1. Start Change Management at the beginning of a project but let it continue beyond the endChange Management can broadly be split into three phases: Preparation, Management and Maintenance.
- Preparation is focused on understanding the vision and goals of the project, the stakeholders affected, exactly how and when they will be affected, and what they need to do in order to adapt. This forms the basis of the strategy and then understanding the channels available for engagement, communication and training helps formulate the plan.
- Management is simply about executing against the plan
- Maintenance needs to mop up the loose ends – measure success and performance, get feedback, tweak the solution, training, support, and then keep on measuring and improving – don’t pack up the day the project goes live.
2. Change needs to come from within the businessThe Change Lead should create a Project Change Forum consisting of the Change Lead and relevant stakeholders that represent the business. Engagement within this group and out to the wider business is needed to explain what is happening and how it will affect people. The Change Forum should meet regularly, preferably in different locations within the business, and its objectives are to
- ensure the business supports the project
- assist in sharing the agreed messaging
- provide advice and feedback on the strategy and the impact of its delivery.
3. Spend time in the Preparation phase understanding the groups of stakeholders affected by the project – but not too long!
- Who are they?
- What will they gain from it?
- What could cause them problems or blockers in the project?
- How open are they to change?