Making Change Management Part of Your Modernization Plan (Las Vegas 2020)

Software modernization is fundamentally about change, which can be exciting to change leaders and IT advocates. But software doesn’t stand on its own: It’s created, maintained, and used by teams of people throughout your organization—and those people have real limits to the amount of change they can adapt to at once. Change overload can cause your modernization project to short out too quickly. How do you get people to embrace new technologies and practices without hitting a wall? We’ll show you how to craft a people-centric plan to smooth the transition. For example, retiring your waterfall methodology isn’t just about changing your development cadence, it should incorporate stewardship and regular feedback loops with your teams. Or if you’re switching from SQL to Mongo or updating your user interface, careful communication and training for the people affected should be a top priority. An incremental approach to the changes that come with modernization will also help drive acceptance for project teams, stakeholders, and end-users. This means being realistic about what amount of change different groups can internalize and keeping that at the forefront of planning. Your IT team may be all-in on a new technology that’s completely unfamiliar to the business, for instance. How do you introduce the new thing slowly so that the business doesn’t balk and levels of enthusiasm start to align? This talk is about putting all of these ideas (and more) into practice to save your modernization project. You’ll learn: -Why the emotional threshold among different stakeholder groups matters to your project -How to identify sources of resistance (is it the tech team? Is it the business? Is it both?) -How to prioritize what to change and when, and measure whether it’s effective -How an incremental approach to modernization can set you up for sustained success Too much “new tech” is not an IT problem, it’s an emotional one. Don’t skip the soft stuff!


Vasudha Prabhala

Senior Vice President of Service Delivery, Headspring


Kari Brey

2VP Information Technology, Travelers

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