Are you running a change workstream or struggling to kick start the change activity on a new IT development project? Maybe you've been trying things for a while and are looking for a fresh change management approach?
Here are six things you can do to start up or shake up your change workstream in the right way:
Make sure your technical solution has a business case and buy in
It will force you to firm up your thinking and will generate a proper mandate and buy-in from your management board. Do you really understand the problem? What will be achieved at the end?
Don't neglect your change and communications activity
A successful project is not just about delivering to time and budget (organisations are getting better at that) but it’s about creating the efficiencies and maximising your investment. Your change and communications focus will be critical to this.
Understand the impact across your end to end processes
Make sure you have holistically considered the impact of the end-to-end process through which your solution will be deployed. It goes without saying that optimising a single part of the process, without looking at the end-to-end process, leads to sub-optimal processes overall.
Put support structures in place
Your solution will likely be a combination of a new piece of technology, combined with some changes to the process, data and staff training. Some people thrive on change but the fact is that the majority of people find change difficult. But change is a fact of life and change is what is needed for a business to grow. A business cannot expand and stay the same; that's a contradiction in terms. A struggling business cannot stay the same and become successful. Make sure you have support structures in place to help your teams through the change process.
Take a unified approach to your delivery
The most effective projects will implement change on both technical and people fronts. By enabling project managers to look at both the technical and human side of projects, the efforts become focused toward a singular objective. The flow of information is integrated so that at the front-end employees are receiving timely information and appropriate messages, whilst at the back-end the project team is receiving effective feedback on usage and adoption. Get all of the team singing off the same hymn sheet and build a shared understanding of the change that is being implemented.
Reinforce the change and sell the benefits
Every change introduced by your project or programme will need to be clearly and comprehensively communicated and the benefits articulated. These messages will need reinforcing (as many times as are needed). Gather feedback from your users, address any gaps, correct any undesired behaviour and work constructively to manage resistance.