Statistics show year after year that this single largest contribute to project failure is the lack of adequately managing the change. One Deloitte and Touché study that surveyed executives showed that about 2/3 of projects failed because the project did not adequately address the people impacts of the change.
When projects fail to adequately address the impact of change, these things happen:
1. Employees are disengaged. They don’t understand what the change is all about, or why it is important to the organization. Least of all, they don’t know the WIIFM, “What’s In It For Me.”
2. Implementation is delayed. Often preparing the people for the change is not considered until just before implementation, or worse yet, not at all. Those impacted by the change have no idea what is happening, how their jobs are changing, the new expectations, or how they’ll be measured.
3. The change doesn’t stick. Implementation might go well, but people quickly snap back to old behaviors and processes.
4. Organizational leaders may have an inconsistent understanding of the change. This is the root of cross-functional dysfunction.
5. Sponsor behavior is inconsistent.
6. Communications is incomplete, inconsistent or even non-existent.
I founded my company to help organizations – no matter how large or small – be successful with change. Attributes of a project with effective change management include:
1. Employees are fully engaged. They understand what is changing, why and how it impacts them.
2. Implementation details are clear and well known. People know when the change will happen, what they need to do during the implementation of the change, where they can turn for help, and what to do if something doesn’t go as planned.
3. Cross-functional dysfunction is mitigated. Every leader involved with the change fully understands the intended outcome of the change, and how employees in their charge are expected to perform differently. This understanding is mutually shared across the leadership team.
4. Sponsors are actively engaged in driving project success. For details, see the newsletter from two weeks ago.
5. The change is sustained. Employees don’t snap back to old ways of doing things. They adopt and integrate the change in their day-to-day work life. Leaders manage their performance with different measures.
Organizations who are successful often exceed the goals they’ve established for change, whether that be greater revenue, saved costs, increased market visibility, better engagement, or improved customer relations.
Dedicated to your profitable transformation.