Enterprise Mobility Is a Change Management Issue

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mobile change management

Succeeding with enterprise mobility isn't just a technology challenge. It's also a people challenge, and that's an issue HR must solve through change management.

The third consideration involves strategic workforce planning. You’ll have to conduct your mobility rollout in a way that eases the changes your people will go through. Your plan will need to be structured to help employees succeed in a world that expects collaborative learning and the ability to consume and filter a barrage of data, internalize the need-to-know model and identify behavioral patterns.

Your employees may feel deluged by data and constant change. It's your responsibility to help IT design and roll out mobile solutions that avoid gridlock and cognitive overload.

Consideration four focuses on workforce analytics. You must understand that mobility will transform traditional ways of driving change initiatives in any type of organization. Instead of “big-bang” transformations, mobility will set the stage for a new model of making incremental changes, building on successes and learning from missteps.

Thanks to the responsiveness that mobile devices and their apps offer, HR can test the waters and recalibrate initiatives quickly—and without an excessive investment of time and effort.

The Next Three Steps

Enterprise mobility will accelerate cultural shifts that can make your organization uncomfortable. But you can minimize the pain and maximize success by taking the following steps:

First, conduct an impact assessment to determine the degree and nature of changes that employees in various roles will have to absorb. One approach is to assess how mobile social networking apps and related design principles are relevant in the context of enterprise collaboration.

For firsthand experience, look for ways to apply mobility to your own department's activities, such as transitioning the annual employee job-satisfaction survey to an app that takes the pulse of the organization more frequently and provides an ongoing feedback loop.

Second, tap early adopters to create a network of change agents across business functions, levels and locations. These agents can help you regularly assess the relevance of processes and policies and determine how they affect employee engagement.

Consider developing a reward structure on mobile devices that encourages employees to suggest ideas and provide feedback, offering redeemable points and recognition from their peers.

Third, reassess your corporate learning strategy. Like consumer apps, your mobile solutions should be as intuitive as possible to minimize the need for training.

For those who do need help, engage your change agents to help identify the learning gaps and to facilitate team learning and sharing. Use mobility to let employees track their own performance and accountability, and to help all employees become more productive.

Just as the 1990s marked the transition to the PC and the early 2000s saw the move to the Internet, the current decade will be noted for the leap to mobility. Like previous disruptive breakthroughs, enterprise mobility will be less about the technology itself than about creating new social and business environments that are enabled by the technology.

And, just as happened in previous eras, mobile technology will invariably change and evolve. Those two facts make it incumbent upon the people experts—HR—to ease that transition and ensure success in this latest “brave new world” of technology.

Deepak Alse, based in Los Angeles, is a consulting manager for mobility, collaboration and product strategy at Wipro Consulting Services. Jayanth Poorna, based in London, is a partner in the human capital and business change practice at Wipro Consulting Services.

This article was originally published on 2013-08-08
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