How to have more say in project delivery
The governance landscape is slowly shifting for Change Delivery. More Change Managers are invited to senior meetings to influence organizational project delivery and Change. However, if this is yet to happen in your organization, what can you do to put Change on the agenda?
1. Metrics, metrics, metrics
Sadly, Change Management is still seen by many leaders as a ‘nice-to-have’ activity that cannot provide clear evidence of its contribution to project success.
As management guru Peter Drucker once said, “What gets measured gets managed”. Leaders love Peter Drucker, and are best moved by facts, ideally supported by metrics. So, Change Managers must ensure they are armed with metrics they can refer to at every interaction with leaders.
During your current, inflight, Change work, pay particular attention to gathering and preparing data that supports the need for proper change delivery for future projects.
- What resistance levels were measured for similar previous projects?
- What was the delta in project outcomes when change management was applied?
- What will be the dollar cost of slower time to adoption resulting in delayed benefits realisation? By a month? By 3 months? By 6 months?
- Exactly how does a lack of adequate training impair time to proficiency and productivity? How does this translate into wasted dollars?
- How many hours of videos do users need to watch to be aware of all the Changes impacting their area in the next six months?
- How many hours away from regular work (business as usual) will that consume?
- What is the impact on customer service levels?
Our software ChangePlan generates these data points automatically with information-rich dashboards and allows benchmarking between Change initiatives. If you don’t have that yet, dive into Excel and crunch the numbers, even if it is time-consuming and arduous.
The key message: show the value of Change Management by finding time and dollar values to support the need. And… drop a Peter Drucker quote if you’re feeling plucky.
2. Be Strategic
Another lever Change Managers can use to make the case for Change are the organization’s high level statements such as their mission, vision, values and core principles.
Vision statements like Microsoft’s “To help people throughout the world realize their full potential” and Nike’s “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world”. Values may be vague ideas such as “Encourage innovation”, “Continually improve”, “Serve our customers”.
Change Managers should ensure they are familiar with their organization’s statements. Incorporate these into your case for Change. Refer to these during meetings, reflecting on how the Change supports these statements.
Roll up your sleeves, dig in and consider:
- how these high-level statements can be related to the project, and;
- how these can be operationalized with tangible metrics
Here’s an example of bringing organizational vision statements to life with metrics:
“This initiative will encourage innovation, one of our core values, by allowing every employee to upskill themselves via new learning technologies.
Over 70% of respondents in our staff survey said access to learning was important to them.
Based on previous benchmarks, we predict this will increase employee engagement scores by between 10 and 15 points, and reduce employee turnover by at least 15 percent over the next year.
We also predict a reduction in recruitment costs by 20% by allowing us to attract talent more easily”.
3. Make it Repeatable
Pitch the positive multiplier effect that the Change will have on future projects by recommending practices that are repeatable across all future projects.
For example, create a single source of truth with the project SharePoint site so users learn to self-serve training and FAQs, then make this the new normal for all future projects.
Our system ChangePlan makes it easy to leverage elements of successful completed projects, preventing rework and speeding up the planning process.
Having an institutional memory for Change accessible by Change Managers makes it possible to share data-backed predictions of the impacts of projects proposed, with clear data around how to best support audience groups.
4. Take an organization-wide view
Provide leaders with the ability to understand the organizational impact of Changes at portfolio, program and the enterprise-wide level.
Provide alerts about when project delivery could result in change collision or employee fatigue levels. Start collaborating with other Change Managers and list future changes so you can begin to see the organizational impact of changes.
Our ChangePlan software gives you an enterprise view of all Change Impacts to help you manage collisions and change fatigue.
And finally, remember…
Effective Change Management is a crucial part of project success. Strategic Change planning should be considered at project initiation, with adequate representation from a Change professional throughout the entire journey.
Bust the myth that Change Management is just “comms and training” by preparing and presenting data rich strategies that impact not just your project, but all those to come.