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Change Management for Project Success: Students as Stakeholders

At the height of the pandemic, schools sent students home, forcing a sudden shift to remote learning and other interventions to keep students, faculty, and staff safe. In addition to creating a different college experience than prior generations, the pandemic highlighted greater need for colleges to demonstrate the true value of higher education from the student perspective.

With students having a larger impact on the college business model, institutions will need to adopt a student-centric mindset and addresses new expectations to thrive in the future. Digital transformation is important for delivering high-touch educational services and efficient processes for students. Institutions typically consider business users as stakeholders for transformation.

The time has come to bring students as stakeholders in digital transformation.

Identify and Engage Stakeholders

Students are often forgotten as essential stakeholders in digital transformation. By identifying students as an element of the change, and including them as stakeholders in the change strategy, leaders can build a foundation for success that includes their perspective. Students are an integral part of every institution and are impacted by change to systems and processes. Including students as stakeholders will engage them in the change and empower them to encourage their peers to embrace the change.

Build a Change Agent Network

Student expectations are shifting. Keeping students engaged in transformation initiatives as sponsors enhances their experience and provides internal support for the transformation. Once student’s commitment to the change is established, they can lead their peers to adopting the change, contributing to project success.

Solicit Feedback

Part of successful change management strategy includes soliciting feedback. Soliciting student feedback at regular intervals is critical. Integrating student feedback into the project can contribute to greater transparency and provide opportunities to demonstrate how the institution is committed to action. When students understand the impact they have on a project, it will drive better adoption.

The views of students as stakeholders in the change management strategy can help your institution accelerate transformation and deliver on the institutions mission Incoming students will continue demonstrating greater technological competence, increasing the value of their contributions and ability to help achieve transformation goals.