The following list represents the Key Service Objectives (KSO) for the Appleton Greene Change Strategy service.Establishing Urgency
Large number of change projects fail because of complacency within the organisations. It is for the senior management of the organisation or function to identify this nuance and start creating a sense of urgency. This is often done by creating a ‘crisis’ and openly talking about it and its impact on the wider function or organisation examples of this should be to allow incurring a significant loss for a quarter based on current level of performance, re-vamp the incentive program by setting goals to external performance benchmarks comparable with past performance, stop senior management ‘happy talk, and start showing the ‘honest picture’ and by using consultants to assess current level of performance objectively. Once a ‘sense of urgency’ is created, change agenda can easily be drawn and significant barriers be removed.
This is one of the most fundamental steps in the process of ‘leading effective change’. Under this objective a careful selection of coalition is done (in other words, a change team is established) and enabled. This is dependent on the type of change and its probable impact example being if change is for enabling a particular IT system used by a function, it is imperative to select senior people with both functional and IT expertise to be overseen by a manager who can ‘lead change’. What is also important here is to establish a break from normal organisational hierarchies and provide adequate visibility to the project.
Once the team is formed, it is important for the change lead to establish a focused vision and strategy for the change agenda. This should ideally be deliberated and articulated by the change team and seek buy-in from all the stakeholders. Once established, a proper communication strategy should be prepared to relay consistent and cohesive messaging across the organisation – this is to ensure that everybody knows why and what is being done and also to provide enough visibility to the change team, such that they can overcome the ‘resistance to change’ within the organisation. Ideally at this stage a broad implementation plan along with broad timelines should also be established and shared.
A detailed implementation plan is then prepared and stress tested with the change lead and team. This is to ensure that the entire vision/ strategy of change is broken down into manageable projects and business cases/ budgets are prepared and keep performance indicators are established. As we go along the journey of change, delta in the key performance indicators is measured to ensure that the program is ‘on track’ and risks are continuously identified and managed. To ensure that the implementation plan is complete in all respects, stress test is performed by independently deliberating the same and studying all the inter- dependencies. Plan is divided into smaller deliverables to ensure that continuous ‘wins’ are delivered that leads to a larger change.
Last but not the least it is extremely important to establish an effective project management capability. This will ensure that the project progress is monitored, stakeholder communication managed, risks identified pro-actively and corrective actions taken. There are several tools that can be used to manage the Program Management Office and will depend on the size and scale of the change projects.