Building capability for effective implementation of change


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Change is too often seen as an impediment to be overcome, rather than the route by which the strategic objectives of the organization will be realized:

“It ought to be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things, because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions and lukewarm defenders in those who may do well under the new.”
Niccolo Machiavelli, ‘The Prince’, 1515

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Building capability for effective implementation of change

  1. 1. Building the capability for the effective implementation of changeShare this eBook:
  2. 2. Overview Change is too often seen as an impediment to be overcome, rather than the route by which the strategic objectives of the organisation will be realised: “It ought to be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things, because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions and lukewarm defenders in those who may do well under the new.” Niccolo Machiavelli, ‘The Prince’, 1515 Many organisations have a well defined approach to developing change by commissioning projects to create new products, procedures or systems. Very few organisations have an approach for how to successfully implement these changes. The time for managing the creation of change separately from the transformation of the business, where the change is embedded as the new ‘normality’, is over. The biggest complaint at the business level is that those responsible for managing projects hand over the deliverables and move to a new project, leaving the business to grapple with the difficulties of implementation alongside all the normal pressures of getting their work done. There are multiple surveys indicating that up to 70% of all change initiatives fail. This is because implementation is far more challenging than creation. In a straw poll of our clients (public and private sector, small, medium and large organisations) the difficulties they identified included:2 Share this eBook:
  3. 3. Failure to get started Changes in one area because of scale of work conflict with the needs feels too great to be of another area, leading Duplication of achievable to confusion over whicheffort across teams process is to be applied or departments Progress is slower than Getting expected because started When changes appear resources are repeatedly to conflict, clarity of vision pulled back to service is lost and work is halted ‘business as usual’ Failure to get started becausethere is no obvious starting point Making Requirement for approach to change effective change happen Failure to document the Closure of change Making changes that are made project leads to a change so that procedures return to old ways stick and standards are not of working aligned to activities Change of sponsor or objectives lead to activities Lack of support for change being halted before all so required changes in changes are complete attitude and behaviour do not occur Share this eBook: 3
  4. 4. In summary these challenges are: Effective implementation of change requires:• The amount of work involved is significant • An environment that is motivated and - implementing a change can involve inspired by the benefits that the change will re-writing procedures, re-forming teams, bring and employees who are sufficiently appointing new staff, creating new engaged to ‘go the extra mile’ to realise responsibilities, introducing new meetings those benefits or reports into the daily routine, training • Employees who understand what is staff to think or behave differently or re- involved in organisational change and prioritising effort to increase or decrease have sufficient understanding of their emphasis on specific products, markets or own abilities that they can identify those customers. activities that they are best placed to• These activities are a complex set of undertake inter-dependencies where often there is no obvious starting point. If there are no Ability to define, plan and implement change is agreed prioritisation criteria to establish a core management skill. The pace of change how to start then other factors will fill this continues to grow and where staff do not vacuum, leading to a situation where possess this capability it directly impacts the change activities are led by those who achievement of strategic objectives. shout the loudest. These skills are developed through experience• Those involved already have full time of ‘making change happen’ but this ‘business as usual’ responsibilities - the time experience can only gained if we provide our required to halt their current approach staff with a simple, easy to understand set of to their work, learn a new approach and steps which takes them from awareness of the apply the new approach is not easily need for change to creation of a new ‘business found. This is coupled with the reality of the as usual’ environment where the change has productivity dip that results from having been embedded and is now the norm. to do things in an unfamiliar way in an environment that is likely to be populated Maven has a framework of interrelated with people not motivated to abandon activities that enable you to create and their current approach. embed your approach to implementing change. These activities are summarised in thisThese challenges are encapsulated in the paper, but more detail can be found in ourdefinition of change management which is: eBooks series: “A systematic approach to dealing with change both from the perspective of an organisation and on the individual level, proactively addressing adapting to change, controlling change and effecting change.” Case Western Reserve University4 Share this eBook:
