First, a story: Sam is the CIO of a technology enterprise that’s about to embark on implementing ServiceNow across his organization. He’s spending most of his time in meetings with his implementation team, and also reporting regularly to the C-suite about the team’s progress. Sam is struggling with how he’ll communicate his big-picture vision to the rest of this organization. He doesn’t know if, when, or how to interface with sales teams, HR, marketing, and maintenance, even though these are the folks whose day-to-day lives will be impacted by the transition to ServiceNow.
Sam’s shortcomings are all too common during technology upgrades. A whopping 63% of managers say digital transformations happen too slowly in their workplace as a result of poor communication and lack of technology adoption urgency. CIOs can get so consumed by building a vision for their ServiceNow implementation and designing a well-articulated roadmap that they forget the importance of sharing their mission-critical game plan.
The reality is that a vision is only as effective as your ability to communicate it to others. It’s worth your time to communicate your vision early and often. Effective communication always involves reinforcing your key messages through repetition. Thus, communicating something as impactful as your ServiceNow vision and roadmap absolutely merits repetition—lots of it. Here are four essential tips to help you figure out how to effectively communicate your vision:
Be clear about what’s coming: You want to be inclusive in terms of educating people about what’s coming down the pike, especially among the folks whose business strategies will be directly impacted by ServiceNow. There’s never any reason to withhold information; it’s best to be as honest and as transparent as possible about all of the changes coming their way, even ones your colleagues may dread.
Emphasize benefits: Most people are resistant to change in the workplace and tend to view it with skepticism. Thus, you should focus on overcoming others’ reservations by emphasizing how the status quo doesn’t allow them to reach desired business outcomes. No matter what the technology is, it’s going to come with universal advantages that resonate with people: improved productivity, cost-savings, automation, and streamlined sharing of information. You want to tailor your message to each team and/or each employee, so your message about benefits can truly resonate with your target audience.
Become an educational resource: When you’re communicating your ServiceNow vision to others, it’s easy to come across simply pushing the next technological wonder on them. Sometimes you’re talking to a what seems like a room of skeptics. That’s when it’s important to position yourself as an educational resource who realizes it will take some time and effort to change minds. Thankfully, most people are willing to listen to someone who has an idea to truly improve everyone’s results. This is, after all, the type of information that helps your audience do their jobs better. You want to gain a reputation as someone whose presentations come across as insightful and informative, not persuasive and marketing-oriented. Furthermore, bringing along a few testimonials and other stories can help you gain additional credibility with this audience.
Evangelize for change: On your own, your voice can only be amplified so much. But with evangelists on your side, you can reach a much wider audience. Evangelists are the influencers within your organization whose opinions others listen to and trust. In this way, evangelists help drive change from within. It’s in your best interest to keep your evangelists looped into all of the important implementation milestones: You should be briefing them regularly on your progress, your incremental wins, and the project contributors who deserve special recognition. They can play an invaluable role in helping to define which features and functionalities are most needed and help test-drive these elements early on to ensure they will work for the full user groups. When you share accomplishments in a way that speaks to your evangelists and empower them to help shape the functionalities of the system, you can count on them being excited to share your message far and wide.
Share updates with the original champions of your vision: As you bring more and more folks into the fold, you don’t want to forget about the original team that believed in your vision so much that they greenlit it. In all likelihood, this is the C-suite leadership team. These folks need to know that they made the right decision, and moreover, you want them to feel good about this decision they made. The way to do this is to update them regularly on your successes in implementing the vision you originally presented to them. You want to communicate via KPIs and ROI–the language they speak in, and the language that will resonate with them.
It’s not easy to communicate your vision and your roadmap, especially with all of the ordinary folks who will be impacted by ServiceNow. But communication is essential to your success when you are transforming how your organization works. You can put yourself in the proper communication mindset by always thinking about how to be clear about what the future holds–and the impact your vision and actions will have to your company’s overall goals. You also can emphasize the benefits of the pending transformation, become an educational resource, get others to champion your ServiceNow vision, and hold yourself accountable to the C-suite that greenlit your original vision.
For more actionable tips on ServiceNow success, please check out Crossfuze’s Smart Essentials guide. On Pages 5-6 of the Smart Essentials guide, you’ll find more detailed tips on how you can communicate your vision to key stakeholders and promote your implementation roadmap to them.
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