DSO Change Management

As many leaders have discovered, change doesn’t happen at the push of a button, and bringing new software into an organization is not as simple as clicking ‘install’. Navigating the journey of DSO Change Management from decision to implementation is a strategic process that demands clarity, focus, and commitment.

Whenever we help a client embark on an expansion, a project, or a software integration, we know that beginning with a thorough and thoughtful analysis is the surest way to ensure objectives are met and the needed changes occur.

Understanding the Essence of ‘Analyze’

The Analyze Phase Provides Valuable Context 

Imagine diving into a novel without understanding the core plot or reading a scientific research paper without knowing its hypothesis. Without context, information can seem arbitrary, or even overwhelming. The ‘Analyze’ phase provides this context. It sets the stage, telling everyone involved not just what is changing, but why.

Often, in our hurry to adopt the latest tech or follow industry trends, we skip this essential step. And that’s a pitfall. Because without analysis, even the most advanced software can end up being an expensive tool that no one knows how to leverage. 

The ‘Analyze’ phase is our compass in this uncharted territory. With it, we dissect the challenge, clarify the objectives, and set a clear direction for the implementation journey ahead. It is the phase where we pause, reflect, and ensure our actions align with our goals.

Questioning Framework and Exploring Potential Solutions

The Right Questions 

Every innovator and problem solver knows the undeniable truth: Asking the right questions is half the battle. Our questioning framework revolves around the ‘why’ of the project.

  • What problem are we trying to solve? This isn’t just about surface-level issues but digging deeper to identify the root cause.
  • Why is this a problem? Contextualizing the problem helps us understand its impact. Maybe it’s a workflow issue causing delays, or perhaps it’s a gap in patient communication affecting satisfaction rates.
  • Who is this problem affecting? By identifying the stakeholders, we can anticipate the potential challenges and ensure the solutions cater to the actual users.

It can be amazing to see the power of a proper framing of the problem. Alignment with stakeholders becomes much easier when we can both understand and easily communicate the underlying need to take action. Potential problems in the solution set and bumps in the road towards implementation are often much more easily surfaced after these few questions are thoroughly answered. 

How To Find Your Best Fit Solution

Now that we’ve outlined the problem, it’s time to brainstorm potential solutions. This is where collaboration shines. Bringing together diverse perspectives and hearing from all stakeholders can spark innovative ideas and strategies and help you encounter ideas and solutions that lay in your blind spot. 

  • What are the possible ways to solve the problem? List them out, no matter how out-of-the-box they might seem. Sometimes, the most unconventional solution can prove the most effective.
  • Which solution or project seems to be the best fit? This isn’t just about efficiency but also feasibility. How does the solution align with the organization’s capabilities and resources?
  • Who benefits from this solution? Always circle back to the stakeholders. Ensuring that the solution benefits them directly will increase buy-in and facilitate smoother implementation.
  • What are the costs of this solution? Remember that costs are not just financial. Opportunity cost, effort required, and social capital spent can be just as (or more) costly than the dollars spent. 

As we explore solutions, it’s crucial to keep an eye on the horizon. Is the solution a quick fix, or is it sustainable in the long run? Short-term solutions might offer immediate relief, but we must also consider their longevity. The last thing any DSO wants is to revisit the same problem down the line.

In the next section, we’ll delve into the alignment of our chosen solution with the organization’s broader mission and goals. Remember, implementation is not just about solving today’s challenges; it’s about paving the way for tomorrow’s successes.

Ensuring Alignment with Organizational Mission and Strategic Priorities

Connecting with the ‘Why’ of the Company

Once potential solutions are identified and mapped out, it’s essential to zoom out and see how this specific project fits within the larger tapestry of the organization. Every DSO has a core mission, a driving purpose behind all its endeavors. Whether it’s providing superior patient care, streamlining dental procedures through technology, or fostering a harmonious and productive work environment, there’s a “why” that propels every initiative.