  5. 5. BenefitsThe benefits of ensuring that change occurs ina structured, well understood and efficient waywill vary depending on what your organisationis trying to achieve. Even those organisationsthat are pursuing stability over growth andinnovation will still need to make changes asthe market place, customer demand andregulations continue to change. In otherwords, even to stand still you have to keepmoving at the same pace as those aroundyou.Benefits include:Return on investment Efficiency of resources• Economies of scale as the approach to • Clarification of the roles and responsibilities change is re-used for each initiative, saving of all those involved in the change effort, the number of days spent defining a unique ensuring that those with the most relevant approach to each change initiative skills and experience are given appropriate• Faster implementation of change as those activities to manage involved have the confidence to know • Reduction in the number of ‘failed’ change where to get started and who to involve, initiatives and the waste of resources and can estimate with greater certainty the involved in making changes that ‘run out impact on their workloads and the level of of steam’ or get overtaken by other events impact in their departments which had not been assessed when the change was conceivedQuality of the outcome achieved • Reduction in the level of activity that is• Increased understanding of the impact duplication of effort or that is running at of the change which ensures that all cross purposes to other changes being processes, systems and people impacted made elsewhere in the organisation are consulted and their requirements incorporated into the change plan. • Enhanced employee morale and a reduction in recruitment and retention costs• Appropriate levels of involvement, with agreed responsibilities for making the change happen, reduces the resistance to change and increases the rate of adoption leading to greater realisation of benefits Share this eBook: 5
  6. 6. The Maven >> approachBuilding an internal capability for change is We find that although the detailed steps willdifferent to building a capability for technical vary from organisation to organisation, thereskills in that the lead time for skills transference is are four critical steps that must be addressed.much longer. Change is about influencing the The Maven approach is to carry out these stepsway people think and feel about something; alongside yourselves so that we can transferit is not as simplistic as showing them how to our knowledge and experience of successfuldo something, giving them a user guide and change initiatives to you as we progress.walking away. Define the desired capability for change: Define the Principles Create the Change Embed your • Review As Is of Change Methodology Methodology • Define To Be Assessing the ChangeBuilding a capability for change itself is achange to what you do now. Thereforewe recommend that building the change Planning thecapability: Change• Uses the structure that you will use for all future change initiatives – start as you mean to go on Implementing the Change• Involvement in this project is as wide as possible and includes those resources that you think will offer the greatest resistance to Embedding change as it is much harder to fight against the Change something for which you have been given responsibility6 Share this eBook:
  7. 7. Step 1: Define the desired capability for change Define the desired capability for change: Define the Principles Create the Change Embed your • Review As Is of Change Methodology Methodology • Define To BeOur first step is to clarify the boundary between To beincremental and transformational change. The capability for implementing changeIncremental change is the improvement that must be defined because this gives us theis made as part of the day-to-day responsibility scope of the framework that is relevant forfor getting things right and doing things well. your organisation. We will consider whatTransformational change requires significant an effective capability means from theeffort, alters the direction and context of the perspective of an individual and for theorganisation, and is the type of change to organisation to build a picture of the attitudewhich the capability for change is required. and behaviours that you are seeking to ‘normalise’. For example:By establishing where this dividing line is weare able to ensure that sufficient governance Individual capability:is applied to transformational change, whilst • Individuals have low levels of resistance toincremental change is not burdened by this changeprocess. • Individuals expect change and see it as a source of opportunities forAs Is innovation, expansion of knowledgeEvery organisation has a different perspective and understanding and the realisation ofof what change means and what the benefitscapability for implementing change should • Individuals fully expect to participate inlook like. We use a Change Readiness change activities and accept this as partAssessment™ to identify the most recent of their roleexperiences of change, the history ofsuccessful and failed change initiatives and Organisational capabilitythe assumptions that staff have about how • Managers can clearly communicate thechange happens in your organisation. This purpose, benefits and impact of changesprovides valuable information about what at an organisational, departmental andworks well (and should continue to be included team levelin your approach) and what has caused • Managers have the skills to counsel theirdifficulties in the past (and should be removed staff through changeor reworked). • Managers are able to assess the impact of change and accept the responsibility for scanning the environment for interdependencies between their change activities and those of other managers Share this eBook: 7
