Fire, resistance

Ogień, opór

Low-code tools and internal Citizen Developers as a remedy for resistance to IT implementations in organizations.

Resistance to change. Along with poorly structured implementation offerings and tool mismatches, it’s a fundamental problem in IT implementations. Every experienced IT company owner has at least one implementation in his portfolio derailed by internal resistance in an organization whose bosses were so enthusiastic about signing an implementation contract.

There are still not a few companies that build their implementation resources on the basis of people with high technical competence, without worrying too much about their level of development of soft qualities. And after all, an implementer often spends much more time in the customer’s company than a salesman and creates the company’s image to a much greater extent. However, even with sufficient interpersonal skills, he still remains a foreign body in the organization. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the tool he implements is treated in the same way.

Resistance can manifest itself in a number of behaviors on the part of representatives of the organization, which we probably firmly believe will be significantly helped by the product we are implementing. The primary symptom is a reluctance to change and a lack of understanding, manifested in various ways. However, this rarely happens directly. Older, established employees allow themselves to make stronger comments, especially toward top-down decisions. The less assertive ones are able to undermine the project by inundating the supplier with a litany of changes and convincing them of the enormous complexity of the activities they deal with on a daily basis.

An extreme case I personally encountered was the actions of one of the specialists in a certain unit of the organization. This man showed far-reaching commitment and often appeared at implementation meetings with the project management from the client side. He presented specific ideas for improvements, convincingly illustrating the enormity of the risks and impediments that were to be created by failing to incorporate his requests for change into the emerging process. After several rather lengthy meetings, we prepared a quote for the changes – almost 140 man-hours. As we discussed the implementation vision in detail, someone in the room asked this person how much time he would save with this implementation. We didn’t get a straight answer, but in the heat of the questions it eventually came out that the yield would be… 20 minutes per month. Resistance thus has different faces.

At the other end of the scale is resistance expressed through deliberate belittling of one’s contribution or importance to the implementation, self-pity, disapproval of implementations due to the buyer’s alleged disregard of the person’s opinion. Resistance stemming from fear of losing an area of competence or fear of not being able to meet a new challenge. All of these forms of resistance have a prominent impact either directly on the implementation itself or on satisfaction with the sytem in the post-implementation period.

Resistance within the organization, despite its harmfulness, is generally either accepted or ignored by the buyer (board, owner, department). After all, who likes outsiders?

An excellent way to increase the effectiveness of modern systems implementations seems to be to base the digital transformation on low-code tools, while developing the internal resources of Citizen developers. Indeed, it is important that their majority should be employees of the organization with several years of experience. Their competence in communication, observation and collaboration is also of great importance. Simply put – choose from among well-liked and dynamic people who are easy to spot in the company corridors. In the beginning, it will be difficult to implement the first applications or processes by their hands alone. However, even at the initial stage, they can be an excellent remedy for internal resistance and the first line of contact for the supplier. They will naturally become ambassadors of the implementation and a buffer between distrustful employees and the external company.

When calculating the implementation of such a tool, ensure that training is specified and properly conducted (especially in terms of evaluation) right away. Generating even a group of several Citizen Developers and choosing the right low-code tool can not only be initially cheaper than implementing a classic solution, but will almost certainly translate significantly into a decrease in costs in the area of tool development in the following years.

If you want to start with a free entry into the world of low-code and CitDev, then start with Dew-X, a solution that automates processes and enables digitization of workflows. With a zero entry threshold and free consultations still offered, you can easily get started with the first CitDev, which you can easily find in your own company today. Interested? You can register here – a few fields, no credit cards… one click and you’re done 🙂

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