wonder woman, change management, Toby Elwin, blog

The change in change management

change management, wonder, toby elwin

People, process, technology, like other change fantasies, looks good on paper.

If change is constant then constant change is the an organization’s biggest challenge. Organizations used to have infrequent change management efforts to survive within their environment.  Survival no longer relies on a solution to change resistance, but a solution for change resilience.

A Lean, Kanban focus is to reduce waste. Looking for waste presents constant change.

A continual improvement, Kaizen view does not rest on daily, change, but constant improvement.

The change to change management is that an organization needs constant change to survive within an ecosystem where they vie amongst others for control.

Change IT to Manage Change

Too much is going on, too often, for too many to realize that what is important to one is really rhetoric to another.  Too much rhetoric equals noise.

Unfortunately organizations and the people who work in them have hit a communication saturation point.  The pace of change is at a point people need some barrier for themselves to not merely think straight, but to survive the small sample set of change around them:

  • Technology change,
  • Strategic change,
  • Market change,
  • Industry change,
  • Regulatory change, and
  • Talent change

Change has no an able sponsor in Information Technology (IT) so expectation IT is aware of, or can articulate, change management is a delusion.

People continue to look for shortcuts to make sense of their world, so I propose a bit more formula for a bit more sanity.  I suggest we take look to the tired, hackneyed people, process, and technology framework many an IT department misapply to really mean only process and technology for our refresh.

Let’s remind ourselves to account for all three, but make no mistake the heart of change is people

IT in charge of change management presents such a state of blissful ignorance there is no those who leave change management to IT may accelerate the 10 year, 50% turnover of the Fortune 500.

Change in change management means we take change management from the Dungeons and Dragons, fantasy world of IT and back to reality.  Successful change management relies on people over process and people over technology.

Change Function Not Feature

Change management goes beyond features and functions.  Feature and function change management is product change management.

Change management goes beyond scope or requirements.  Scope and requirement change management is project change management.

Process change creates efficiency, but process without adoption creates direct downward forces against the entire organization workforce.  The people element of organization’s health identifies people’s roles and how change impacts their work and their sense of competence.

Process change around the change management process, itself, is in dire re-engineering need, from bottom to top and West to East, across the change life cycle.  The heart of the matter is people.  The people element of change understands change management is not a process.

Technology change creates radical efficiency, but technology without utilization creates direct downward force against the entire organization workforce.

The challenge is beyond technology, beyond process.

Iron Triangle of Triple Constraint

Successful project management practice means managing project success through the triple constraint of time, scope, and cost.  The triple constraint is a condition that realizes you can not touch any one item without direct effect on the other two.

No one can effect one with affect on the other two.

If everything is a priority, than nothing is a priority. Scope management is about people management.

Just like sprinters train to run through the finish line, good change management looks beyond the project close towards end-user adoption.  Engagement is beyond the project life cycle with clear focus on product, process, or technology utility.  This is about scope.

The bell weather for managing change is Kottter’s Leading Change, a book I see on the desk of most executives I know.  But there is something missing.

How do we create a similar people, process, and technology triple constraint?  Better yet, let’s focus on a people, process, and technology as an iron triangle?  The heart of change is people.  You can not touch process or technology without impact on people.  So, plan on people change if you plan on process or technology change.

Change is not enterprise solution, but a community-by-community view that people are motivated not by one, enterprise message, but by a message that meets their unique need.

Without a message to articulate What’s In It For Them? there is no understanding.

Without understanding there is no adoption.

If Kotter’s macro-driven approach helps:

  1. Create Urgency
  2. Form a Powerful Coalition
  3. Create a Vision for Change
  4. Communicate the Vision
  5. Remove Obstacles
  6. Create Short-term Wins
  7. Build on the Change
  8. Anchor the Changes in Corporate Culture

Kotter’s macro-level needs a compliment of person, or persona-driven change management approach, that meets the multiple needs and motivations by micro level:

  • Role,
  • Responsibility,
  • Relationship,
  • Process,
  • Skill,
  • Competency,
  • Ability, and
  • Transparency

Try an iron triangle focus as technology without adoption is waste; process without promise is hope; and, above all else, you can not touch either without an affect on people.

Change management impacts the entire organization and proper change management requires a portfolio management solution.  The current pace of change presents a portfolio of enterprise risk.

Enterprise risk compels leadership realize change management is enterprise risk.

The change management bottom line is the organization bottom line.

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