  8. 8. We will work with your HR function to Whilst this is an admiral idea, the reality is thatunderstand how these expectations can be those in this business facing role are oftenmapped into the practices for hiring and required to manage the transition to a newinducting staff, performance management, product or service too late in its developmentsuccession planning and talent management. to allow them to build the necessary supportFor example, we will embed messages amongst their staff and to make the hardabout how your organisation has successfully decisions on how processes and productivityimplemented change in the past in the will be compromised whilst everyone buildscompany history, which is viewed by potential their knowledge and skills and creates the newemployees on your website, and explained to business as usual.successful candidates during induction. We believe there is a need for projectWe work with you to create a culture where managers to be effective advisers andall employees know the history of change managers of change to ensure that theand can proudly relay it to others. Making physical delivery that they are responsible for ischange part of the success story normalises the successfully adopted, thereby generating theexpectation that everyone has to participate benefits promised in the business change, that it is in the fabric of their roleand is incorporated in every activity that they The planning skills that project managersundertake. have are an excellent skill set for identifying, prioritising and assigning resources to all theWe will also examine where the responsibilities transition activities and we have had a lotfor identifying, planning and implementing of success in teaming project managerstransformational change should lie within your with operational staff to create meaningfulexisting organisation structure. transition plans, where the structure is provided by the project manager and the content isIn best practice approaches for project provided by and owned by the operationaland programme management the actions staff.needed for transition (change management)and benefits realisation are clearly definedas the responsibility of the ‘Business ChangeManager’, a sometimes mythical being drawnfrom the business as usual environment.8 Share this eBook:
  9. 9. Step 2: Define Principles of Change Define the desired capability for change: Define the Principles Create the Change Embed your • Review As Is of Change Methodology Methodology • Define To BeImplementing effective change is not an exact An example of the principles that might bescience. The approach adopted is dependent adopted are:on the situation and the people involved. • If the values of the organisation areThis flexibility and willingness to adapt to respect for those that we work with – ourcircumstances can sometimes lead to a lack of colleagues and our suppliers - then onedirection and focus. of the principles of all change activities is that, where relevant, suppliers and partnerTo prevent this possible lack of focus all of organisations are invited to participateour change management interventions are in discussions on the impact of changebased on a core set of principles, providing a and that there is a commitment to regularframework within which the most appropriate communication with all parties impactedresponse can be crafted whilst ensuring that by the changecore activities are not forgotten. • If the objective of the organisation is toPrinciples act as a guide to how we want develop a highly skilled workforce, thenpeople to behave, what we want them to one of the principles of change mightprioritise and what we want them to consider be that all change activities include thewhenever they are facing challenges in participation of all levels of managementmaking change happen. and staff, and that any consultants involved in the change must include ‘skills transfer’ inThese principles act as the foundation for their activitiesbuilding your change methodology and every • If your organisation has very wellactivity included in this methodology must documented procedures and a structureadhere to these principles. For example if your for knowledge management then aorganisation is committed to providing the change principle might be that all changeshighest quality customer experience then one must be accompanied by detailed activityof your guiding principles will be that changes flow charts showing inputs and outputs andthat benefit the internal structure of the that all change plans, impact assessments,organisation, but have a detrimental effect on progress reports etc. are included in thethe customer experience, will not be endorsed. knowledge management activitiesThe principles we apply to your organisation Experience has shown that handful ofwill be developed in conjunction with your well crafted principles can provide aobjectives, taken from your strategy, and your useful structure for maintaining existingvalues – those you currently espouse or those achievements, reinforcing the message thatthat you want your organisation to adopt. whilst change brings new developments the core of the organisation remains the same. Alternatively, these principles can be created so that they embody the new values that the organisation wants to achieve as part of cultural change and act as a vision of what the results of the changes will look like. Share this eBook: 9
