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People-Focused Change Management

Accelerate Technology Adoption

Innovating with Technology: The Human Factor

When it comes to technology adoption, humans play a pivotal role.


When introducing new technology that will change how work gets done, a clear plan to support everyone through the change is vital. Esri change management helps organizations apply a people-focused lens to achieve faster, broader adoption.


Explore these tips to see if a change management-supported people strategy would enhance your technology strategy.

Treat your project as mission critical—because it is.

Projects are funded and resourced because they have business value. Whether you're migrating a single department to ArcGIS Pro, expanding access to ArcGIS apps to new groups of users, or modernizing your entire enterprise GIS infrastructure, success depends on people. Organizations don't perform work, people do.

Esri's certified change management consultants can help you apply the Prosci ADKAR Model for change and ensure the process is aligned with your project's scope and timeline. ADKAR is used successfully by many Fortune 500 companies to lead their organizations through the three phases of change:

  • Preparing for Change—Build individual awareness of the need for change, desire to support the change, and knowledge of how to change.
  • Managing Change—Provide the motivation and resources needed for individuals to adapt and perform new workflows.
  • Reinforcing Change—Recognize accomplishments and apply feedback to institutionalize a change-ready culture.

Identify symptoms that, left unchecked, may lead to low adoption.

Lack of visible executive sponsorship, feedback that current workflows are "just fine," no communication between the project team and frontline managers of impacted staff—these are all red flags that a technology deployment may not deliver intended results.

To achieve sustained adoption, leaders must actively support the change; resistance to change must be understood and addressed; and effective communication with everyone impacted before, during, and after the technology deployment must occur.

People-focused change management includes a change risk assessment tailored to your organization and detailed sponsorship and communications planning aligned with project goals.

Esri change management consultants partner with project sponsors and stakeholders to make sure that all impacted individuals understand the organizational benefits of the change, support the change, and have the information and tools they need to successfully make the change.

Focus on metrics that matter.

You've likely heard the phrase "measure what matters." The 2020 Esri Change Management Survey collected feedback from more than 500 managers involved in a recent ArcGIS implementation project. The results show that people-focused change management delivers clear and quantifiable benefits.

Compared to projects that did not use people-focused change management, projects that used it

  • Were 16 percent more likely to be completed on time or ahead of schedule (71 percent vs 55 percent).
  • Had a 19 percent higher rating of effective or very effective for speed of adoption (53 percent vs 34 percent).
  • Were more than twice as likely to be very satisfied that the project would achieve business goals (27 percent vs 12.5 percent).

The survey metrics reinforce the important role that humans play in successful technology implementations. Executing a people strategy is a winning strategy for organizations that want to improve operations and innovate with ArcGIS.

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Are you planning an ArcGIS project? Talk with an expert about how people-focused change management can help.