Implementing new technology enables retailers to effectively change the culture of their organization by providing effective in-store capabilities and the management tools required to support the long-term goals of the organization.

What should be in this Cultural Change Management Program? There are six key elements to such a program. They include:
• Business Impact Analysis
• Change Management Assessment
• Change Management Strategy
• Program Design
• Execution and Training
• Monitoring and Review

In today’s post, we will discuss the first three elements.

Business Impact Analysis

The primary goal of a Business Impact Analysis is assist the retailer in articulating the anticipated Return on Investment and the desired impact to the business of a full roll-out. The Business Impact Analysis provides very meaningful numbers that can serve as the foundation for an effective program. It may include such items as a Baseline Analysis where data is gathered in advance to use as a baseline and to posit anticipated impact of specific behaviours (for example, an analysis might prove that customers who shop with the same associate spend more than those who shop the same number of times with a different associate. As a result, an assumption can be drawn that strengthening the relationship between associate and customer will increase sales). Another tool used in this phase might be the Business Impact Model, whereby certain assumptions are made and the benefits weighed against the costs of implementing (i.e. change in frequency, average transaction, margin, etc.).

Change Management Assessment

The primary goal of the Change Management Assessment is in defining the goals and the in-store activities that will impact those goals. This is typically done in two parts:

1. Visioning – A session designed to allow key stakeholders at the corporate level (typically not store level) to fully articulate the goals and vision of an in-store program. A critical element of any such initiative is total alignment to a common set of goals and long-term vision. As part of this Visioning session, the retailer should establish a set of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that will be the primary focus of the program.

2. Business Process / Best Practices Review – A session, or group of sessions designed to articulate the business processes and best practices which are used effectively today, as well as those which are lacking but desirable. As with the Visioning session described above, it is often useful to also identify KPIs that can be reviewed at the store level to monitor the success of an implementation.

Change Management Strategy

The Change Management Strategy begins to put the above information to good use. The overall strategy defines how the program should be implemented and the anticipated benefits. This too can be broken into three areas:

1. Communication Strategy – The Communication Strategy should focus on the who, what, when, where, and why of communicating throughout an in-store implementation and subsequent roll-out. The focus is on what is communicated to key stakeholders including executive management, regional and store management, as well as the critical communications with the sales associate. Everyone should be aware of why each change is needed, motivated to participate in the change, possess the knowledge and abilities required to make the change, and be aware of the defined success metrics.

2. Monitoring Strategy – The monitoring strategy is critical to providing the information that is to be used to evaluate success and compliance and to provide effective feedback and visibility. It focuses on identifying the key metrics (KPIs) to be tracked, how they are to be communicated, as well as how to most effectively use the feedback at all levels of the organization.

3. Training Strategy – Tied closely to the communication strategy, the training defines the specifics of how all stakeholders are to be trained both in reinforcing of processes as well as on the software solution itself. This will include individual needs assessment, strategies to engage (i.e. Champions, cross-functional training, local Subject Mater Experts, etc.).

Make sure to visit our blog next week for the second part of this post! We will be discussing the final three elements to a successful Cultural Change Management Program: Program Design, Execution and Training and Monitoring and Review.