During a project management training course we looked at managing change. Participants were clear that the company did not manage change very well. So, I threw down the gauntlet and asked them how they think it ought to be managed. The result of this work is shown below.
1. Communicate throughout the change. The group suggested that if you wanted to take people along with you then even communicating that ‘you do not know’ would help
2. Wherever possible involve people in the change. There was realism in the group recognising even if you involved people in the changes ahead, some, would not want to engage with it
3. Recognise the new skills and behaviours that people need to adopt, putting budget aside for training and briefing sessions. Some even suggested making the training mandatory.
4. Develop a clear vision about what the company wants to achieve; identifying the business benefits and communicate both the vision and benefits regularly
5. Clearly identify risks. Have individuals take responsibility to effectively manage each risks regularly reviewing each one
6. Test motivation levels – use surveys to check out levels of motivation among staff and develop appropriate actions
7. Recognise that no matter how hard you try, there will still be some people who will not ‘come on board’ (this comment caused quite a heated debate). This led to the next comment…
8. Face up to the fact that you may well have to have those difficult conversations – with individuals and groups. Obtain training and coaching to ensure this is done effectively by managers who have to have these conversations
9. Ensure you have a plan, a plan that is realistic and stakeholders (where possible) have had their input. Avoid complex computer generated charts as some stakeholders may well find these difficult to understand!
10. Clear leadership is needed in any change – from comments the group suggested that it is not clear whether top management supported the changes. Nor could they identify who was leading the change
The debate was really good and involved the whole group on the project management course. I could not resist the temptation to mention the need for people to attend Change Management Courses – which we happen to run!
Finally, I mentioned that I had attended several presentations given by those involved in change and a common suggestion is to deliver the change much quicker than they had originally thought. The lack of speed caused them extra problems
What do you think needs to be added?