In a recent McKinsey article titled ‘Secrets of Successful Change Implementation’ (October, 2017), it was shown that organizations that had the ability to focus their organization on prioritized set of changes had more successful change efforts compared to those who did not.
If your organization is implementing too many changes how do you influence the organization to focus on a prioritized set of changes and therefore be more effective in landing changes successfully?
- Use Data – To back up your hypothesis that there are too many changes impacting the business you need to substantiate this using data. You can do this by mapping out the change impacts of every key initiative impacting the business, identifying which part of the business it impacts, the period of time, and the severity of the impact.
- Develop Heat Map – One way to do this visually is to develop a heat map of the business impact across all initiatives. Tallied initiative impact levels then determine the level of ‘heat’. This provides a simple and easy to understand depiction of any risk in having too much change. The Change Compass tool provides an agile, digital way of formulating the heat map.
- Target Operations Management – After you have your data on what the picture of change impact looks like, talk to your Operations Management stakeholders about this. Operations Managers are tasked with managing capacity and ensuring there is effective ‘hands on deck’. They are also tasked with ensuring that changes land effectively. Therefore, they have a vested interest in understanding how much change is coming up and when might be ‘too much’.
- Tell the story to the PMO – The project management office is also vested in understanding how different projects may impact the business and the resulting associated risks. Sharing the story with the PMO is an important step since they are tasked with working with senior managers to prioritize changes.
- Raise the agenda to senior managers – Senior executives are decision makers on initiative priority so it may make sense to work directly with senior stakeholders.
- Facilitate cross-functional discussions – Change impacts on the organizations can result in a range of cross-functional impacts. Facilitating sessions across functions including Customer Experience, Operations, Projects, Change Management, Human Resources, etc. can help to raise the awareness and profile of the agenda. Through this, it may be easier to reach agreement around how to prioritize and focus change implementation efforts.