  10. 10. Step 3: Create the methodology Define the desired capability for change: Define the Principles Create the Change Embed your • Review As Is of Change Methodology Methodology • Define To BeIt is not possible to prescribe a series of activitiesthat must take place for every change. Ourrole is to create a methodology that canbe applied to any type of transformationalchange and that considers the change fromall perspectives. We build a series of changeactivities that address change in three areas:• People – organisation structure, meetings, levels of authority• Process – impact on existing quality standards, regulatory rules, internal procedures• Technology – reporting, interfaces with other systems, system availabilityTo develop these activities, we move throughfour steps, reporting our progress and checkingour understanding at the end of each step. 1. Assessing the change To implement change - who is impacted, what Assessing this impact is and when it will occur - needs the Change to be fully understood. It is helpful if a change team responsible for this analysis can be formed at this point. Planning the Change In our experience this change team should be led by a senior manager who is committed to making the change happen and will provide Implementing the understanding of the strategic objectives of the Change the organisation, access to senior stakeholders and introductions to external stakeholders. Their help can be invaluable in understanding Embedding how to approach key members of staff and to the Change support the change team members when the information they seek is not forthcoming.10 Share this eBook:
  11. 11. An impact assessment (also known as a The greatest resistance to change occurs whenscoping document) should be created which an individual feels that a change is in somedefines: way disadvantageous to their current positionScope of the change: in the society of the organisation or the wider business community. Whilst these changes are• Identify the processes and systems that will often difficult to document (because they are be affected by the change subjective judgements of character), they must• Identify those external to the organisation still be included as to ignore them is to ignore that will be impacted a significant proportion of the impact of the - Customers change. - Suppliers By understanding the impact we are able to - Regulators build a comprehensive picture of the benefits - Opinion formers – media, unions etc. that will be realised by the change. We will consult with all of the stakeholders to identifyImpact of the change: the widest possible range of benefits that• Identify those internal to the organisation can be derived from the change and we that will be impacted: will develop profiles of each of the benefits. - Departments and team that will use new Benefits may include: processes or systems, or create new • Financial benefits – cost savings or greater products or services generation of revenue - Senior management for whom the • Operational benefits – ‘doing more with reporting structure or content may less’ change • Customer service benefits – improvements to the service that customers receive andWhen assessing the impact it is important to improvements to the reputation of theconsider the tangible impacts (changes to organisationsystems, amendments to when informationbecomes available, office moves etc.) but also • Regulatory benefits – increasing thethe ‘intangible’ changes relating to power, compliance of the organisation with lawsinfluence and importance. and regulations We will also develop a map showing when in the lifecycle of the change the benefits are likely to be realised and their interdependencies. Share this eBook: 11
  12. 12. 2. Planning the changeThis is where the planning of the changeactivities will take place. The input to this Assessingphase is the Impact Assessment which is used the Changeto create a Change Plan (also known as aTransition Plan). Planning theThe plan will establish all of the activities Changeneeded to persuade, motivate and engagethose impacted by the change. The purposeof the plan is to ensure that as many activities Implementingas possible can be foreseen and ownership the Changeassigned, with agreed dates for completion.This plan will be different for each change as asignificant proportion of the activities addressresistance to change which is influenced by Embeddingthe prevailing culture of the organisation, the the Changepast experience of change that those involvedhave had or the relevance that individualsascribe to the change.The activities needed to create this Change Communication activities will form the bulk ofPlan include: any successful change plan. Communication• Measuring the current performance levels, about the change should have begun before costs and resource requirements of all the the impact assessment but will increase in processes, systems and teams that are to intensity during the planning phase. The aim is be affected to provide baseline information to build support for the change so that all of that will be used later in the lifecycle to those impacted are motivated and energised prove that the change delivered the to take part in the change activities. promised benefits• Developing the initial scope and impact of the change into specific activities and assigning at least one person to be responsible for each activity• Conducting an assessment of each area impacted by the change to see how ready it is for change• Identifying additional activities to prepare the area for change as needed12 Share this eBook:
