I have described in all of the previous Management of Change articles, the various streams of activity that go to make up “The Overall Map”. The final two elements that are somewhat the easiest to describe are the actual programme plan itself and the decision event. Decision Event, what is one of those? First, let's skim over the programme plan contents:
Programme Plan: Like all programmes of work, there has to be a formal plan, with a set of elements that are used to put structure in place & to enable the programme of change to have meaning, purpose and format. Some people subscribe to the Prince2 / MSP [Managing Successful Programme] methodology; others use methods defined and developed within their own organisations. The major elements [whatever method you choose] include:
Charters for the various workstreams: These define what the activities are, what the goals are, what key changes are proposed, what is in and out of scope, timescales, resources, dependencies, risks, issues, etc.
FBM - Functional Business Model: If you are making wholesale changes, this will involve changing the organisation structure; the hierarchy of management and focus; measures; longer term goals; etc.
Business Proposals: This could be acquisitions; divestments; other strategic investments
Implementation Preparation Plan: What you need to put in place before you start the transition; what investment is needed; resources; timescales, etc.
Transition / Transformation Plan: Are you transitioning from one form to another? Are you fundamentally transforming your business in a step change. These are different approaches to the same outcome, a changed organisation, processes, people, etc.
Early Wins: What are the early wins that you are going to use as part of the communications of success, progress.
Evaluating Results: What results are you expecting, the key milestones, celebrating success, etc
Sometimes, the change is so large and significant, that a specific event - whether it is a board meeting, a meeting, a stockholder meeting, or the like, is used to kick start the change. For such a Decision Event, you need to think about the classic:
What, Why, Who, How, When, as in…..
What is the type of event that needs to be hosted?
Why does it need to occur?
Who are the key stakeholders, naysayers and supporters that need to be at the event?
How are you going to engage the supporters, allay the fears of the detractors and gain universal buy-in and sign off?
When does such an event need to take place?
An example from my own change programme history, was we needed to announce a major set of changes to how we, as a company, were going to deliver support to our customers across Europe.
We had worked on the change programme and the various workstreams for a year, defining, agreeing and scoping out the changes. It was time to share with the country general managers and their management teams. We had had members of their teams in the various workstreams, so the assumption would have been that they already knew.
However, doing a survey across the countries, it became quickly apparent that there were different levels of understanding, buy-in and support, rejection of the proposed changes. So as a Management of Change team, we decided to hold an event to bring together face-2-face all the country managers and their teams. We held it in Turkey, Istanbul, as this was one country that did not have a presence in the company, so in effect neutral.
We planned a two day event, with a conference theme. We invited consultants from Gartner and Forrester to the event to talk about and lay out the key market challenges and the impact on the company in the countries across Europe. We invited some of the countries biggest customers along to voice and share their issues and challenges with the way the current structure was impacting their ability to work with us.
Finally, we got key country managers, or senior members to present each of the key workstreams and the changes proposed. Finally, we put up a large signature board and invited everyone who had attended to sign the board. What was written on the board was the new charter and organisation for Europe. One the board was singed, it was hung in the European HQ reception for every visitor to see. Did all this effort work? Yes, one year of programme planning, 3 months of planning the event and one year of change work later, the changes had taken place and for the next five years, we saw the benefits of the new organisation.
I leave you as you start your Management of Change journey with the following ………….
"Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely." Unknown