Change Management some of our secrets for success

There is no magic bullet to managing change, but it does take character and resolve. By this we mean the most important ingredient in the successful implementation of change across an organisation are the people undertaking the change.

There are many processes and systems that consultancies have tried to package and sell as the way to do it. These rarely work completely as each organisation is different and the change implementation needs to take these differences into account.

Managing change of any size or complexity is fundamentally about the people involved and their motivations to succeed. There are many ingredients that help and hinder the success of implementing change.

There are two key areas that undertaken well, will lead to the achievement of your Ambitions. The first is the Management of the Changes and the second is Stakeholder Management. The chart below shows more details about these two important aspects.

Management of Change

This is about the fundamentals of managing the change, in terms of a structured approach, a level of rigour and detail needed to ensure the activity is well planned and executed.

Stakeholder Management

This is the second important ingredient. The successful implementation of change is about managing the people involved. This involves building an understanding with them about the changes required and then engaging with them with enthusiasm. It also means holding people to their promises, requiring a level of commitment from them to deliver their part of the planned activity.

By combining these two together, will bring successful outcomes.

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What are some of the good practices in Change Management

There are a number of good practices that should definitely be adopted and will certainly improve the chances of success. Some of these are set out below.

  • Well-defined and agreed scope that is documented and agreed by the Client in the company. (The Client is usually the senior executive in the company who is sponsoring the change)
  • Clear business benefits and targets that are stretching and achievable.
  • Senior Stakeholder ownership and accountability for the programme of change.
  • Dedicated resources who can be allowed the time to undertake the planned tasks. Ring fencing resources is important. People find it very difficult to do their day jobs and their project work at the same time.
  • Honest resource planning this means not assuming people will be available without first agreeing with them or their manager, it also means being realistic about the time to undertake certain activities.
  • Good risk management with properly thought through contingency measures and risk mitigation.
  • Encouragement of honesty about the status of each element of the change programme. No hiding of red status.
  • Solid and careful planning but at a level appropriate for the project.
  • Use of different planning tools for different audiences. A detailed MSP plan is of little value to the Board, but is vital for the project/programme manager. A Board needs to be able to quickly absorb the key issues and use their experience to provide guidance or to make important decisions about the change programme.
  • Ensure someone has responsibility for tracking costs against the budget and reporting on it regularly. This person also needs to be raising questions about costs as they see them arise.
  • Regular communication about the progress being made and the challenges being faced and addressed.
  • Celebrate success regularly celebrating small progress elements keeps the momentum up for a lengthy project.
  • Break lengthy projects up into bite size chunks with key milestones on route. Ensure deliverables are at no longer than 3 months apart.

If you do all of these, your project or programme of change will have a greater chance of success. However, having the right people is the number one most important ingredient without which none of the above will make much difference.

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