As part of Quest Experience Week (QXW) 2019, Hamilton Telecommunications’ Peggy Christiansen and Holee Nunnenkamp discussed how Hamilton Telecommunications handled change management during the implementation of JD Edwards Employee and Manager Self Service functionality.
Hamilton Telecommunications began a project to implement JD Edwards Employee and Manager Self Service. The company goal for the implementation was to have paperless benefits enrollment by the fall of 2019. While it seemed like a straightforward move, the team at Hamilton Telecommunications knew that the project could get complicated easily. The company has a corporate office as well as six remote locations with more than 1,200 employees, many of whom have never used JD Edwards. The project team knew that each of these employees would be affected by the planned implementation.
Hamilton Telecommunications’ Self Service Project Journey
Preparing for Change
To prepare the many employees for the implementation and to ensure its success, Hamilton Telecommunications created a change management strategy for the project. The first step in that strategy was to gather resources. Hamilton Telecommunications decided to partner with Brij for the implementation and chose to do multiple rollouts of functionality. Then, the project team gathered members from across departments and disciplines for input and collaboration on communications, testing, and implementation.
Self Service Project Phases
Hamilton Telecommunications divided its JD Edwards Self Service project into three delivery phases:
- Self Service basics
- Advanced forms
- Open benefits enrollment and cleanup
Employee and Manager Self Service basics were rolled out first. This included:
- The ability to view and change current benefit elections
- Emergency contacts
- W-4 information
- Direct deposit information
- W2 forms
- The ability to assign delegates
- The ability to review competency information
- The ability to accommodate tasks for compensation planning
- Common performance reviews
- Time audit reports
- 401(k) deferral reports
- Managers workbench
- Automated state unemployment processes
- Employee personal profile information
The second phase required much more advanced forms, including:
- Records for life events such as marriage, birth, and adoption
- New hire benefit enrollment
- 401(k) payroll deduction changes
- Paid time off requests and approvals
- Benefit provider interfaces
- Kronos employee data to JDE interface and integration
- Personnel actions such as transfers, promotions, etc.
The final implementation included Open Benefits Enrollment and cleanup.
Change Management Strategy
In addition to challenges regarding the number of groups of employees and the breadth of the implementation, Hamilton Telecommunications anticipated another challenge – change management. While every employee would be affected, some would be affected more dramatically than others and also in entirely different ways than others. The Hamilton Telecommunications team of accountants, for example, had worked with JD Edwards every day while HR generalists in the field had worked mostly with paper forms.
Moreover, even after implementation, the amount of time various team members would be using the service would vary widely. Some people would be using the system daily while others would just be using it occasionally.
The change management team at Hamilton Telecommunications also wanted to be mindful that each location has different cultural elements. As a result, they set forward with a change management plan that was guided by an understanding reflected in a quote from Nelson Mandela.
“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”
The team wanted to figure out how to talk to each and every person who was affected by this project in his or her own language.
Interestingly, the team also had the goal of demonstrating the success of change management. They wanted to ultimately build change competency into the organization. Christensen said, “We all know change is inevitable. The better we are able to manage change, the better off we will be.”
To accomplish their goals, the Hamilton Telecommunications team integrated change management into project management. As part of this effort, they had the change manager report to the project manager. They focused on how individuals would be affected by the project change and used Proci ADKAR, a goal-oriented change management model that guides individual and organizational change with the ADKAR acronym that stood for:
In the case of Hamilton Telecommunications this meant:
- Each individual needs to be aware of the need for change and of the nature of the change.
- Each individual’s desire to support and engage in change will be encouraged through training and even one-on-one support to implement changes.
- Each individual will have the knowledge for making change and implementing new skills and behaviors.
- Each individual will have the ability to implement the change and demonstrate performance.
- Each individual will be provided reinforcements to sustain the change and also to build a culture and competence around change.
The change management team also wanted to prepare leadership and staff for the change journey. At the onset, the team worked to gain the support of decision-makers for the change management project and to invest in it with budgetary support. They chose a multi-media marketing approach to prepare staff.
They also selected a change management sponsor to help with communications. They chose a well-respected manager who kept in time with the pulse of the company. The sponsor helped distribute information but also gave feedback about the implementation to the change management team. This person gave a 360-degree view of functionality and communications.
Hamilton Telecommunications created a plan for change management that focused on people, processes, and ideas. The plan was a living, changing document with details and explanations about the project for each of the rollout phases. It identified groups and individuals affected in each phase. It helped the team consider how people would be affected in different ways. In addition, it helped anticipate who might be resistant and why. On the flip side, it also helped the team to identify individuals who could possibly be changed champions.
The team was committed to being mindful of the plan during implementation but being willing to accommodate change simultaneously. To do this, the change management team talked to groups about lessons learned and asked for feedback. The team then reviewed the feedback to consider if an adjustment based on a recommendation would be helpful and needed to be implemented.
Throughout the process, the team used multiple forms of communication including quarterly meeting announcements, manager-led team meeting announcements, posters on bulletin boards, signage near time clocks, etc. Hamilton Telecommunications also placed messages on the break room TV and cards with the link to the cell service URL. Finally, they had intranet posts with requests for feedback.
Tips and Tricks
After completing this project, the team at Hamilton Telecommunications came up with tips and tricks to share with others who are also struggling with change management or looking to build it into their project process.
- Team communication is essential. Consider weekly meetings for the change management team to review recent progress and challenges and what needs to be communicated as a result.
- Change management plans are not necessarily one-size-fits-all. Consider and address the challenges of a change implementation for different groups of employees.
- Include staff and leadership from multiple departments in both the planning and implementation of the project.
- Include the end-user perspective throughout the process of planning for change management.
- Focus on people as well as functionality. Take the time to identify individuals and groups who might not have been considered if you focus on functionality.
- Use the success of implementing a large-scale project with the help of change management to demonstrate the need for this approach across all company growth strategies. Ultimately, you will be able to build change competency into your organization.
- Consider integrating change management into project management.
- The change management team needs to welcome and accommodate change themselves. The team will want to self-evaluate and put any lessons learned to good use.
- Suspend your assumptions and ask individuals and leadership for feedback. It helps to generate ideas and develop a sense of ownership.
- Admit upfront that you expect bumps in the road when implementing a big project.
- Ask for and accept any and all feedback.
- Try to do more than educate your team and get them excited.
The implementation project was a success and Hamilton Telecommunications was able to move to paperless enrollment. With this success, the company has continued to build change competency into the organization. Hamilton Telecommunications found that planning change management into your project upfront pays off.
To learn more about Hamilton Telecommunications’ employee and manager self service project, check out the QXW 2019 presentation attached below.
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