Data-driven analytics and applications for Change Management Leaders and Remote Teams

The ChangeVU digital change implementation platform

Why the ChangeVU digital platform? Why have a one-stop, full service, digitally integrated change management platform - applications, virtual office & services?

Right. there’s a couple of questions that are locked in there, so let me let me come at them sequentially, Bill.

First. You know, indeed - I love the question - why the digital platform and what was the genesis for the platform?

You know, with all of the change methods and providers that are out there already, why actually would you go into this space?
It seems like it's, you know, it's not really that needed.

But I think it boils down to two things, really.

One is the simple fact that every time – so this is, in my experience doing change – I would find myself in the change effort, scrambling around to develop the toolkits, methodologies… coming up with training programs, etc. Figuring out how to onboard a whole swath of people from senior leaders to change agents and temps, suppliers, etc. – and don't forget the executive group – right? Which never has time for this!

And they're there and they are critical to the change question. So I became really curious, you know, sort of that eighth, ninth, tenth time around, why entail reinventing the wheel each time? So that was one piece.

The second part, what it takes to make implementation successful. It's not only about the technical skills, right?
Success and failures in change for me, in my experience, always seemed to boil down to human factors.

We do very normal human things when we're faced with change, right? We either deal with it directly or we don't say anything at all and hide in the shadows. So all of that really makes it hard to know whether your change is on track because people are reluctant to give your feedback. That whole dynamic was the second part that made me curious.

And I think if you put the two of them together, those were really the impetus for why I sort of thought, you know - is there room here? I think there's room out there for something that comes at this a bit differently, and that's OK. That's the genesis of the digital platform – it is the result of the work that we did.

I guess I started the work, but I've involved my colleagues in that work since then. It involves some research on successful change. It then also involved looking at how do you digitalize and automate the change activities themselves. And that second part is all tied together in the platform.

A lot of change work is about getting data from the source, so trying to get data from the people who are working directly with the change itself.

But the cost in terms of time and effort as well as the sensitivities of people's views being exposed is really what precludes that from being easily done, right? ChangeVU – I think – the platform, enables simple, secure and reliable ways for organization members to submit their data to interact in fact with each other. And in the change, without the risk of their identities being compromised. Without going too much into detail that for me is a very big differentiator. And these two things together are the significant barriers to understanding the risks that you face in implementation.

Just a quick note now on the last part of your question which is what's the overall mission for ChangeVU? I don't think we're looking to revolutionize the way people do change, you see it from our website it’s what we've been talking about.

Our mission is really clear, right, we're focused on this piece around the people risk.

It doesn't mean we don't deal with the environment and the task risks, but we're focused on trying to make that people risk component, which is a big contributing factor to the struggles in change. Make that more data driven and more accessible and enable organizations to get at that data.

The platform helps mitigate people risks. What does that mean? Why is it important? Can you provide examples?

This is really the heart of the digital platform, right?

First and foremost. Our platform is the result of research into what the activities are that make change successful. So initial questions we were after were “Is there or are there consistent themes that emerge when change implementation is successful”? And as you said at the outset, Bill, we're now well up over a thousand projects with success profiles in our database. I think the most important thing we've done with the research is to turn change implementation into a risk assessment and mitigation activity that can be dynamically recreated whenever it's required.

We don't go about making platitudes about what you should or shouldn't do in a generic sense. What we do is we aim to identify the factors that specifically and situationally enable you to make fact based decisions that improve your chances of successful implementation. So that's the differentiator. It's really data driven and in the moment and specific to your situation.

What we've found is that implementation succeeds most consistently when the activities that people do are consistent with successful implementation actions. So that's the first part. They're actually doing the things that they should be doing.

And the second part is that the people themselves that are running the implementation are aligned around those factors. And that’s the second part of the alignment piece. In successful change implementation, what we found is that people risks are the activities that involve people's judgment and opinions and are the most critical ones to get right. So the tricky part is identifying activities. And then secondly, as we said, getting people to align around them.

Describe the research that's gone into the ChangeVU success factors database.

You know, there's a lot of that went into the research. I think the important point here is that there's a big difference between going after uncovering successful change factors, which is what we did – and identifying factors that become part of what people are familiar with, which is called a best practice database, right. So let's start off by differentiating that. That's not what this is. We didn't go after a best fact based practice database.

We think the world is actually full of examples of success. The tricky part is finding those examples; uncovering them; understanding them and then replicating them in the situation that you're facing. So we all know that one of the most difficult things to do in sports is to win a championship, right? Doesn't matter what sports are involved in. But think about this: Way more difficult than the first championship is winning the championship a second time. That's even more rare.

Theater performance is another great example. I mean, how often do you go to a theater performance and see it the second time, but the first time you're totally blown away from it. But think about it. Those people are delivering that same performance night after night after night, and they usually are coming back with outstanding reviews. And the truth of it is in the long running state of any given theater performance.

So there is or there are examples of what makes things, events, deliveries, teams successful. You’ve just got to go out there and find it. Well, I think what we've done is load that into our platform. So it establishes the most consistent factors that are involved when change is implemented successfully. And the second is enabling people in those specific situations to evaluate those factors, identify the ones that are relevant for them, and then align around those that are most pertinent to their situation.

