Posts

The Value of Change Management

The value of change management is a challenge with executives and leaders who need to quantify their investments in this area. How do they know they are getting a true return on investment? Even some of the largest change teams, where there are high levels of change maturity and awareness, are constantly being scrutinised to provide tangible visibility and metrics.

The greatest fear is to invest in key initiatives that do not provide the expected benefits. This could be a $1B enterprise-wide Transformation program where the new structure and processes are not understood or adopted, or could be a $1M Technology project where staff then do not use the newly implemented system.

What is the ‘opportunity cost’ of not getting it right, and not getting it right the very first time? There is obviously a huge financial saving to an organisation when getting it right, and that financial number will depend on the scale of the initiative.

Success over failure

In my last article titled Strategy Execution Trends for 2017, I summarised the current top trends that executives are driving to improve organisational performance and execute strategy ‘better’. A key trend was the investment in change management:

‘Taking a proactive and integrated change management approach to business transformation and project delivery is providing savings and an increased return on investment (ROI). Change management effort and output is being quantified by measurement of these savings, and also the ‘opportunity cost’ of failed delivery directly resulting from a lack of change management investment.’

Change management expertise is critical to the success of organisational programs, projects, and initiatives. Investment in change management has increased as a direct result of executive acceptance that this is now proven and can be evidenced. Change management expertise provides a higher likelihood of change adoption and benefits realisation.

Measuring Change Management

Change management has in the past been measured through soft or qualifiable methods and key indicators rather than quantifiable methods and hard numbers. Change management is not a one-size-fits-all approach and can be scaled to fit different organisations. There is also not one standard benchmark formula that provides a hard value measurement on Change Management.

Typically the measurement has been linked to key outcomes. For example: a project was delivered on time and within budget, 10 key strategic benefits were realised, productivity increased by 20%, there was an 85% employee uptake, project waste or re-work was reduced by $500,000.

Some industry approaches to measuring change management include:

  • Measuring productivity of the workforce before and after a change was suggested.
  • Measuring progress and adoption rates.
  • Surveying engagement levels.
  • Developing tools that assess the effectiveness of specific change management activities and measure the outcome of a change initiative.
  • Building scorecards for change and creating a set of metrics to gauge effectiveness.
  • Quantitative measurement linked to reaching key goals.

Prosci – world’s leading change management research company:

‘The top trend identified in our global benchmarking studies was a greater recognition of the value of change management.’ 

‘A discipline focused on enabling and encouraging employees to embrace, adopt and utilise change required by a project or initiative will directly contribute to higher return on organisational investment through faster adoption, greater utilisation and higher proficiency. Change management directly contributes to ROI.

For more information on Transformation and Change Management please visit:

Enterprise Transformation – executing strategy more efficiently through the Enterprise Program Management Office

A framework that provides visibility and transparency is often necessary to drive accountability and track results. Each organisation tends to have a slightly different approach to this but the objectives and characteristics of the frameworks are very similar. The framework needs to have as ‘light a touch’ as possible on the organisation and needs to create alignment as well as provide the right level of visibility and accountability.

There is a trend towards formalising the structure into an Enterprise Program Management Office [EPMO] or Transformation Office. The value of this structure is that it creates transparency and enables the organisation to prioritise investments and resources as well as facilitating fact-based decision making. This structure also allows for the regular reporting of leading indicators of success such project health information.

The drivers for setting up an EPMO have primarily been to:

  • have greater visibility and of the current programs of work and investments;
  • ensure the project benefits are established and are aligned with the strategic objectives;
  • provide strategic oversight and dependency analysis across key projects; especially where ‘whole of business’ changes are occurring;
  • ensure that the investments are occurring on the right projects, achieving the stated benefits within budget and agreed timeframes;
  • provide ‘thought leadership’ on project prioritisation;
  • provide executive level reporting and decision making tools;
  • support the business with frameworks and tools that allow for consistency and efficiencies in delivery.

