How a big company like Accenture handles big change—fast
January 18, 2021
At Accenture, change is part of our DNA. We continually transform our business and embrace change to create more value for our clients. A major change earlier this year was implementing a new growth model to simplify Accenture’s organizational structure and increase our agility to better serve clients at scale.
This kind of change is major. Transitioning to a new business model required changes to Accenture’s organization structure, people mapping, access to systems, data structures and more. Our global IT organization needed to respond quickly to complete the first wave of technology changes just two months after the announcement.
Just as important, we had to develop a way to help our people understand and adopt the changes to ensure the success of the business model transformation. We knew that the technology changes were critical, but more important was the ability for our people to understand how to work differently and access the systems they need for critical data and information.
First, our global IT organization needed to assess the impact on 400+ critical applications and the 40+ core processes that are used every day to support Accenture’s business. A key element of this impact assessment was to ensure Accenture’s financial, sales and management processes would seamlessly transition to support the business in the new model.
We assembled a cross-functional change management team to manage the impacts of this large and complex transformation and to support the changes Accenture users would need to make. The change team worked closely with the application teams to identify the impacts where applications integrated with business processes. It was at these intersections where users needed to understand the changes to the integrated systems and data structures to run the business.
Our change management team then put in place a strategy to manage the technology and user change to more than 500,000 employees globally. What made this strategy unique were six elements:
Our talented teams worked with agility to enable more than 500,000 Accenture users to adopt to the system changes, all while balancing the unprecedented challenges of working brought on by COVID-19 at the same time. The change program contributed to our global IT organization successfully instating the changes necessary to support the growth model.
Strong partnership between IT and the business is imperative for immediate and long-term success. In addition, a user-centric change management approach that embeds just-in-time learning, aligns to clear business outcomes, and focuses on users’ behavior enables a culture of adopting new and evolving technology.
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