In the end, when you are successful, what you find is you'll identify those factors and you align around them or not. And that process, that process of aligning and identifying the factors – that needs to be recreated each and every time, because every solution is unique in particular to each and every team and initiative that is going on. It's just the state of life right? So things are different every time and everywhere. It doesn't mean that it's not possible to be successful.

What it means in our take on this whole thing from the research exercise is that the process is novel and new every time and the outcomes will be unique to teams in that specific situation.

What’s so clever about the technology behind the platform? What's unique? How does it compare to your competitors?

I think that we're very positive about what we've done and we've had really good feedback on it. So I’ve got to say right off the bat that it's not necessarily the actual tech parts or the software and the fact that we're running on cloud and we're an SaaS software, as a service delivery. That's not the uniqueness. I mean, what we think we're doing there is we're bringing change into the 21st century, right?

Because we've been dealing with excel sheets and different ways of gathering data in the past where we're updating change processes for automation. But the clever part and maybe that's where we can talk a little bit about what what's different about ChangeVU is this – what I think is is different from what our competitors are doing is the value in the use of the components of the platform. So these are now the applications that you can get from our ChangeVU platform.

Because they can be tailored to each client's situations. And I think that's boils down to two aspects. One part of the cleverness is this this idea of creating a Success Profile right? So that's enabling teams to create their own unique Success Profile that deals with their particular implementation challenge in a field tested methodology agnostic environment which enables creating your baseline and your ability to see the difference between what you are doing and what the baseline is.

Um… I think the second part of what makes us unique or what makes the technology in the approach unique is the fact that we've adopted a risk management focused in implementing change.

So we turn the change implementation exercise into a risk assessment and mitigation activity that can be replicated and understood across your teams and organizations.

I think change management has always been associated with a bit of fluff, right? I mean, let's say you hear people talk about the soft factors and it's not scientific so on. And I think that's exactly where we sit as well. It's like, well, you know, that is a fair challenge. I think that's what Change Management has to do, is deal with not only the business problem and implementing the strategic capabilities of the organization, which is essentially what a change is all about.

But it's dealing with the people piece of that as well. And that's where the fuzziness comes in. So much the same way that many of today's social media technologies operate, we enable people to bring their experience to bear on a situation. And the key is to enable them to do that without compromising their identity, at least in the early stages of that process. And certainly when the numbers are, you know, less than 20 and it's easy to call people out so that's a big advantage of what we're doing.

The other part is that we don't make our database a best practice database. And I mentioned this before, right? So the SuccessFactors Global Norms database is actually a living dynamic environment that grows with the addition of data as individuals, teams and organizations continue to use it. So in your organization, you will be able to add your specific data and continue to build on that specific data to create your unique Success Profile, which will of course, modify and change over time.

But if you take those two things together, I think that enables organizations to have the parameters that they can rely on. So it creates parameters and guides or guidelines for them. But at the same time, it enables them to discover a uniqueness, right… A unique profile that that can be proven to work in their specific situation.

Describe the practical ways ChangeVU digital platform helps HR professionals and leaders?

As everybody knows who's out there, HR (Human Resources) has constraints as well, right? It's a struggle with resource constraints like any other function. And because of that, capacity issues exists in the deployment of an hour. And as we look at change implementation. It's the deployment of change, infrastructure and knowledge. Right? So in a nutshell, what I think is the interesting part for the HR community is that ChangeVU enables HR to scale and replicate change knowledge across the organization in an efficient and also a controlled way.

So the platform helps build change leadership automates many of the time consuming data gathering activities and creates data driven processes to support your change. So it enables HR’s already significant skills to be augmented, leveraged, scaled and replicated. When you look at change implementation, all of the actors involved in a change have different actual activities. So you look at the Sponsor group, they have a role to play, but their activities are different than, say, the PMO office, right?

Change Leaders are leading a change. Their activities are much more focused on what they need to do to bring their teams along. In the case of HR, the activities generally associated in change implementation include establishing change methodologies and toolkits, developing change agent networks, developing and implementing change training, knowledge management, infrastructure and so on. The digital platform – the ChangeVU digital platform enables HR pros and leaders to run their own changes - so HR initiatives and change initiatives, but also support the other teams in the organization with a data driven of reliability digital environment that supports the organization.

Because of its ability to sync with project management the platform enables HR to seamlessly integrate with the project community, so that brings change data, which is often the fuzzy stuff – into the project management environment in a fairly seamless way. It also supports Waterfall and Agile implementation methods and accordingly provides an environment where HR can support both of those, either of those or as in the case in many organizations today some portion of each as different initiatives require them.

So in sum I think the HR community gains from the ChangeVU platform because it accelerates their ability to leverage change expertise and knowledge in order to deliver successful change in the organization.

How do I get in touch with ChangeVU? Explain the typical first steps of working with the ChangeVU digital platform.

To contact us, mail us at the ChangeVU e-mail address, which is And of course, go visit our web-site ( if you want more information on the applications. And obviously, yes, they can contact us on Linked-In as well. All of our colleagues are on LinkedIn as well, we’re glad to hear from you.

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