Manage change in 6 simple steps

Thinking of making a change in your firm? Change should start with “why” not “what” or “how.” Here are six essential steps and questions to help your firm manage change:

1. Set a Clearly Defined Scope

Why are you implementing a software change or considering making a process change? Identify the problem you’re trying to solve or the goal you’re aiming to reach. If you don’t know what success looks like, you won’t be able to tell when you’re done.

2. Create an Executive Champion Team

Who is supporting the change? Build a champion team that includes at least one partner, so that staff members are more likely to get on board with the change.

3. Get Staff Members Involved on Champion Committees

What are you doing to set change up for success at all levels Regular day-to-day users from all parts of your organization should be part of a champion committee. They rely on these tools to do their jobs, so their input will be essential in mapping out current workflow, pinpointing ideal changes (and the why behind them), and spreading the rationale for the changes to the rest of the firm.

4. Define the Workflow

What will the ideal process look like? Starting with a map of your current processes—and your ultimate “why”—look for places to cut out waste and inefficiency. Identify the barriers to a more streamlined workflow, and get rid of them.

5. Train Staff

How can you get everyone up to speed? Start staff on the right path with adequate training. They need to know not just what you’re doing, but why. Training can be expensive, but it’s worth the investment for staff to be able to fully utilize the software and gain full efficiencies. Otherwise, you’re right back where you started.

6. Get the Implementation Timing Right

When is the right time (and what is the right speed) to implement changes? Don’t try to do too much at once. Change typically works best in more manageable pieces. Roll out one major process change or new piece of software at time over the course of months or years—whatever pace your firm can handle while still gaining efficiency benefits.

Get Ready for Change

Learn six steps to effectively manage change in your firm by downloading the ebook: Modernizing Processes & Efficiency

AUTHOR

Wolters Kluwer Tax and Accounting

Wolters Kluwer Tax and Accounting is a leading provider of software solutions and local expertise that helps tax, accounting, and audit professionals research and navigate complex regulations, comply with legislation, manage their businesses and advise clients with speed, accuracy and efficiency. Wolters Kluwer Tax and Accounting is part of Wolters Kluwer N.V. (AEX: WKL), a global leader in information services and solutions for professionals in the health, tax and accounting, risk and compliance, finance and legal sectors. We help our customers make critical decisions every day by providing expert solutions that combine deep domain knowledge with specialized technology and services. Wolters Kluwer reported 2016 annual revenues of €4.3 billion. The company, headquartered in Alphen aan den Rijn, the Netherlands, serves customers in over 180 countries, maintains operations in over 40 countries and employs 19,000 people worldwide. Wolters Kluwer shares are listed on Euronext Amsterdam (WKL) and are included in the AEX and Euronext 100 indices. Wolters Kluwer has a sponsored Level 1 American Depositary Receipt program. The ADRs are traded on the over-the-counter market in the U.S. (WTKWY).

All stories by: Wolters Kluwer Tax and Accounting