Change Management - Creating Demand from Resistance

Situation: A large division with 13,000 employees was using paper-based timesheets with data entry by delegates to a web-based timesheet system linked to Payroll. The business was spending thousands of hours managing timesheets, with high error rates and Payroll having to generate hundreds of off-cycle corrected paychecks…

Actions Taken: Through detailed research into the cost of existing processes, a solid business case was developed and $400,000 in unbudgeted funding was approved by the CEO to replace the outdated system with a modern web-based timekeeping system. The new system provided direct access by individual employees and generated electronic payroll files for upload that eliminated data entry errors.

Results: This complex project was rolled out on schedule and on budget, with a cost savings that matched the business case and resulted in an investment payback of less than one year. In addition to configuring the system with the vendor, the project involved hundreds of hours of change management and training of several thousand employees, all handled by the project team. Preview sessions were conducted with managers in locations across the country, providing managers with a look at the new system, and obtaining valuable feedback used to configure the system to meet the needs of various business units. As a result of these change management activities, not only was there no resistance to the new system, but many units requested they be included earlier than originally planned. These efforts resulted in demand for the change, rather than resistance to it.