In the Analyze phase, it’s crucial to ask: How does this project resonate with our company’s ‘why’? The synergy between a project’s objectives and the company’s mission can magnify its impact. If, for example, a DSO’s mission revolves around enhancing patient experience, software aimed at simplifying insurance verification can be pivotal. It eliminates long waiting times and bureaucratic hassles, directly boosting patient satisfaction.

Prioritizing within the Strategic Plan

However, aligning with the company’s mission is just one facet. The project’s positioning within the broader strategic plan is equally important. The world of dental operations is dynamic. Every day, new challenges emerge and demand attention. Hence, it’s essential to determine the priority of our current project. Is it an immediate requirement, instrumental in achieving quarterly goals? Or is it a part of a long-term vision, aiming for results in subsequent years?

The real limits to the amount of change that people can incorporate into their workflows is also an important factor to consider. Every change has a cost and a J shaped curve involved. Understanding the potential costs and benefits of solving this particular problem relative to the other organizational priorities will ensure you are always focused on the highest impact projects and always moving the needle. 

Crafting the Success Criteria

To ensure the success of the project post-implementation, it’s imperative to define clear and measurable success criteria right from the analysis phase. These are the benchmarks that will later help us determine if the project achieved its intended goals. 

Questions to consider include:

  • What does ‘success’ look like for this project? Is it a tangible increase in patient flow, a specific percentage reduction in claim denials, or perhaps enhanced feedback from the dental team regarding workflow efficiency?
  • How will we know when the project is successfully completed? Setting tangible milestones or deliverables can offer clarity here.

Mapping out the Journey

Lastly, an overview of the steps needed to transition from the current challenge to the desired outcome is crucial. Think of this as a roadmap, detailing significant milestones and deliverables. While the intricate details of ‘how’ will be worked out in subsequent phases, having a broad understanding at this juncture can set the stage for smoother execution.

Anticipating Obstacles: Being Proactive Rather Than Reactive

The realm of DSOs is complex, and no matter how well-planned a project is, there will always be unforeseen challenges. However, being proactive in anticipating potential obstacles can make the difference between a hiccup and a setback.

The Known Unknowns

Every project encounters “known unknowns” – obstacles we can predict might arise, but the magnitude or specifics of which remain uncertain. For instance, when implementing new software, potential issues could be:

  • Resistance from staff due to unfamiliarity with the system.
  • Integration glitches with existing systems.
  • Delays in training sessions or updates.

Anticipating these allows for the creation of contingency plans. Instead of panicking when an issue arises, the team can simply activate a predetermined response, minimizing disruption.

Building Resilience with Strategy

For every anticipated obstacle, a corresponding strategy should be in place. If there’s a potential for staff resistance, then maybe a series of preliminary workshops introducing the benefits of the new system could be beneficial. For technical glitches, having a dedicated IT support team on standby during the initial days of implementation can be invaluable.

Remember, the goal isn’t to predict every single problem but to foster a mindset of resilience and adaptability. A team that’s prepared is a team that can pivot effectively.

Conclusion: The Power of Analyze in DSO Change Management

In the vast and intricate landscape of DSOs, change is inevitable. New technologies, evolving patient needs, and the relentless pursuit of excellence drive the industry forward. However, the key to effective change isn’t merely adoption but understanding.

The Analyze phase, with its multi-pronged approach, ensures that every project undertaken isn’t just a shot in the dark. It’s a calculated move, backed by comprehensive understanding, alignment with organizational goals, and the foresight to anticipate challenges.

In this ever-evolving sector, DSOs that harness the power of rigorous analysis will always stay a step ahead, ensuring that change, when it comes, is not just impactful but transformative. Let’s champion thoughtful, informed progress, together.

Revolutionary Tribes

Revolutionary Tribes works with Dentist Support Organizations and Dental Group Practice Leaders who are ready to grow and carry the responsibility of leading teams while ensuring to achieve financial and cultural results.


Zuub streamlines revenue cycle management processes and boosts revenue for dental practices through advanced features like automated insurance verification, patient statements, treatment planning, in-house financing, and more.

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