One of the most common questions we get from potential clients looking for a change management methodology is "How does AIM (the Accelerating Implementation Methodology) compare to other change management approaches?” On the surface, a lot of change management methodologies look similar. For example, most change management approaches are research-based and include tools, templates and checklists. But based on decades of work on global change management projects, and training thousands of people in our change management training programs, clients have told us that AIM stands out from the rest. Here’s why:
Seven Ways AIM Fits Your Organization
Here are just a few of the ways our clients appreciate howAIM is different from other change management approaches. AIM:
- Is Business-Outcome Focused vs. Activity Focused
You have a choice on how you spend your limited time and resources when it comes to organizational change management (OCM). You can focus on high impact interventions that are both planned and unplanned, in the moment. Or, you can spend your time completing a lot of checklists and templates. We firmly believe that impact is far more important than activity. In simple terms, this means that your change management methodology guides you on what to do, as AIM does, vs. “doing change management.” It’s about getting the maximum impact from your limited resources in the shortest amount of time.
- Resonates with Senior Leaders and Includes Sponsor Development
Many clients start with “the other guys” but discover that there is insufficient attention paid to the change leaders. In AIM, we don’t just do the standard “stakeholder analysis.” We coach our Sponsors and contract with them for the actions we need from them from a change leadership perspective. The AIM change leadership model is elegantly simple and focuses on behavioral commitment of leaders. We can measure the level of behavioral commitment we have compared to best practice Sponsorship with our Sponsor Assessment Tool.
Because of its business and clinical outcome focus, AIM resonates with senior leaders whether they are business or clinical professionals. We have examples of Chief Medical Officers, for example, who have attended our AIM Change Certification Program multiple times because it is so meaningful and helpful to them.
Instead of spending your time trying to prove the value of change management to your senior leaders, you spend your time giving them what they want: projects that are delivered faster, more efficiently, and at a higher level of quality.
- Provides Explicit Measurement Success Metrics for Projects
Addressing the human factor during any change is an absolute must-do. But it is not about getting people to like the change or just about the individual’s journey of change. A change management methodology should be focused on total value realization as defined by the following 5 measures of success:
- On Time
- Within Budget
- Business Objectives
- Technical Objectives and
- Human Objectives
Only when all five metrics have been met will you have value realization and behavior change. Without behavior change, there is no true change, which in turn means Return on Investment has not been achieved! The Accelerating Implementation Methodology (AIM) allows you to manage the human side of change practically, systematically, and with rigor and discipline.
- Integrates with Other Business Protocols
AIM is designed to be fully integrated into virtually every business protocol, including Project Management, Lean Six/Sigma, other Operational Excellence protocols. If your organization uses Agile, for example, AIM easily integrates because it is designed to be both “fit for purpose” and unbundled into any type of project plan.
Most "home-grown" change management methodologies aren't focused on supporting the way a business actually operates and implements. AIM, on the other hand is highly practical and fits with whatever is critical to your business, whether it is Design Thinking, Strategic Planning, new Patient Care Models, or whatever else comes down the road. In all of these cases, at the end of the day, you have to actually implement the solution or plan—and that is exactly what AIM enables you to do.
- Provides a Practical, Structured, Repeatable Process
Just as Lean/Six Sigma is a problem-solving, process improvement methodology, AIM is a structured process that is applied to business changes to manage the human elements of a change. A structured change management methodology ensures you are not taking a "hit or miss" approach where one project team does all the right things (and gets adoption and value realization) and another team misses key elements or steps. Remember, structure requires more than tools and templates!
Clients appreciate the practicality of this OCM methodology, because few organizations today have the time to spend on activity that is non-value add.
- Offers Flexibility
Some frameworks, such as Prosci’s ADKAR Model are linear approaches. They provide users with a map for implementing a change by completing a prescribed set of tools and templates. Linear frameworks can be sufficient when dealing with routine changes within a specific department or business unit. However, in our experience, most change is not linear! In fact, many implementations are quite unpredictable and require a process that can be flexible based on what is occurring at the moment, rather than what is next on the to-do list. AIM is non-linear. It is not a template based approach. There are 10 core elements, all supported by tools, tactics, strategies, and action learning.
- Is Robust Enough to Address Enterprise-Wide, and Transformational Changes
Transformation and other enterprise-wide changes are far more complex by definition. In all of these changes, you are working not just within, but across the traditional vertical “power structures” in the organization. If (hypothetically speaking) your organization has silos that work independently from each other, you know exactly what we are talking about. Tools and templates will not be robust enough for these very real implementation challenges!
AIM provides guidance on how to address highly complex changes that cross multiple business units-- changes like mergers and acquisitions, one company solutions, cultural changes, shared services, etc. A systemic change management methodology is the framework for building competency in all of the key groups involved in implementing organizational change. This may include at a minimum:
- Leaders who are Sponsors of these changes
- Program and project management teams
- Business process improvement groups
- IT professionals
- HR and OD professionals
- Clinical professionals
If all of these critical players aren't knowledgeable about your change management practices, then you aren't taking a systemic approach!
Simply put, AIM is a flexible, but business-disciplined change management methodology that is based on more than 30 years of field research and operationalized research-based principles. Because AIM is driven by data, it appeals to business people, engineers and technology types, scientific professionals, IT professionals, and HR/OD/Learning professionals. It’s very practical and its intent is to get changes of all levels of complexity implemented at speed. So, that’s some of the reasons our clients tell us why AIM stands out from the rest.
How does your change management methodology measure up?