Using journey management as a change tool

Introduction to change managementEarly adopters of visitor journey management have very successfully applied it in a commercial context where organisations have a defined sales cycle and use the methodology to serve the most appropriate message, content and actions to visitors at given stages of the cycle. There are, however, some exciting ideas of how journey management can be used in less commercially-minded organisations or for internal processes. Change management and workplace re-structuring is one very good example of this and is actively being considered by local government as an easy and flexible approach to dealing with the stresses of change management across entire organisations.

Why journey management?

Change management is a structured approach to transitioning individuals, teams, and organisations from a current state to a desired future state. The current definition of Change Management includes both organizational change management processes and individual change management models, which together are used to manage the people side of change [Wikipedia]

Organisational change is carried out as a policy handed out from on high and normally has the highest moral, ethics and intentions. This policy then has to be implemented at the people level and all people respond to change differently and at a different pace. It’s quite clear that moving an individual working in a manner type A to type B requires a number of processes, systems, feedback loops and measurement systems together with an infrastructure to deliver this change.

Change often equates to loss and forward-thinking organisations are seeking to use psychological / Neuro-linguistic programming approaches to dealing with, sometimes, huge upheavals that occur in organisations. Examples of these methodologies include the traditional grief cycle and more focused models such as Lewis-Parker and John Fisher.

Each of these methodologies is based on a journey from A to B via a number of personally significant stages such as denial, depression and acceptance. This journey can easily be mapped in an online environment with personal delivery of content, actions, assets, applications tailored to each of the various steps in the process. Rather than being a fixed-time linear process, journey management allows the visitor to move around the cycle and the system recognises what stage the visitor is at and deals with them in a way specific to the stage they are in, all automatically, all seamless and with the ability to report on the flow of individuals and groups.

It’s quite a fascinating subject and a particularly good use of a journey management platform.

The reality is this is really no different from a traditional sales cycle, consumers engage at different parts of the cycle and move around to completion (sales) or drop out of the cycle with lots of additional helpers along the way to make the transition as smooth as possible for as many of the people as possible. In the commercial model as many as 30% of the final sales comes from people who actually dis-engage during the process to re-engage later either by themselves or brought back into the cycle via other communication mediums such as email, direct mail, forums, twitter, facebook etc.

Theoretical in practice (example)

Take a traditional organisation that is moving to flexible working, striving to get more agility and performance from it’s staff and at the same time reduce the cost of space and communications. This is a fairly common scenario and a great deal of resource will have been spent designing the “new” shape of the organisation and how it will operate. Now it comes to start to deploy this change process and this requires the buy-in of hundreds, thousands or even tens of thousands of individuals – all with different agendas, ideas, motivations, fears and engagement.

Enter “My Journey”. An application designed for all the people in the organisation, available 24×7 online and with the ability to assist the psychological and emotional needs of the transitioners as well as the basic nuts and bolts operational stuff.

The online application has a unique login for every person and starts with a simple series of questions to establish where on the transition curve you currently are. Once established, the individual then has access to the most relevant information and applications to support him or her or their journey. A set of rules will dictate when the user is “tested” again to establish if they need to move onto the next stage. This would normally be based on a set of behavioural rules applied to what the user is doing and how they are interacting with the application.

Very often mentoring is a powerful aid to assist people during times of change and a forum would provide this mentoring, targeted to just the stage that the individual is in, so people who have been through the process before or professional coaches and mentors can help the stages as a targeted segment.

There would a hierarchy of change agents overseeing and engaging with the users, providing online guidance and help through community-type functions and also uncovering people that need that little extra help along the way. This help exists outside of the online environment to include classroom/workshop and team-building activities at one end of the spectrum, to one-to-one personal mentoring at the other end.

Each stage is truly multimedia-enabled and assets available to participants could include information, pdf libraries, images, video shorts, training courses, forums, webinars, booking systems, technical support areas, purchasing/ordering, time and holiday management, tests & evaluations, video conferencing, IP telephony, live assistants, FAQs etc. The list goes on and on.

These assets do not (and should not) be all contained within the journey management application; the key here is use the journey management system as a way to access these resources, applications and information. This avoids duplication, out-dated content and the need to have a huge, complicated, system to manage the thousands of assets that would be needed.

Some key pointers

To successfully deliver this needs engagement from all the change agents and also a really friendly and easy-to-use environment for the application to work inside. Engaging the thousands of potential users of the system is very much like a snowball, so requires key people to engage first and then spread the word and, importantly, the community to the other individuals.

The application needs to constantly evolve to improve – much of this could be self optimising and also should provide the framework to test the efficacy of all the elements in all of the steps (people in the commercial context call this conversion rates).

How VITES™ provides journey management

Designed as a platform to recognise who you are and what stage (in life/sales/change) you are at and then with the ability to deliver custom content, applications and information VITES™ is ideally placed to provide this framework. With a track record of successfully delivering personalised content since 2003 you are safe in the knowledge that you can access a highly sophisticated, stable, scaleable and flexible platform pretty much off-the-shelf.

Talk to us to take the next step.