Change Management: Building a Strong Foundation

Change Management: Building a Strong Foundation

So, here you are with some idea of minimizing the productivity loss that comes with people change. You’re going to need a solid conceptual foundation for your project plan. (I was going to say “vision” but I’ve been reading a Dilbert collection lately and I just couldn’t do it.) Here are some things to include.
People change management. The basic question is, just how much trouble are you going to cause people? If your initiative is going to throw a monkey wrench into many areas that affect the mundane mechanics of people’s work, you need to anticipate objections and plan for overcoming them. You also need to have a means in place, ahead of time, of evaluating and handling unexpected objections.
Project change management. If your project or program is going to span many organizational elements—processes, systems, and more—or if it’s going to affect a few complex areas, you’ll need to be sure you’ve got a workable project-change management process in place, so when Somebody Important decides the org needs a parsnip instead of a carrot, you can handle it.
Stakeholders. I hate to say this yet again. Well, not really. Do everything possible to find the stakeholders for the project and get them involved up front. Every stakeholder group needs a loop through which they can get information and give feedback. Besides, you can’t overcome people’s objections if you don’t know who they are.
Champions. Here’s one of the best ideas I’ve heard: find the people who are fired up about the change, along with those who are calmly in favor of it, and get them on your project team. These people can be a key part of your people-change strategy. They are the sales force,  those who overcome objections.
Get the right processes and people in place, and you’re well on your way to a successful change.
Next time: Not Change Management!
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