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How to make your system implementation project successful with change management?

Successful change starts with clear commitments

Miia Hänninen / May 10, 2024
Digital HR Insights Community

Implementing new technology is an exciting undertaking that entails both – opportunities and challenges. Why do we see Change Management as one of the key success factors of any project?

When a company decides to implement a new HR system, change management should be a part of the project from the very beginning.Targeted change management strategies facilitate smooth transitions throughout the change.

Expressing a certain amount of resistance to change is a part of human nature. However, well-planned, implemented and monitored change management minimizes resistance and maximizes benefits of any new system implementation. Investing time and thought into your change management process can go a long way toward ensuring the success of your project and the return of investment in the future.

Why Change Management is a key success factor?

Quite often, change management is simply thought to be the same as creating training and communication plans. Those are important deliverables of change management but change management itself is much more than communicating what is changing.

Instead, the purpose of change management is to support your people through the transformation of processes and technologies by taking along your key internal stakeholders – HR, employees, and managers – so they can adopt to the new processes and roles, the new technology will entail for them.

Doing so will enable you to create the culture change, alongside the actual technical implementation. This will ensure solid and sustainable change in your organization and help to obtain the ROI you set out to achieve with your HCM (Human Capital Management) project.

How to implement change management?

Since the change is always unique, also methodology needs to be structured, adaptable, repeatable, and tailored based on customer needs. On a high level, our methodology is split into three main stages, “Prepare Approach”, “Manage Change”, and “Sustain Outcome” that will run integrated to the main implementation journey.


  1. Prepare for the change

In this phase change management should focus on defining and understanding the change – why are we doing this, what are we trying to achieve and how does the success look like. Clear and tangible goals will help you to stay on track when things are moving fast, and sight might get blurry sometimes. Gaining also initial buy-in from employees who will be involved in the change can remove friction and resistance later.

Implementing a new HCM system is often part of larger strategic change and enables organisation to renew their people processes, structures and responsibilities. Jointly discussed and agreed design principles will help all decision-makers to make quick decisions during the project and ensure that all decisions are aligned with goals and in sync with other decisions.

  1. Manage the change

Once the organization is prepared for the change, change management team should make a thorough, realistic, and strategic plan for realizing the change. This includes for example communication and training plan and listing the relevant stakeholders. Also, any uncertainties or roadblocks that could arise during the implementation process and would require agility and flexibility to overcome should be considered.

During the implementation process, change management should be focused on empowering employees to take the necessary steps to achieve the goals of the initiative and celebrate any short-term wins. Anticipating roadblocks and preventing, removing, or mitigating them is important in this phase. Repeated communication is also crucial to remind team members why change is being done.

  1. Reinforce and sustain the change

Just because the change (for example the implementation of a new system) has been completed, it doesn’t mean that everything is ready, and you could just sit back and enjoy the ride! This is the point for celebrating all the hard work and rewarding for great achievements, but soon it is time to roll up the sleeves again and start actively taking care that all new processes and tools are rooting into everyday practicalities. It can be hard to let go of some old habits and routines. Organizations often need support and guidance with it. Staying consistent, listening feedback, and respectfully pushing people to the right direction, ensures that new ways of working become a “new normal”.

It is also important to review and analyse whether the change has been handled successfully or has it failed somehow or whether the result a mix of these. Lessons learned session should be planned at this point and these questions should be asked: Did we meet the goals? If yes, what learnings can be taken to the next changes/projects? If not, what went wrong and how it could have been prevented and what needs to be done differently next time?

Creating the right team

Sometimes it’s challenging to find an in-house person to implement the overall change management within the project. Project manager usually doesn’t have enough resources to lead this process. To ensure sufficient attention and expertise to the change management topic, you can also consider using external experts to join your project. This way you can expect to have support in creating a sufficient plan and someone to execute it to ensure the success of your implementation project. Reach out to our team via the contact form for more information on how we could help you with change management.

Suvi-Julia Ragnell
Lead HCM Solution Consultant, Tietoevry

Suvi has discovered her passion in change management while she has been leading multiple HR system and process development projects as an in-house expert with her previous employer. Ever since she has joined consultancy, Suvi shares her expert knowledge with her customers, and provides sensitive but effective approach to project and change management. 

Miia Hänninen
Senior HCM Solution Consultant

Mia is a HR and EX technology professional expert with strong background in operative HR, process development, project management and business support. Miia's contribution in HR transformation, EX technology, HR system projects or HR process management has been extensive and her can do attititude has helped business to succeed.


Miia Hänninen

Senior HCM Solution Consultant

Suvi-Julia Ragnell

Lead HCM Solution Consultant, Tietoevry

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