The Final Countdown… are we Ready for this Change?

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You have prepared for weeks, months, or maybe even years.  Now you are ready to implement the BIG THING that you’ve been working on.  The THING that promises to transform your business – the way you deal with customers, the way you sell your products or services, the way your processes work, your enterprise applications, etc…   

But you start to get nervous just before you flip the switch from the old ways to the new ways.  You start to wonder, “Are we REALLY ready?”  You will likely think to ensure the basic process and system elements of the change are in place, but don’t forget to take one last look at the people elements of the change.  More than one organization we know has remembered to make sure that all of the new PC’s had been set up, but then forgto to make sure that people knew how or had incentives to use them!

For the implementation of a change to be successful, you and your team should be able to affirm that all of these items have been completed: 

  • We have communicated to all employees the reasons and goals for the project
  • We have communicated to all impacted employees any individual job impacts and related changes in skills and / or performance expectations
  • We have clearly articulated to all employees what is and what is not changing in the their areas
  • We have communicated what success looks like for the employees (i.e. our expectations of them)
  • We have communicated the details of implementation / change preparation activities and the support available before, during and after project implementation to directly and indirectly impacted employees
  • All impacted employees have attended the recommended training classes
  • Where there are competing priorities, we have clarified what employees need to do support the change objectives
  • We have established a functioning feedback process so employee issues / concerns related to the project can be identified and addressed
  • We have communicated required changes in goals and performance measures to support attainment of the project benefit goals
  • We have created / reinforced key accountability for staff to demonstrate leadership support for the project
  • Staffing plans have been developed to account for absent employees while at training
  • Supervisors of impacted areas understand the increase / decrease in staff necessary to support project implementation (e.g. new systems, lower individual productivity)
  • Cut-over schedule(s) have been communicated to all impacted employees and their supervisors
  • A site-wide communication process has been developed to collect and manage issues during project implementation
  • Leaders have reviewed and approved vacation schedules (i.e. critical employees cannot go on vacation during project implementation or during training). 

When you can emphatic agree with each of these statements, you are well on your way to building a successful sustainable change in your organization!  Go make that BIG THING happen!

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