making real business changes
Business change – fancy words versus reality
1. Start a Project
2. Complete a Project
3. Checking in 6 Months later
Why is change sustainability so often missed and the benefits short lived if realised at all?
Our Executive Director Freddy explains. It’s is about changing the behaviour and most importantly the mindset of the people involved, the change must be a permanent one for the business change to have any real & lasting effect. The opportunity is missed when business change is viewed simply as a series of tasks and processes to be carried out rather recognising the importance of people, culture and behaviours.
Creating a new set of processes and training people in the tasks & process will not get the job done, it ticks a box for most projects but if this is the limit of how your team does business change you just lost most of the return on your investment.
Fancy words, clever diagrams and statistics won’t get it done; business change done by professionals does include some of these but the real impact comes from efforts elsewhere.
Here’s Problems Solved Top-10 tips making business change work
- Our advice on how you get the full return on your investment:
1) Only people who believe the “new way” is better will use it fully & effectively; telling people or gaining agreement by dragooning is not conducive to lasting change. Training assists them but they must believe it.
2) The best way of getting people to believe is for them to feel its theirs to begin with; this is why its so incredibly important to have end-users involved in your projects throughout and as deeply as possible with as many aspects as practically possible. The value of this cannot be overstated.
3) As a sponsor do your job! The main job of the sponsor is not to chair steering committees, the job of the sponsor is to publicly sponsor the initiative and help it succeed. You do this by talking about the initiative as often and as widely as possible, letting people know you have bought into it. A half-hearted sponsor is worse than no sponsor as it undermines people buying into the initiative.
4) Your enemy is your friend; Who is the most outspoken people against what you are trying to do? Get a handful of the most outspoken opponents onto your project team, convince them and they will convince the world – it works brilliantly if you give these now advocates a role on the team and a voice in the solution.
5) Work on creating advocated from early on; Get to as broad an audience as you can, as early as you can and make very sure you have the channels of input as wide open as possible. Responding well to a query usually buys you an advocate and an advocate is worth a bunch of buy-ins.
6) Don’t’ blackout; Going into a communications blackout mid-way through, as most projects do, will lose you a ton of hard won buy-in as people will assume the project is in trouble (even if actually your team is just hard at work) and people will be even harder to get onboard for a 2nd time later.
7) Build a permanent setup; so, you have training in hand, and super-users are onboard, but what happens when the superusers leave or move up? And how are you dealing with new joiners? What happens when the processes need adjustment post go-live? Make sure you have a permanent solution to all these questions – and more – built & tested.
8) Train your organisation; don’t just train your people, train the organisation – train the hands-off, exceptions, the whole new setup, make it as real as you can. Include upstream and downstream of the change areas.
9) Treat UAT is an opportunity; A month-long User Acceptance Testing period? Sure, if it gets people to buy-in to the change it well worth it, the key is in the word “acceptance” – this is the last chance to get the buy-in before launch and you want as many people as you can onboard and bought in.
10) Don’t stop at go-live; “No plan survives contact with the enemy” is age old saying and still remains true, there will be process changes to be made, people needing further training and just quite simply things the team did not think off – be ready to keep going until the changes are the “normal”.
These are Problems solved tips on business change. Do you disagree? Is there something we should add? We welcome your comments. Let us know, we love to discuss and learn.