Change is inevitable, change is constant. (Benjamin Disraeli)
This is true in all aspects of business, and even more so in the technology industry.
In my role I often find myself the conduit for continuous improvement to in-house systems to ensure greater efficiency – which results in A LOT of operational change management.
I am lucky enough to work for an organisation that values ongoing learning, and as such I recently attended a fantastic Australian Institute of Management – Implementing Change course.
I initially signed up to this course expecting to come out with a few hints and tips on how to make change happen – but I came out of it with so much more.
“The 8-Step Process for Leading Change” by Dr John Kotter was a “light-bulb” moment for me, and helped me to identify the most common places where operational change tends to fall down.
The key is to initially create an environment for change.
If you do this from the outset it will pay dividends in the later stages of the change management process. To do this you start by establishing a sense of urgency (articulating how important it is and the time frame in which it needs to be executed). Once this is firm in your mind you must assemble a guiding team of the key stakeholders that will help you lead the change effort. You then need to develop a vision for the change, being sure to check the vision and end goals for all stakeholders to ensure everyone is on the same page. This vision becomes the “why” and “how” of the project.
There are a lot of details on how to go about this and what to look for, plan for and develop ideas on. However, what resonated with me most was the importance of understanding the end result of what you need to achieve. Whether it’s your idea, someone else’s idea that they’ve asked you to implement or something that evolves into the idea, a thorough understanding of the end result is vital.
At times it’s easy to just get caught up with the idea and implement the change without understanding the end goal or urgency levels, which generally results in poor uptake or a different end result to the original concept. If you clarify the end goal or vision, and continue to revaluate this throughout the project you are on track to change success!