A research initiative on Enterprise Transformation – Executing strategy more efficiently through the Enterprise Program Management Office had the following key findings:

  • the EMPO is considered to be strategic and critical to the successful execution of strategy for many organisations;
  • establishing an EMPO has delivered notable improvements in the benefits realisation process, financial tracking, the prioritisation process and executive level reporting; although most agreed that all of these areas could be improved further;
  • ideally the accountability for delivery sits within the business units; with the EPMO providing strategic oversight and alignment between key areas;
  • the greatest area of ‘pain’ and ‘opportunity to do things better’ to execute strategy, drive efficiencies and gain value in the shortest period of time; is having an effective change management capability; investing in strategic and enterprise-wide change management capability is being seen as a way to accelerate the execution of strategy.

Download the full paper here. 

Is your project set up for success?


With 87% of the perceived value of programs being unrealised when organisations move from strategy to execution, many organisations are looking to ‘do things better’.

Billions of dollars are being invested in projects on a daily basis. The financial and ‘opportunity’ cost to invest in programs of work that fail to deliver on strategic outcomes is a problem that needs solving.

Many of the programs and projects start well, with defined strategic benefits and outcomes that have been agreed to by the executives and key sponsors. Many of the ‘drivers’, objectives and benefits are based on known assumptions at that time.

Over the course of the program however the following questions and concerns get raised:

  • Are the drivers for this program still relevant, considering the change occurring within our business and externally?
  • Is this program setup for success?
  • Do we have the right resources and expertise to meet the objectives set and realise the benefits documented?
  • Have we engaged the right stakeholders and are they aligned to this program of work in order for us to succeed?

Given the complexity of organisations and people within those organisations and the rate of change occurring; these questions are all valid and relevant and need to be answered on a regular basis to ensure that the perceived benefits are realised within the timeframe and budget allocated.

How can you ensure Strategic Alignment throughout the project life-cycle?

Janellis have an approach to strategic alignment that seeks to answer these questions at any time in the life-cycle of a program. Our approach builds on investments already made and creates alignment; facilitates consensus and builds confidence for all who have a stake in the program.

The Janellis Strategic Alignment Review (or Project Health Check) is a consultative discovery process with key stakeholders, and includes a review of documentation, one-on-one meetings and workshops, where relevant.

The key questions that we seek to answer through the meetings and documentation review are:

  • Strategic Alignment – Does the program still link to strategic objectives of the executive team, and is it being prioritised appropriately within an enterprise project portfolio?
  • Stakeholder engagement – Are the key stakeholders engaged in the program at the levels that they need to be. Is there a change management plan that identified all relevant stakeholders?
  • Ownership – Have the people and teams responsible for owning the outcomes been identified and are they clear on how they will maintain and sustain the solutions?
  • Benefits Realisation – Are the projected benefits still relevant and achievable? How are they being measured, how will they be embedded and who will own that accountability?
  • Resources – Does the project have the right people sponsoring, leading and working on the program? Are their roles and deliverables clear and do they have the capability to ensure success?
  • Risk Management – Are the real risks of success being identified? Beyond a risk plan and issues log, are risks being communicated, managed and mitigated for the program?
  • Governance – Is the governance framework following best practice in terms of management structure, documentation, quality assurance, procurement and requirements gathering?

What will a Strategic Alignment Review provide you?

A Strategic Alignment Review will highlight significant issues that require immediate attention, uncover areas of excellence to be applied more broadly and provide assurance on the areas that do not require further work.

Anyone sponsoring, managing or delivering a project or program of strategic initiatives would benefit in undertaking a review such as this to provide assurance on the likelihood of success, alignment to objectives and meeting executive expectations.

A review will raise awareness of the issues and provide confidence to those working on the project as well as stakeholders including the board, regulators and critical suppliers or clients, where relevant.

How have other businesses used this approach to create Strategic Alignment?

Many of our clients are spending a significant amount of money on project-based activities. Statistics for projects being delivered on time, on budget and delivering the expected benefits indicate that there are still many challenges in this area.

