Change management - What is it? Does it make any difference?



What is change management?

  • For a start, it's not just one way communication like emails and presentations and some training, which is a common approach in projects.

  • It's also not about making people happy.


It's about making sure the solution delivered by the project becomes part of a new business as usual.

And it’s particularly important for organisations that are implementing cloud applications to get good at it!


Part of the value proposition of cloud is continuous improvement. It used to be that you could implement a new ERP and maybe have a look at upgrading it may be 10 years later.


But now, cloud applications bring the potential for frequent updates and new features, possibly multiple times a year per application. The business needs structures and processes in place and an adaptable mindset so it can assess and implement these changes well and often.


Change management recognises that people don't really like change

  • They might try really hard to avoid it in the first place, or

  • They may subtly creep back to how they used to do things before their new ways of working have been repeated enough times for the change to become permanent.


And businesses only change when each individual impacted by the change has achieved lasting change.

In other words,

Business change requires individual change, but at scale


Change management is about making sure that

  • each individual is willing, ready, and able to make permanent changes to how they work,

  • with everything they need in place to do that.

Does it make a dfference to how people feel about the project? Yes!

  • If done right, they’ll feel engaged, listened to and informed. They’re more likely to get on board, get involved and that’s likely to lead to a better outcome.



Does it make a difference to Project success? Yes!

  • According to the PROSCI 2020 benchmarking data

  • 15% of projects with little or no change management meet their objectives

  • 94% meet their objectives when there is excellent change management.

To maximise your chances of project and business success, you need to embed change management skills, principles and practices throughout your organisation and in your project methods



What is Change Management exactly?

What's involved?


There are lots of different framework and approaches to change management.


This is my simple one that helps you think about what you need to focus on and do.


Change management – as easy as 1,2,3




3 Principles

  1. Change management is about making sure that the people, process and things that make up the busines are ready and able to go live with a new business as usual using the solution delivered by the project

  2. Business change requires individual change AT SCALE

  3. Project and Change Management plans need to be aligned – You know your delivery methodology. How can change management fit alongside it? For example,

  • What are the phases and deliverables?

  • When will key people be needed from the business?

  • When will there be key things to communicate? and

  • How does the business calendar impact what is and isn’t possible in the project plan?

3 Lenses

How does the change impact each and what do you need to do about that?

  1. People - ways of working and behaving, roles and responsibilities etc.

  2. Process - the business processes that need to be followed.

  3. Things (anything that isn’t people or process).


3 Phases

Learn and adapt what you need to do in cycles

  1. Analysis/assessment - what's the situation now?

  2. Plan/action - what are we going to do about it?

  3. Monitor/review - is what we're doing working?


3 Analyses/assessments

Reflecting the lenses of people process and things

  1. Stakeholder identification and analysis – who are they, what do you know about them, who should be responsible for the relationship with them, how do they feel about the change?

  2. Impact Assessment – what’s the impact on them?

  3. Capability needs analysis – what support do they need to be ready?


3 Plans

What action do you need to take as a result of your assessments?

  1. Communication and engagement – how will you communicate with and engage stakeholders in the project?

  2. Capability development – how will you help them be ready for the change?

  3. Change/Business readiness – what else needs to be in place and by when?


The key thing to remember is that you’re dealing with people who don’t naturally like change.


You need to engage with what’s important to them if you want to take them with you.


Provide the support they need to make the process of change as simple, manageable, and as comfortable as possible.


If you’d like to explore this topic further, please book a free call.


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