Refreshing and spot-on! These are two thoughts I had while listening to the keynote speech at the ServiceNow® Knowledge18 PartnerNow conference. “Refreshing” because I am finally seeing a formal, strong emphasis on the people side of the enterprise from a major technology player. “Spot-on” because for years, I’ve been telling anyone willing to listen that Organizational Change Management (OCM) is essential for successful business projects in an enterprise.
The outdated notion that success of a project depends on a consistent rollout of a technology platform (which largely ignores that the real benefit comes from the desired change in business behavior from an organization’s knowledge worker) is finally being pushed out in favor of more business-related outcomes.
For years, I’ve been recommending OCM and Business Process Reengineering (BPR) components in our engagements because our clients invariably realize greater success in projects with fully integrated OCM and BPR activities. At the end of successful projects, it’s not uncommon for clients to tell me that Organizational Change Management was an indispensable element of the project, not a discretionary spend item.
This year, ServiceNow is putting a strong emphasis on the people side of the enterprise (check out their rebranding; they’ve even changed their logo from a computer on-off switch to one that reflects a human form), so it makes sense that their focus on customer success depends heavily on the people side of the platform that they sell. At Knowledge18, they spent a great deal of time talking about customer experience and the change aspect of success, not just the tech platform that helps drive it. Again, very refreshing.
The new emphasis in ServiceNow’s rebranding focuses on the differentiated employee experience; that “work experiences really matter.” According to CEO John Donahoe, their most successful implementations have combined OCM, Business Process Reengineering and Governance disciplines to help companies transform their businesses. So, while it was unexpected when I sat in on the Knowledge18 PartnerNow keynote, I was pleased to hear a very consistent theme relating to their new main priority and focus: Customer Success – and OCM’s central role in that success.
ServiceNow believes every company is going through a digital transformation to survive, considering the new ways people consume products and services. Understanding the underlying business model, critical processes and culture of an organization is critical to succeeding in this environment.
At PartnerNow (day one of the Knowledge18), Mr. Donahoe outlined to the partner community that the highest level of strategic value from its partners is based on understanding process improvement, the ability to help with transformation, and getting stakeholders to embrace and adopt change. Amen to that.
He further went on to tell his Client base (on day two), that you should choose your partner carefully. It is not just about a successful implementation of the platform. It’s about transformation.
3 Key Differentiators for True Success:
1. Organizational Change Management – Help clients understand the exposure and change impact, while providing the necessary assistance to embrace and adopt the change. Think Leadership Alignment, Stakeholder Management, Business Readiness, Risk Management, Communication, Training, Resources, Benefit Realization/Key Metrics.
2. Business Process Reengineering – Business process assessment and reengineering services to prep the organization to develop and deliver an improved/optimized work. Also, there was a key focus on standardizing best practices and using out-of-the-box functionality of the ServiceNow platform. BPR is key to being able to accomplish that.
3. Governance – Ensure you have a solid governance structure to drive standards, prevent customization and ensure consistency for the new service environment.
In the world of business transformation, it’s refreshing to see a major technology player like ServiceNow understand and emphasize that Customer Success is based on the people who will use their platform – and how Organizational Change Management plays a major role in that success.
I’m excited to see the new functions and capabilities that ServiceNow will bring to market with the London and Madrid releases later this year. Combined with the vision and newly emphasized critical factors of what truly drives customer success, 2018 is poised to be a special year for companies to realize exceptional business results.