | OCM, SeviceNow | 0 comments


“We make the world of work, work better for people.” – John Donahoe, CEO, ServiceNow®.  ServiceNow, the technology company, is talking about people as the critical factor of their customers’ success.

Last month I wrote about the emphasis that ServiceNow is putting on people for customer success.  In fact, at Knowledge18, ServiceNow spoke of three main keys to success: Organizational Change Management (OCM), Business Process Reengineering (BPR), and Governance.  This month, I’d like to highlight OCM and what it means to customer success in any ServiceNow implementation.

First, let’s get a general definition of OCM:

  • Organizational change management (OCM) is a framework for managing the effect of new business processes, changes in organizational structure or cultural changes within an enterprise. Simply put, OCM addresses the people side of change management. (TechTarget)
  • Change management is a collective term for all approaches to prepare and support individuals, teams, and organizations in making organizational change. (Wikipedia) 

Again, this emphasis on the people side of things reflects what ServiceNow has done with their customer success posturing; up to and including the redesign of their corporate logo!   With that as a baseline, let’s take a deeper dive into OCM as it relates to ServiceNow.  

For the past few years, ServiceNow has moved past their traditional stronghold in IT and into the enterprise.  This means improved service management delivery for other business units, such as Legal, HR, Information Security, Finance, Customer service, etc.  And, in some of these areas, they have enjoyed a great deal of success.  Often times, that success becomes infectious in a company, meaning that once they have demonstrated what they can do with certain use cases, other business units have asked if they could do similar things for them.  All this hopefully gets the corporate ServiceNow team into a demand management problem; soon enough, everybody wants that type of functionality!  Ultimately, this results in the more widespread acknowledgement that cost centers (e.g., IT, Finance, HR) in fact do provide enhanced value to the organization.

With new ways to engage customers (internal and external), new ways to deliver services, a better service delivery model providing two-way communications and a modern engagement model (think Uber, Amazon, FedEx experiences over traditional corporate systems and models of interaction), customer satisfaction increases and knowledge workers are freed up to provide more critical insights and service to the organization.  So we come to realize that significant change must occur throughout the organization and that change needs to be actively managed.  Clearly, a structured OCM program, integrated into the project, is critical for these shifts to occur and to fully realize the desired outcomes.

To emphasize the focus on human interaction with technology and the need to manage your organization via focused change management activities, ServiceNow asked Accenturepexels-photo-860379 Andrew Wilson to share his thoughts on the matter.  His basic message was that any digital transformation strategy is equal parts technology, talent, and change management.  He strongly believes the tech part is easy these days, but how do you drive culture change?  He believes the CIO is where CFO was 20 years ago with respect to overall impact to an organization.  The role is now more responsible for critical change and CIOs should start thinking in terms of outcomes, not technology.  Culture and business problems should drive tech investments.  When thinking in terms of outcomes, we must remember that these services do not exist for the leaders or the deployers of technology; they exist for the end user.

The overarching message was that, “A modern digital transformation strategy is all about humans” and that we require a “shift from corporate-focused design to employee-focused design.”   Which all means that we have lots of change introduced into the organization and that we must change the way we engage with our customers.  So how do we manage through that change? 

I have outlined below a framework to help you manage the change and drive your customers, whether internal or external to the organization, to embrace and adopt the changes.

A structured approach to OCM typically includes the following streams*:

Mobilize & Align Leaders to establish agreements on the initiative benefits, direction and issues, as well as leverage strengths of individual leaders to facilitate user adoption of change.

Assess the Organizational Impact, Improve Process and Monitor Risks associated with the change initiative.

Include Stakeholder Management to define and involve your key stakeholder groups and individuals, assess their level of commitment and influence over the program.  Assess and plan integration opportunities and requirements.

Engage and Communicate the workforce using targeted and effective collateral to promote awareness, understanding, acceptance and adoption.  Ensure consistent branding across all media, including new or updated ServiceNow Employee Service Centers.

Train the Workforce to operate effectively in the new environment by designing and delivering multi-channel training and development activities.

Address Business Readiness by understanding the culture, redefining the organizational structure, and the redeployment of knowledge workers, where opportunities exist.  Manage integration issues and minimize business disruption.

Focus on Benefit Realization by increasing the probability of successful organizational change.  Set and measure KPIs and establish regular reporting with results-oriented actions to drive desired behavior.  Perform post go-live surveys, review and incorporate lessons learned, address gaps in survey results.  Prepare and equip managers and employees to thrive in the new environment. 

* note that this is the OCM portion of the initiative, not the complete program

The organized and deliberate attention to the how the organization will adopt these changes is intentional and just a part of the required program for success.  It becomes clear that as you deliver new service capabilities to the organization, the way those services are delivered changes.  In order for the enterprise to effectively consume those changes, they will need to be exposed, understood, embraced and adopted.  Some of the changes that users will see include:

  • New, improved business processes (more on that in my next blog)
  • Consolidated Employee Service Centers; one stop for all user needs
  • An improved and more effective self-service capability
  • Automation, performing seamless workflow and providing real-time user feedback
  • Integrated systems for a seamless experience, e.g., HRIS/Payroll systems, IT Provisioning, Security, Facilities, etc.
    • Onboarding, offboarding, regional or organizational moves, marital status changes, case management, benefits enrollment, tuition reimbursement, payroll enquiries, etc.
    • New employee IT Provisioning, e.g., laptops, cell phone, system access, etc.
  • Enhanced user experience on their platform of choice

Screen Shot 2018-06-22 at 8.31.54 AM

While your HCM platform (Workday, Success Factors, Oracle HCM, etc.) may be your system of record, ServiceNow is quickly becoming the standard system of engagement.  This is worth noting.  After all, your engagement with your customers is the main factor of customer satisfaction.  And in this case, it also is how much of the work gets done. To be more precise, this is how the current work gets done. But with new automation and enhanced self-service capabilities, the everyday, mundane and repetitive work is shifted to the platforms, freeing up time for your knowledge workers to do more critical and strategic functions.

At the end of the day, we need to engage customers and the workforce on their terms and in line with their expectations.  Think “consumer grade” applications (which seems to have been re-coined by ServiceNow), meaning the experience people get – and now always expect – when using apps on their phones.  Ease of use.  Relevant information.  Timely feedback. An effective OCM program is the vehicle to understand, accommodate and inform your knowledge workers on how to provide the right service levels and service types to its users and stakeholders. 

Embrace the active management of change and realize better outcomes in your business. 


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