Why Do Change Management Strategies Fail?

Why do change management strategies fail?

Major points of change within commercial organisations are equally major points of vulnerability. Whether you’re revamping your digital tools or personnel, new factors within your business can disrupt the delicate balance you’ve established thus far. 

Poorly implemented business projects can result in more than just wasted resources. Research from CB Insights found that failed pivots often prove fatal for startups, making the risks of change periods extremely high in some cases. This guide will look at why change management strategies fail within businesses and identify ways you can compensate for them. After all, knowing is half the battle. 

Read on to learn the top five ways change management strategies stand to fail within your firm and how you can address them easily.

Five reasons why change management strategies fail

1. Poor planning

Failing to plan entirely for a change to your operations or strategy is, unsurprisingly, a recipe for disaster. However, not planning enough can be equally damning for your business.

Without sufficient due diligence ahead of a period of change, your business is exposed to an unspecified number of undetermined risks. Though these risks may be few and frivolous, their unknown nature means they could also be numerous and profound. As a result, what little you have planned already could be unreliable at best or completely useless at worst. For example, poor planning can result in wasted time from aimless strategies, wasted money from disorganised spending or wasted opportunities from reckless timing. 

Considered forethought is the only way to deliver successful, punctual and affordable organisational change. Read more in our Salesforce implementation checklist and discover a comprehensive framework for implementing new software tools in your organisation.

2. Poor communication

Strategic and operational changes can still fail even with a meticulous plan. Senior leaders who fail to communicate the rationale and details of organisational change create an information vacuum that can impede success early on.

Communication is vital to secure company-wide buy-in as to why change is needed in the first place and where employees fit into the new dynamic. Moreover, tailored communication helps clarify new department-specific priorities and success metrics, helping employees deliver the proposed change across all levels. 

If employees feel that the company shake-up isn’t valid or that the new direction lacks promise, they’re more likely than ever to leave. A 2021 survey by Randstad found that 69% of employees felt confident about finding a new role and 24% planned to change within three-to-six months. Therefore, senior leaders need to be transparent with their motivations for change and accurate in how it impacts their employees.

3. Poor process visibility

When it finally comes time to execute your plan, there will always be a gap between theory and practice. In such cases, strategic and operational changes can fail simply because of poor implementation.

Senior leaders must set up reporting protocols so tasks are accountable and updates are visible. Doing so empowers managers to identify shortfalls in performance and launch targeted remedies, enabling employees to work effectively within their new conditions.

You can establish visibility during change projects by having regular team meetings or using tools like kanban boards and Gantt charts. However, these methods capture a limited picture of your performance and are always out of sync with what’s happening in real-time.

Instead, tools like Salesforce integrate customer and employee data, giving you live and comprehensive insights into your performance, ensuring you spot issues before they grow.

4. Lack of scalability

Senior leaders must also consider the long-term implications of their proposed direction and determine how sustainable their new operations or strategy is.

Successful change management projects are feasible and durable, meaning that any newly implemented solution keeps pace with the business’ growth. Otherwise, you may find that the methods or standards you previously introduced no longer fit your current size or pace of business.

Adapting existing processes or soliciting advice from consulting partners can ensure new strategic and operational changes provide a maximal return on investment. 

5. Lack of automation

Finally, change management strategies can fail from outdated perspectives and methodologies. 

With more sophisticated software tools available than ever before, the case for automation is clear. A recent McKinsey survey found that 70% of employees derive purpose from their work lives. As such, automation can help transition your talent to meaningful and value-adding work and away from routine processes holding your employee engagement back. 

Comprehensive software suites like Salesforce’s Customer 360 equip your employees with powerful and collaborative tools to seamlessly address customer needs. With AI insights and helpful macros, your staff can focus on building meaningful customer relationships while skipping the admin afterwards. The same software can also help your senior leaders identify process bottlenecks and create scalable solutions for continual ROI.

Ready your organisation for any eventuality

Business dynamics are delicate systems, and transition periods can create unforeseen liabilities. Don’t let unplanned or ill-managed forces disrupt your organisation. Establish a robust change management strategy by creating clear, open, scalable solutions and (most importantly) automate where you can. 

Although you can’t plan for every eventuality, software tools and due diligence can give you options down the line and ensure your business is prepared for any strategic direction. 

Skip ahead to the good part with makepositive

makepositive is a leading software implementation provider and a Platinum Salesforce Partner. 

We offer various services aimed at helping your organisation identify and realise the benefits of digital tools as well as advice on how to navigate the transition period in between. We’ve helped a wide range of industries modernise their operations with scalable software solutions.

Get in touch with us at [email protected] and learn about our expert consultancy services.


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