  13. 13. >> 3. Implementing the change This is the phase in which the change activities Assessing are carried out and changes to the current the Change business as usual environment are undertaken. Although the change plan has been carefully developed it must be recognised that Planning the implementing change is not the linear process Change that it appears. We are asking people to stop doing what they know how to do and to do things differently. Implementing This means they have to take a leap into this the Change unknown ‘new world’ and persuading them to take this leap can often take much more time that has been allowed for. Embedding the Change Time needs to be allowed for a fall in productivity and accuracy during this phase. This is because people are doing things differently and we all make mistakes when we do things for the first time. Think how much slower you were to drive your car the last time you got new one or how much extra time you allow yourself when travelling somewhere you have not visited before. For this reason, the business as usual environment must be surveyed to understand the impact of any slow down. In some cases it is sensible to realise that change cannot be implemented during certain busy periods or when there is a deadline looming. Share this eBook: 13
  14. 14. It is also hard to predict who will adapt to During this phase, time will be needed for:the changes fastest and who will delay and • Testing what has been created by theprocrastinate. For example we all have project teamcolleagues who are the ‘go to’ people. Wealways turn to them when we ourselves are not • Training on the new ways of workingsure what to do. They seem to know everything • Practising the new ways of workingabout how things work, who to speak to andwhere things can be found. During the testing, training and practising, additional change activities will be identifiedHowever it is often the colleagues we usually which need to be included in the change planturn to in times of crisis that have the greatestdifficulty adapting to the new environment. All This phase is a period of great disruption to theof the knowledge that they have built up over day-to-day operation of the organisation. Staffthe years appears to them to be useless now, are asked to work longer, take on additionalas they are on the same level as everyone else responsibilities and stress levels are likely toin that this is a new world, and they don’t know increase. Ensure that support mechanisms areanything either. This can be a significant loss of in place:power for these individuals and, recognizing • Create ‘Communities of Practice’, Userthat, they powerfully resist the changes for as Groups or Focus groups to allow staff tolong as possible. share their concerns, learn how each of them are handling the changesWhen implementing the change, there must and develop innovative approachesbe clarity over who is involved in making for problems and difficulties that theychanges and who is responsible for carrying encounteron as normal, to ensure service levels aremaintained. Work needs to be assigned by the • Provide a supportive environment whereowners of each activity, and support will be people feel able to ‘try things out’ and areneeded from: not worried about being blamed if they get things wrong• The project team that has developed new processes, systems, locations or products• Staff impacted by the change who will have to come to terms with doing their work in a new way and learning what this new way is at the same time as carrying out their day-to-day responsibilities14 Share this eBook:
  15. 15. 4. Embedding the changeThis is the last phase of the changemanagement process and its purpose is to Assessingensure that everything on the Change Plan has the Changebeen completed or, where activities did nothappen, that there is agreement to any followon actions. Planning the ChangeTo ensure that the benefits of the change havebeen achieved the performance levels, costsand resource requirements of all the processes, Implementingsystems and teams that were affected by the the Changechange should be measured and comparedwith the measurements taken during theplanning phase. EmbeddingTo ensure that the benefits of the change are the Changenot lost, access to previous ways of workingneed to be removed. If they are not there is achance that staff will fall back into old waysof working, especially when they are underpressure.Removal of these exit routes might include: These ideas can sometimes seem silly or feel a• Stopping meetings if the purpose of the waste of time, but however small the gesture, meeting is no longer valid it is an important activity because it is sending• Decommissioning systems and cancelling a message that the change in behaviour software licenses for systems no longer in has been noticed, it is appreciated and the use organisation needs it to continue.• Archiving or destroying paperwork relevant Finally, although there will have been to the old way of working numerous opportunities for review throughout the change plan there should be a finalAs part of embedding change it is important to review of the lessons learned to give staff anreinforce the changes that have been made. opportunity to air their views about how thePositive reinforcement can be achieved by change was planned and implemented fromrecognising and celebrating achievements their perspective. Essentially this is to draw aand thanking all of those involved, especially line underneath the change and to state thatby senior management. the Change Plan has now been completed and that the organisation has moved to its newFor example if the change included acquisition state, with the change now firmly embeddedof new types of customers then there could be into business as usual.prizes handed out each time a sale was madeto the right type of customer. If the changeinvolved the completion of new forms whenrequesting IT support the Help Desk could sendan automatically generated greetings cardeach time the right form was received. Share this eBook: 15
