Change Management – Is it as Simple as Just Seeing Clearly?
We’ve been working with a number of customers of late that are trying to improve service delivery processes, and move into the differentiating realm of service innovation. In these very large enterprises, it’s always a challenge to get organizations to change behavior. Immediately, voices start rising, touting the need for change management.
This is another of those terms that can have a lot of different meanings to a lot of different people. Wikipedia defines change management as a structured approach to transitioning individuals, teams, and organizations from a current state to a desired future state. If you google change management, you really enter the swamp. Even if we narrow change management to the business / process improvement world that we at SSQ live in, there is still a lot of confusion. How do you sort it all out?
our BPM Overview presentation
In the CI world, companies want and need to markedly improve their value-generating processes (value stream), but the question becomes how do you get people to embrace the changes that come as part of improving? How do we get them to embrace the overall effort to improve processes, and theoretically improve service delivery? Do we really have to indoctrinate them into some new philosophy of change?
Personally, I dont think so. I think that many times change management becomes a problem because people dont have a clear picture of 3 simple (not really) things:
- where they are now,
- where they need to be
- why they need to get there.
Most organizations have plenty of smart people (I know there are exceptions!) . The fundamental trick to change management really boils down to getting all those smart people pulling in the same direction. If you can get clarity around the 3 simple things above, you might be surprised to see that change management is not the big issue you thought it was.
Ive used the term simple to describe these three things above, but getting there can be anything but. With our engagements, we spend significant time on the front ending trying to get these answers, and I can assure you that it can be challenging. But, we get there, and I firmly believe our success rates with business improvement efforts are better because of it.
There are other ways Im sure, but we use a structured approach that attacks the problem by:
- Understanding, for both the customer (voice of the customer) and the business (voice of the business), what constitutes high-performance and turning that into clearly defined metrics (efficiency and effectiveness). We are looking for gaps in these indicators, between current state and where we need to be.
- Understanding the top-level value stream from a process perspective (not function), the things that have to happen to deliver your services or products, and create customer and business value
- Identifying metrics at the process level (VOP), and making sure they are aligned with top level VOB and VOC (#1). Like #1, we are looking for the gaps.
- Defining an objective prioritization scheme based on voice of the customer and voice of the business.
- Identifying improvement ideas from the gaps, and evaluating and prioritizing those ideas objectively based on #4. A prioritized project pipeline.
- Turning high-value project ideas (business cases) into tightly scoped improvement projects that are clearly aligned with very visible objectives (#1)
Of course, this is over simplified. Theres a lot of work happening between the spaces, but think about it and ask Is change management really as simple as being able to see clearly? As always, I welcome your thoughts on this. Comment or contact me directly if you prefer.