Achieving Successful Change Through Team Participation

Connecting strategy to success cannot be done without a periodic review of the plan; whether it’s the overall business plan, or a specific project plan. Many organizations wait until there is a crisis to make changes which means they haven’t got a strong contingency plan. While being responsive in the face of adversity is an asset, having a plan and reviewing it regularly should be part of the strategy. If there is one thing you can count on, change happens. People come and go, technology changes faster today than ever before, issues and opportunities come at you from every direction. In order to survive a savvy business professional needs to have a plan and know where their business stands today.

Is there anything scarier than change? Is there anything more invigorating? Entering a major change without a plan or an expected outcome seems ludicrous doesn’t it? What if this does not work? How do I prepare for this change? There are so many questions that come to light when we are in the throes of a change. We don’t want to fail but within failure is learning. It is so important to take the time to review failure and incorporate lessons learned into a new and improved plan.

A critical success factor for change to be successful is to monitor progress. It is important to develop success criteria that the team and management can review on a regular basis. In the project world we use Schedule Performance Index (SPI) and Cost Performance Index (CPI) to monitor our progress. In strategic planning, key metrics include performance to budget, performance to last year, as well as overall profitability. As we know, organizational change is key to making any plan a success. So what tools can we use to monitor Organizational Change? It is likely these metrics will need to be customized to the particular plan or project, but may in fact be the most important barometer to monitor and measure success, particularly for large scale transformational initiatives.

There is a need to develop a quantitative tool that can identify and report the level of adoption to change by that of the team, and other stakeholders both internal and external as more partnerships and outsourced relationships are relied upon to achieve organizational success. A third point of reference that we can use as a measure is a Resource Performance Index (RPI) if you will. A Likert scale or survey that includes a section for ideas and comments supplied by the stakeholders would prove invaluable for the management team to review the plan and make both minor or significant changes to the strategy and associated plans created to achieve the company’s goals and objectives. From our experience, a much greater level of success is achieved when organizations include a change management strategy into their plans that incorporates team and stakeholder feedback. We welcome any comments here.

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