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Is change management enough? (Part 2)

In Part 1 of this blog, I mentioned the role of managers in the integration of change, but I now want to address the key role that senior management must play from beginning to end.

We often witness important IT projects that are “successful”… Really? Based on what? They were delivered almost within time, budget and scope. Should they be considered successful just because they were finally completed, even if they were late, a few million over budget and with different results than expected?

We rarely hear that a project is a success because all stakeholders took ownership of it and the achievement of the results was properly measured.  Traditional change management certainly helps, as shown in the first part of this blog, but we must stop believing that because there is a change management team in place, the rest of the organization should not have to care.

In addition to the key roles played by managers in the integration of change, it is even more critical that senior management:

  • Sets clearly the reasons for change (triggers), after all, understanding why change is needed accounts for 80% of change adoption;
  • Defines clearly what are the targets, including the benefits and measurable expected results since employees may understand that change is absolutely needed, but may use various solutions to achieve it; therefore the end results must be well-defined;
  • Outlines the change itself: its scope, the consequences (or impacts) it will have on which parties (stakeholders) and the potential operational risks that will have to be managed;
  • Puts in place the right governance structure that will be representative of all those who will integrate the change and have the power to make decisions;
  • Ensures alignment throughout the organization;
  • Ensures that the organization has the ability to achieve and implement the change; and
  • Puts in place a complete sponsorship structure to support change at all levels of the organization.

For lasting changes, sustainable management is needed; a more agile management approach that enables people to get engaged in the definition of change and managers accountable for results. We will discuss these topics in the coming weeks and months.

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