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There’s an old idiom about “throwing good money after bad,” which refers to spending more money on something problematic that one has already spent money on, in the (presumably futile) hopes of fixing it or recouping one’s original investment – creating a cycle that, in any business, can be hard to end.  In fact, it’s often MORE difficult to rationalize spending money on new solutions and services that, even with the best of intentions, will, undoubtedly, disrupt routine and business without showing that previous investments have even paid off.  And yet, this can be a short-sighted view to business value – both in quantitative returns such as ROI and in qualitative returns such as time reduction, more automated processes, and less duplicity.  So, how do you internally make the case that your new solutions will be a success? You plan for change.

Effective business transformation must establish new processes, behaviors, and capabilities to deliver the desired outcomes and goals.  While new systems are often the focus of growth, proactively supporting individuals through the change process is key.  Value-added solutions are meant to enable enhanced performance, but real change comes from incorporating new capabilities, processes and routine into the organization at every level.  These help build new skills, adopt new methods, and evolve current practices to refine how your new solutions can deliver on your goals.

It’s Not You, It’s….ok, It’s You

Research shows that many transformation programs encounter significant challenges or fail to deliver the expected benefits.  In fact, not looking beyond the statistics can make you want to stay with the “devil that you know” rather than the devil that you don’t.  For example, did you know:

  • 70% of all transformations fail due to an inadequate change program that is not aligned with vision and goals?
  • 4 of the top 7 causes of project failure are people related?
  • The most common barrier to successful implementation is employee resistance?

How Can You Combat These Challenges?

Well, there are a number of ways, but the idea behind all of them is to be mindful of the people within the organization.

  • Understand the importance of the change: The first priority in creating an environment of change is understanding the importance that the change entails. Failure to recognize the importance or lack of ownership – especially in a “Business as Usual” environment — has a direct impact on the challenges around end results and ROI.
  • Be aware of the business pressure to minimize time: Everyone is busy and taking time out to learn distracts from the “day job”, but this mindset means it is even more difficult to secure time for engagement. Give your teams the time they need to adjust to the new solution and routine.
  • Is change budgeted?: Change management activities are often an after thought or limited in scope concluding after the systems are live.
  • Yes, there will be a need to relearn today’s tasks: The focus is often on how to do today’s tasks in a new system without any real focus on new capabilities and new processes.

What does Change Management for TPM look like?

Planning for successful outcomes and program delivery is a multi-step process wherein the requirements should be tailored and designed according to the needs of each program and engagement.

  • Begin by building a change roadmap that guides the change management task activities and responsibilities and aligns with project goals and milestones.
  • Involve engagement leaders and key stakeholders with critical project roles as sponsors and champions of the project.
  • Use assessments and diagnostics to identify risks and issues that need to be addressed.
  • Finally, make sure you’ve created a clear plan for communication, training and broader capability development to ensure successful change and delivery of your goals.

What’s the Benefit of Change Management?

Effective change management has a direct impact on disruption and business performance during change. It reduces the likelihood of disruption for your people and your customers, while simultaneously reducing the productivity gap that results from changes on how to do the jobs at hand.  It minimizes the risk of failure and the significant cost and business impact to “fixing it later”, as well as the impact on individuals by reducing uncertainty and building confidence.  Most importantly, being involved and creating both an atmosphere and a plan for Change Management increases the level of engagement and commitment to the change within the entire organization ensuring success at all levels of investment.