The Importance of Change Champions in Dental Software Change

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January 25, 2024 | 3 min read

Migrating data and implementing a new dental practice management system (PMS) is complex. But also necessary as a DSO scales. 

The process can be particularly rocky if your DSO has changed ownership multiple times, accumulated a lot of tech debt, or has outdated data management processes. Team members must learn new software and change how they perform day-to-day duties.

Ensuring everyone understands the reasons for the change and getting all staff members to row in the same direction is critical for a seamless transition. However, no one likes changing PMSs — it’s challenging on many levels. A secret to success is identifying change champions to help rally the troops and facilitate new software adoption from the get-go.

What is a Change Champion?

A change champion (also called a change agent or advocate) is crucial in facilitating change initiatives like adopting a new PMS. This person serves as a peer leader — setting an example, establishing a positive tone, and building enthusiasm for embracing change and adapting to a new way of working.

Why Designate a Change Champion For Dental Software Migration?

A change champion helps you articulate your vision and drive employee engagement. They foster a sense of involvement and ownership in the change process among employees and inspire them to participate actively in the initiative.

They play a pivotal role in mitigating resistance to change through a positive attitude, effective communication, and empathy. For example, they create a receptive environment for feedback and address employee concerns. They can also bridge the communication gap between leadership and staff members, clarifying misconceptions and fostering transparency.

A change champion facilitates stakeholder collaboration during the transition and ensures everyone works cohesively toward the same goal. They also help boost morale by celebrating success and providing positive reinforcement to motivate your staff.

Additionally, they help build a change-ready culture in your DSO to encourage flexibility, resilience, and a positive attitude toward future changes. Their involvement doesn’t have to end after you’ve transitioned to the new platform. They can gather feedback and analyze the initiative's outcomes to support continuous improvement.

How to Select a Change Champion For Dental Software Migration

Change champions must have a positive attitude, be enthusiastic about the software upgrade, and be willing to take the time to learn the new PMS’s features. They have excellent communication skills to articulate new software’s benefits to employees and keep everyone informed about the progress.

Change champions have strong leadership qualities. They can influence and inspire their peers to embrace the new tools and workflows. They must lead by example and demonstrate a commitment to the new direction.

Moreover, they understand and empathize with staff members’ concerns and challenges. They actively listen to their colleagues’ needs and perspectives and help leadership navigate resistance. They collaborate with stakeholders, like the project manager, to support the implementation with a unified effort.

How To Support Your Change Champion

Supporting your change champion is essential for a smooth transition. Leadership endorsement provides credibility to the champion's efforts, while clear communication channels with executives will allow the change champion to report feedback and progress.

Allocate the necessary resources to support the change champion’s activities. Provide training and development opportunities to help them enhance their skills in change management, team communication, and leadership.

Empower the change champion by giving them the autonomy to make decisions and drive the change process. Establish a feedback mechanism for them to gather employee and stakeholder input to help refine the implementation strategy and address concerns.

Unlock Dental Software Migration Success

Getting everyone to row in the same direction is essential for dental software migration success. Besides nominating a change champion, you should provide other supporting mechanisms to help your staff prepare for the change.

Download our white paper, What to Expect When Switching Practice Management Systems and How to Master Your Data Migration Journey, in which we share our from-the-trenches insights into dental software migration best practices — including staff preparation, tech requirements, and operations optimization.

The Ultimate Guide to a Hassle Free Migration

 

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