Everything you need to implement ThingWorx Navigate for PLM data

Plan Organizational Change Management

Plan communications, documentation, end user training, and how you’ll support the app long-term. For your app to deliver expected value, users need to understand and embrace changes in technology and processes.

01. Understand what will change and benefit users

Start by finding out what will change when users access product information with the new app. Gather insights into the users, the process that will change, and ways the app will help them. This work should be completed by your adoption team, or the person or group responsible for organizational change management.

Learn about the app and the reason for your selected use case. If needed, follow up with the project sponsor about the challenges and value that pointed to this use case. Review any notes from the research into potential use cases. For a custom app, talk to the design team about the functionalities and use.

You can also gain important insights by talking with some mid-level and frontline staff who will use the app. They understand the current process and problems and can anticipate problems and resistance with the introduction of the new app. They can also help you be sensitive to cultural norms at their location around communication, hierarchy, and change.

After people adopt the app, they should find it simpler and faster to access product information. However, when they first hear a new app is coming, they may anticipate it will be complex or disruptive, especially if they have struggled with Windchill in the past. Even if they do not like the current processes, they’re likely comfortable with them. A simple change can feel disruptive at first.

To help employees embrace change:

  • Communicate consistently
  • Listen openly to concerns and questions
  • Encourage participation
  • Share the benefits to your organization and its employees
  • Get leadership to sponsor and promote the initiative openly
  • Develop a change management plan
  • Dedicate resources to put change management into practice

02. Create a communication plan

Plan how you will communicate during the project with various audiences that are external to the project team.

Your most important audience is the end users. They need to know the app is coming, when it’s coming, why it’s important, what it changes, and how they will learn to use it.

Group managers will need to know what is coming as early as possible, so they can manage change within their teams. Ask them if they work with other groups that will be impacted and will need some level of communication.

Plan how you will communicate with executives and the broader organization. This could be an opportunity to create interest in other use cases for ThingWorx Navigate. 

Use these questions to guide your communication plan.

  • Who are your audiences outside of the project team?
  • What does each audience care most about?
  • What do they need to know to be successful?
  • When do they need to know certain information?
  • What are the existing or best channels to communicate through?
  • Who can most effectively deliver the message?
  • How often should each audience be communicated with? 
  • What do you need from your audiences at different points in time?

In addition to communicating out, it’s imperative to listen. Establish a way for your audiences to respond to you. They should be able to provide feedback, voice concerns, and share opportunities you may not know about.

03. Evaluate documentation needs

Useful, timely documentation will enable successful adoption of your app. It will also make a positive impact on your organization’s ability to support the app and expand or make changes to it in the future.

Create a list of the groups who need documentation to create, support, and use the app. For example:

  • Developer
  • System administrator
  • Solution architect
  • Designer/user researcher
  • Application support team
  • Help desk
  • End users

Talk with the design and implementation teams about what they have documented so far. Ask managers of teams that will need the documentation:

  • What they need in the documentation
  • When they need it
  • How best to deliver it to them

Documentation typically includes design and configuration details. Based on the needs of the project and your organization, capture the work and decisions made.

Your service group or help desk may create their own documentation from training materials.

Identify who is responsible for each type of documentation and communicate this within your organization.


04. Plan end user training

Evaluate what training the end users will need to be successful and comfortable with the new app. Consider what you’re implementing, how much change it will bring, and the technical experience and comfort level of the functional group.

Ask the users who will participate in development and testing to help teach other end users about the app. They can help others learn and build excitement.

End users will need minimal training for OOTB apps, which are generally intuitive. End users can use free tutorial videos to learn how to use the apps.

All users of a custom app will need full product training, as well as an understanding of how the app changes their jobs. This includes IT, admins, developers, end users, and support staff. Decide how and when to deliver training, considering the group’s learning preferences. If available, a learning specialist should work with developers to create the training materials.

Keep in mind the languages of users when you create training.

Confirm the go-live date with the project manager. Choose the best times during the project to deliver the training and start early enough that the training materials will be ready.


Recommended Resources

05. Determine long-term app support

Before you go live, determine who will provide long-term support for ThingWorx Navigate. This will help you prepare for a smooth launch, enable fixes and upgrades, manage access, and stay up to date with the product roadmap.

A custom app will require more ongoing maintenance and a developer. Be ready to support it internally. Since the app is specific to your system and use case, outside support would be expensive and difficult to find.

You may need to provide a light version of end user training to the group who will provide end user support. That way they will be equipped to give support as the app launches.

Reach out to service leads to ensure they are ready to absorb calls and hands-on sessions for ThingWorx Navigate after go-live.

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