Digital Transformation Unites People, Process, and Technology

North Highland partnered with a government organization to design and deploy a holistic change management approach to maximize the value of a new technology and device rollout initiative. Our approach, rooted in change management and behavioral change best practices, helped functions across the department unlock the differentiating potential of technology by powering not only a change in technology, but also a transformation in ways of working.

Client Situation 

Our client, a government entity, had launched a $150M technology transformation program to modernize hardware, software, and ways of working. The program included the deployment of new Windows 10 desktops and laptops, smartphones, and the Office 365 (O365) suite of Microsoft applications. The program had a global reach, touching 17,000 staff members across over 280 locations around the world. However, the program was struggling to prove how it was transforming ways of working as opposed to simply rolling out new technology – an essential requirement per government standards. The client engaged North Highland as a strategic change partner to shape a change management strategy that would help the program fully unlock the benefits of new ways of working surrounding the technology.

Our Approach

North Highland formed a blended team of consultants with expertise in change management, behavioral science, and program management. The diverse team helped to ensure that all  transformation activity accomplished its objective to change working habits. Our multi-disciplinary skillsets enabled us to deploy a program that would maximize user experience, alignment, and buy-in around the new program.

To design the program, North Highland worked with the client to understand local nuances and challenges across the office’s 280 locations. This holistic approach ensured the final rollout processes could flex to be successful at the local level. Our user-based focus identified the triggers and barriers to changing behavior, as well as the behavioral biases that had been influencing decision-making. Working hand-in-hand with the client team, we then defined a clear set of target behaviors and supporting micro-behaviors that set the bar for success. The new practices enabled the team to design and implement precise and effective behavioral interventions to shift old ways of working.

North Highland also facilitated collaborative workshops to help disparate workstreams drive towards common goals. We accomplished this by developing a rigorous plan and supporting governance structure to embed sustainable ways of working in an environment where communications, learning and development, and engagement teams had been operating in silos. 

Drawing upon behavioral science and the nudge theory, our behavioral change experts designed and delivered a campaign to support the deployment of new technology, ensuring that the client will gain real value from its investment in new devices and technologies, including O365. Specifically, we developed creative campaigns for various working scenarios, incorporating competitions and challenges as an incentive for change. North Highland also embedded consistent language and visual cues into deployment messaging to create familiarity with the initiative across the organization.

Value Delivered

Our approach, rooted in change management and behavioral change best practices, gave way to a scalable and flexible deployment approach that improved user engagement and attitudes towards technology by 15 percent. The client also realized a 23 percent increase in the number of staff bringing laptops to meetings and a 50 percent increase in the number taking digital notes.

In addition to quantifiable return, our work helped to bridge the gaps from entrenched silos between IT and the business, transforming the potential of technology by driving new ways of working. We accomplished this goal through a strategic and intentional behavioral change campaign. By navigating the challenges associated with a siloed culture, our team encouraged and enabled staff—across several functional groups—to work more effectively with their new technologies.