Kate DeGon, Founder & CEO
Change can be hard, but that is what drives organizational competitiveness and growth. A firm’s leading edge of yesteryear is no longer secure against the competition of today, which can upset the applecart in no time. In the face of this hard reality, as organizations go through phases of inevitable business transformation, meticulously tracking and measuring the effectiveness of change initiatives is not easy. Change management is complex and with good reason—until ChangeSync steps into the picture.
In the relatively new discipline of change management, the change management professionals typically work with disparate systems to track, manage, and report on how well an organization is progressing through change. But, to discern the progress, they have to aggregate data from all the different systems, which is time- and resource-intensive and most often, the outcome turns out to be outdated. The complexity only gets compounded in large scale organizational changes when thousands of people are involved. To improve the odds of success, change has to be holistically managed on the one hand and also routed in a strategic way to recognize its nuances and impact across diverse segments of the population. It is not easy to strategically manage change, and the sheer experience of planning and steering the change process can prove to be overwhelming.
Reflect and Renew
“I thought there has to be a better way,” recalls Kate DeGon, founder and CEO of ChangeSync. As a PROSCI certified change practitioner, Kate has been providing change leadership and consulting services to organizations ranging from late-stage startups to Fortune 500 companies for over 13 years. While in the trenches of organizational change management, Kate was often frustrated with the mediocre tools that prevented her from doing her job effectively.
When her quest to finding the right tool in the market failed, Kate took a leap of faith to create ChangeSync and change the narrative forever. Built for change management professionals by change management professionals, ChangeSync is simple to use, yet sophisticated enough to capture the complexities of change and strategically manage it across an enterprise.
Leading the Change Initiative
“My vision was to build a solution that would strike a balance between the requirements of change management professionals and that of the organizations, giving them the freedom to manage change in a way that is relevant to the business situation,” says Kate.
ChangeSync was designed as a change management system that helps the change leadership team manage all change related projects in one system. It delivers real-time reports down to the individual level of how people are progressing through the change in an organization.
One of my design principles was that ChangeSync should be very intuitive from a user perspective
Another key differentiator is that as opposed to a centralized change team always having to push the information to the leaders and other stakeholders through emails or webinars, the leaders can now have a sense of ownership and be an active part of the process. “When change impacts thousands of people across the organization, I wanted leaders to be actively involved in shepherding the change and moving their people through,” adds Kate. ChangeSync empowers leaders and change sponsors with customized access to log in to the system and have a transparent view of the developments of any given change project that is impacting their teams. They can view how each project is trending, the timelines, deliverables, training delivered, and gauge the sentiments of their team with regard to change. The leaders also get to see all the survey responses, which are color-coded according to employee sentiment, and in the instance of it being red, they can counsel and help the particular employee navigate through change successfully. “It is no longer a push from a centralized team to leaders across the organization, but a pull, and that leads to increased stakeholder engagement,” points out Kate.
ChangeSync offers the right solution to business leaders in a transparent way that empowers them to better manage and lead through change and gauge its success at every stage. Currently, ChangeSync, by design, allows leaders to only view the change process, as, according to Kate, the true administrators are the change management team, and it is vital to maintain confidentiality and integrity of the projects and documents without anyone altering the change plan.
On the cards is an iteration of the system that will enable leaders and managers to make notes about their team members in the system, which can guide the change team to successfully drive the change initiatives. In a nutshell, ChangeSync is bringing all the disparate systems into one, delivering efficiency and effectiveness to change professionals, leaders, and all stakeholders to strategically manage, track, and report on change.
Making the Right Decisions
As a system of accountability for the change team, ChangeSync, with all its metrics and in-built AI, reveals to an organization what they are doing or not doing to successfully drive the change initiatives. “Over time, the system tells the story of how well an organization is faring through change,” says Kate. When companies use the system more and more, they learn to leverage it better and, based on real-time feedback, improve their efficiency. ChangeSync makes the change process iterative and organizations can now look back on the success factor of projects from the system of record, and gain insights into their agility from a change perspective, project over project.
ChangeSync, akin to a Swiss army knife, caters to both seasoned professionals and those new to change management process.
For the people who are new to change management, the system’s traditional change management tools and templates prove to be immensely useful. And for the seasoned change professionals, the system is flexible enough to include their own set of custom-built templates.
"ChangeSync is simple to use, yet sophisticated enough to capture the complexities of change and strategically manage it across an enterprise"
The advantages only continue. Kate highlights that ChangeSync is consciously not built as a document repository. It is designed such that an organization can link any change activity within ChangeSync directly to the document in any repository currently in use, SharePoint or Dropbox. “A user will click on a URL from ChangeSync, and its AI will drill down into all the folders in the repository and pull the required document quickly, which results in a huge time gain,” says Kate.
As a SaaS product, the current pricing of ChangeSync for a change management professional is $125 per month per user. For all other stakeholders, it is kept at an affordable $25 a month because it is view-only access, and organizations can empower more people to be apprised of all happenings in a transparent manner. Alongside, a one-time setup fee of $2,000 covers training the teams and administrators on how to use and manage the system and create the right surveys. “One of my design principles was that ChangeSync should be very intuitive from a user perspective. Managing change across an organization is complex enough, and I did not want to create a complex program to manage it,” explains Kate.
Innovative Thinking to Set the Stage
ChangeSync, which is agnostic to both industry as well as methodology, is an iterative build based on a user feedback system. The company continues to add more functionality and features that take into account the demands of organizations and the types of change. “As organizations continue to evolve in new and creative ways, ChangeSync has to advance alongside to support their activities in making change happen,” remarks Kate. In the next 12 to 18 months, Kate intends to create a system that has more APIs and integrates seamlessly with other systems used by companies.
One of the most important things that Kate has planned for the short term is ChangeSync informing organizations about the effect of change on employees. According to Kate, some employees might be affected by several change projects at the same time, and change fatigue is real. The aim is to enable organizations to visualize where their change projects are impacting across the organization and strategically alter the timing of the change effort and modify it a little to ease the pressure.
In essence, many factors influence the success of an organization’s change journey. The quicker a firm can handle change and more agile they are in the change journey, the better are the prospects of setting up the organization for high performance. As firms continue to invest in change management, “ChangeSync will be instrumental in bringing the organization together on one platform and guiding their organizational change journey,” ends the CEO.