Change Plans – plain sailing?

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A company-wide Change plan and the ensuing programme plan may take 2 to 3 months to build and to take through to your executives/stakeholders. Assuming that you have the green light and you start to implement the plans there are a number of key aspects of execution that you need to consider. Here are two…

1. Change Metrics – it’s very important to set the right measures for the outcomes that you are trying to deliver on the transformation roadmap. From my experience, metrics and measures can take many weeks to define, agree and then implement with the right data sources. Although the drivers for the change programme might be to improve top-line revenue or to improve the bottom-line by taking cost out of the business, it’s essential that the metrics be built around the required outcomes of the change imperatives themselves, i.e. the attributes that make up the Change.

And…

2. Change Programme Audits – your Change strategy should dictate that you start a series of transformation activities that are not necessarily 100% complete. Over time you build up a series of very concise and complete objective plans, metrics and implementation activities that will deliver your Change programme. You need to launch and get early shift change in your initiatives and get employees engaged, but manage for marginal incremental gains along the way. This is where the Audit comes in as your ‘thermometer and barometer’ for effective Change based on your ‘programme structure.

For instance, take the high profile America’s Cup sailing race. If a boat were to wait for the perfect wind and a favourable current then it’s very unlikely they would ever have a chance of starting the race let alone winning it. The Boats have a win strategy in place, which is challenged by tactical changes en route based on the environmental factors outside of their direct control. A Change Plan and Audit works exactly the same. The Audit should be sampled at regularly intervals. It is an objective and structured assessment determining where you are and shaping plans for mitigating risks through the overall course of the transformation.

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