  16. 16. Step 4: Embed your methodology Define the desired capability for change: Define the Principles Create the Change Embed your • Review As Is of Change Methodology Methodology • Define To BeThe approach for how your organisationimplements change has to be adopted by allthose involved. This will only happen over timeas it is used for each new change initiative thatarises.The steps involved in embedding themethodology are just the same as for any otherchange and therefore everything we haveexplained about embedding change shouldbe applied here. Specifically, the steps willinclude:• Identifying the users of the methodology • Alternatively a pilot project may be including those performing change or identified, and the knowledge of how to project team roles, project or change use the methodology acquired during this managers, and sponsors and senior pilot can be used as the basis of training managers. and guidance for subsequent initiatives.• Planning the implementation of the • Finally, access to the previous project and methodology so that its adoption is not change management approaches needs seen as an additional burden on project to be closed off so that this methodology is and change managers. For example the confirmed as the authorised approach. To roll out can be tiered so that it is applied achieve this all documentation must refer to to new initiatives only, and those initiatives it and presentations on successful change already underway continue with their initiatives should acknowledge its use, as existing approach. This means that there is a this will reinforce its acceptance across the two tiered approach in existence for some organisation. time and the confusion that this may cause has to be weighed against the difficulties of changing existing project and change plans for work that is near to completion.16 Share this eBook:
  17. 17. ConclusionChange management is becomingrecognised as an important requirement forany management position and staff withqualifications and experience in this area arebeing sought by those organisations whichhave already realised that change they seekdo not occur by accident.I believe demand for change managementability will continue to grow as ourorganisations and the functions andprocesses within them become increasinglyinterdependent, linked by common systemsthat flow information and activities from theinitial customer enquiry through to post-salessupport, invoicing and reporting.Whilst the need to ensure that change is led bythose who are most impacted, we should notignore the skill set that many of those workingin project and programme managementhave for planning change activities andensuring that their progress and completion issuccessfully tracked and reported upon.In the next few years the partnership betweenthose who deliver change and thosewho adopt it will grow. I believe that thedevelopment of these relationships can beaccelerated by better explanation of what isinvolved in successful change and through thedevelopment of methodologies that establishbest practice in change management fororganisations. Share this eBook: 17
  18. 18. Maven Company OverviewMaven can assist you to address project management in the wider context of organisationaldevelopment. We cannot fix all of your problems – we are not, and do not claim to be, amanagement consultancy. We are however experts in capability building and can work with youto align programme, project, risk and change management with the organisation you wish tobecome. We have the expertise and experience to do the alignment for you but it is our ethos totransfer the skills into our clients so they become self-sufficient going forward.Our services are designed to tap into initiatives designated as ‘transformational change’programmes, talent management strategies etc. - in other words to take our services outside ofthe narrower definitions of project management and of training.We apply a staged, structured approach to capability building by addressing:The situation: we gather information on the objectives of the organisation and the goals and key performance indicators that need to be metThe people: we use best practice competence frameworks to assess current capabilityThe structure: we conduct a maturity assessment to demonstrate where the organisation is currently in relation to running its projects and, equally importantly, how it can progress to the next level of maturity18 Share this eBook:
  19. 19. The diagram below illustrates the approach in more detail:Data gathering Results Action Plan Organisational context: How do we move from current Situation to future position? Assesment • Strategic objectives • Assumptions, risks, 1. Summarise current position: constraints • Organisational maturity • Staff capability Capability People context: Assesment • People Size of gap will influence • Business and commercial complexity of assignment • Context • Techniques • Planning the strategy 2. Clarify desired future position: • Executing the strategy • Organisational maturity • Organisation and • Staff capability governance Maturity Structural context: 3. Explain the relevant Assesment intervention for each theme: • Management control • Workshops • Benefits managment • Training courses • Financial management • Assurance services • Stakeholder management • Mentoring and coaching • Risk management • Performance support • Organisational governance • Career paths • Resource management • Talent management • Succession planningThis approach has been successfully applied with our clients and Maven will be pleased to discussits applicability to your organisation in more detail. Share this eBook: 19
  20. 20. For further information about Maven Training please contact: Melanie Franklin Telephone: 020 7403 7100e-mail: Follow us on: Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Slideshare YouTube Scribd Share this eBook: 20