Untypical Change ManagementChange management based on simplicity and pragmatism
Change management became quite the buzz-phrase in the mid-to-late 2010s. Up until that point, change management was closely associated with implementation and often around organisational change - in fact, annoyingly (given how much we dislike acronyms), many technology-focused project people refer to all change management as OCM (organisational change management) to differentiate it from what we might call release management.
But change management is so much more than Organisational Change Management - change may be organisational but it may also relate to technology, processes, organisational culture, products and so much more.
Once it became evident that change management was a "thing", suddenly people started quoting a range of academic theories and it didn't take long before there were methodologies being developed and qualifications being offered - most notably the Prosci ADKAR® and PCI® methodologies. Both have merit, particularly for relatively new change practitioners. Many Program Directors / Managers have a strong preference to only engage change practitioners who have a qualification like these, enabling them to have predictability and structure across their project.
In our experience, though, sticking rigidly to any of these change methodologies can create an enormous amount of low-value, inefficient paperwork and meetings that only serve to make the process more difficult and time-consuming. This becomes particularly evident in large transformational programs where unpredictability and the need to respond to the unexpected are the norm. Progress is regularly stalled if always need to tick boxes on a change plan or checklist.
At Untypical, our approach is based on a very high-level and simple model:
- Where are we now - an assessment of what many call "current state"
- Where do we need to get to - an understanding of what the end state looks like
- How do we get there - this is where much of the work takes place - change planning, developing solutions, engaging stakeholders, preparing communications plans (yes, there is a difference between engagement and communications), developing a deployment or go-live plan, etc
- How do we make it stick - embedding change is often the most challenging aspect of the project because once the focus turns to "Business As Usual", it is easy for some to revert to the old ways of doing their job.
Sure, we can work within these other inflexible protocols and methodologies if we need to but, in all honesty, if it is so important to you to work rigidly within their guidelines and processes, you would be better off choosing a practitioner / firm that works in that way.
We know change and we know how to deliver it.