Consultants working in team in the office

Janellis project specialists and executive coaches

Right now, those responsible for the outcomes and benefits realisation of projects are facing increasing pressure to provide assurance to a range of key stakeholders. By initiating the Janellis Strategic Alignment Review, our clients have generated a level of transparency and clarity that has allowed them to address the issues, highlight the wins and set the project on course for success.

Why Janellis?

  • We have been working in this field for the past 17 years with some of the most complex organisations in Australia and are experts in this niche area of strategic alignment.
  • Our unique tools have been widely used and can help accelerate the strategic benefits of any program.
  • Our consultants are highly skilled and experienced in all stages of a project life-cycle and can review, lead or support critical initiatives.

For more information on our Strategic Alignment capability, Project Health Checks and our Subject Matter Expertise in this area please follow the links below, call us to request a meeting or email Leon Gray directly now – leon.gray@janellis.com.au

 


Stakeholder Accelerator Workshops

Last month I wrote an article titled 4 Simple steps to engage key stakeholders.

Effective stakeholder engagement is at the heart of executing strategy well and one of the most effective ways to engage a diverse group of stakeholders quickly is through Accelerator Workshops.

These workshops are designed as targeted, interactive and engaging activities that will rapidly align a diverse group or multi-level stakeholders.  They can be used to facilitate alignment, creativity and decision making and; to generate key outputs.

Sessions can be held with smaller semi-aligned teams or larger groups that include stakeholders from across or outside of the organisation.  Accelerator Workshops are very effective at the start of a major project or as a tool to engage stakeholders at any stage of a key initiative or strategy.

Levels of engagement are fluid and maintaining appropriate levels of engagement requires creativity and effort.

Our four step process includes: analysis; design; facilitation and the development of visual tools to capture and embed the shared thinking that takes place during steps one to three. The analysis and design stages are used to carefully craft activities for specific engagement outcomes and can be run in a variety of different ways.

Analysis

During the analysis stage the main focus is on the stakeholder’s current levels of engagement, awareness and alignment. Tools at this stage of the process will delve into the current behaviours, issues or concerns and in establishing the desired outcomes.   Questions we ask during this phase are:

  1. Who are the key stakeholders and how engaged are they?
  2. What are they currently saying, thinking, feeling or doing?
  3. What do we want them to be feeling, thinking, saying or doing?
  4. What strategies have already been used to engage them?

This stage highlights the tension areas, acceleration opportunities and creative gaps.  The more traditional considerations are also documented such as the drivers for this initiative, challenges, outcomes, what needs to be agreed upon and what needs to be validated or created.

Design

At the design stage there are a range of potential approaches that can be taken, recognising that interactive and challenging activities that connect emotionally are the most powerful ways to engage.

The design phase usually includes the development of multi-media and other visually appealing tools. We use a combination of technology and the more tactile ways to engage using traditional approaches.

Facilitation

Our facilitators are experienced at creating a trusted environment within which the teams can find ways to connect and to establish shared areas of interest, expertise or concerns.

Effective facilitation pivots off a high-trust and safe environment and our facilitators are able to maintain rapport with a range of stakeholders, whilst managing the pace of the activity and achieving the outcomes set.

Strong participation and effective listening fosters critical thinking, removes blockages and stimulates creative thinking, to create solutions and to consider possible futures.

Visual tools

The use of visual tools during the facilitated session is one of the critical success factors in achieving alignment and engagement.

Having highly skilled individuals come together in this format creates unique opportunities to develop new ideas through shared thinking. Providing the visual tools to the teams after the facilitated event is essential to maintaining alignment and clarity on issues, objectives and outcomes.

Effective stakeholder engagement is an on-going challenge and opportunity for all organisations and doing it well ensures teams perform well.  

New ways to do this quickly and effectively can help organisations accelerate their strategic objectives.

If you would like more information on our Acceleration Workshops please email Leon Gray at Leon.Gray@Janellis.com.au