TrendMiner’s Coach Program
A Change Management Approach for Supporting Its Users
featuring a Q&A Session with Tommy Peters, Coach Program Lead
Something we’re really proud of here at TrendMiner is the customer support and training we offer our customers. But 1000 hours of training and 10 on-call Customer Success Managers means nothing if the company doesn’t have someone internally supporting the team and encouraging adoption and use of our software. A new way of working always requires some amount of change management.
To be direct, change management ain’t easy. Getting an organization, your team, or even one colleague to adopt a new way of working – no matter how beneficial the new approach may be, is even less so. In 2019, we established the TrendMiner Coach Program to speed up our customers’ successes and to provide that additional “internal” support for all users.
A Refresher on Change Management & Its Importance
So before diving into the Coach Program itself, let’s start with a refresher on what change management is:
“Change management is the application of processes, methods, body of knowledge, skills, and experience to bring about the people side of change, thus optimizing the benefits of an initiative.” Daniel Lock, owner of Daniel Lock Consulting and author of The Fundamentals of Change Management.
Being an organization that is essentially providing people with a new way of working, it’s important to not forget how crucial change management can be. For true adoption, successful change management needs to take place. According to research conducted by the Center for Creative Leadership, almost 70% of change initiatives do not succeed in reaching the projected vision. With that in mind, the idea of a coaching program began to take shape.
We looked at a small, unknown tech company called Google (sure hope they make it!) as a model for how to set up our program. Their model was developed after an internal employee survey revealed that less than 50% of employees did not understand why certain changes were made. Since things at Google are constantly changing, their leaders knew they had to establish an effective approach to change management, and what they came up with was a four-step approach to successful, business-driven change called “ChangeRules”, that’s driven by four questions:
- Why? Why is the change even needed?
- What? What are we trying to accomplish with this change? What are the risks and tradeoffs?
- Who? Who will be in charge of the change and who will be affected by the change? Who are the stakeholders?
- How? How will the change be explained and carried out? How will people be led through the change? How will the company make sure the employees adhere to the change?
Google’s early testing of this model within their Global Business Operations function resulted in “100% of managers understanding the change and 80% of their teams understanding the change (up from 50%), resulting in a 90% adoption rate.” Not bad!
The clear purpose is to increase the change adoption rate by providing employees with the answers to these questions. With this approach, leadership can establish the necessary employee support and human connection to ensure success.
Q&A Session with Tommy Peters, The Coaches’ Coach
Usually, we would say that “we sat down with someone for an interview” or a “Q & A session” to get their take on a topic or to hear about an experience. But with the pandemic distancing protocol and the actual distance between the TrendMiner headquarters in Belgium (where Tommy works) and the TrendMiner Houston office (where I work), we conducted a virtual Q&A session with Tommy, our TrendMiner Customer Success Manager and Coach Program Lead, to get the low down on what it’s all about.
1. What is the TrendMiner Coach program? What is its objective?
The TrendMiner Coach program is a program to boost the adoption of our software within an organization by managing change on an individual level. The result of this adoption boost is an increase in potential to discover insights and efficient workflows, leading to process optimization and more return on investment. This comes about by providing training to users within the organization, to form a team of TrendMiner Coaches who in turn help their coworkers on their journey into self-service analytics.
2. How did this program come about? Why was it needed?
As Customer Success Managers (CSMs), project managers often ask us about how to enable coworkers to get started with TrendMiner and how to do this in a scalable way. Scaling has many advantages but also poses challenges regarding follow-up and change management. Additionally, we see users and project managers that are interested in success stories and best practices from other organizations. We developed the Coach program to address these needs. In our program, the project manager can share ownership within a group of trained coaches who are ready to enable coworkers on an individual level. Coaches can learn from each other across organizations and throughout our TrendMiner Coach community.
3. How are the coaches chosen?
Selecting and training the optimal coaches are the first stages of the program. The first step is sharing information about the project with the targeted user group(s) and discovering what their expectations are. Next, the project manager and CSM evaluate the submitted results and select coaches based on fixed criteria. These criteria are based on personal skills, distribution across the organization, previous coaching experience and personal motivation.
4. What have been some of the most important benefits of the program?
Most of the impact has been made on two fronts. One front covers the ability of the project manager to share the project ownership with a larger team. More people own a part of the rollout and adoption results in an involved team and a scalable approach. The second front houses the success stories that are discovered by the team of TrendMiner coaches. More coworkers are receiving individual guidance by Coaches who can identify value bringers. The benefits of the success stories vary from predicting (and preventing) safety risks to reducing energy consumption to establishing time efficient workflows.
5. What plans do you have for the program for 2021?
The Coach program is something we see improving and progressing throughout this – and following – years. Just a few weeks ago, we had our first exclusive Coach community session. It was a great event for Coaches to get some sneak peek insights into upcoming features and to learn from coaches at other companies. The idea was to enable all Coaches to see the added benefits of new features for themselves and their coworkers. It was also a good opportunity to gather input from all our Coaches about how we might shape the future of the Coach program and the Coach Community on LinkedIn and where we can improve TrendMiner in general. There is more in store for our Coach companions. We are aspiring a bright future with in-person events, cross company insight sharing, and mutual successful stratagems.
Getting a Little Help from Your Friends
Our TrendMiner Coach Program is ultimately about people helping people. The program is a support system that connects the TrendMiner user community to ease the uptake of valuable knowledge and to share experiences to stimulate positive change.
Getting a little help from your friends means a human connection for user enablement. It also means that someone in your company will have your back when you are learning and using our software. As a result, companies can more quickly realize TrendMiner’s value and more quickly see its benefits – achieving operational excellence.