“Let’s start at the very beginning. A very good place to start.” While the well-known song lyric is about teaching a group of children to sing, the sage advice also applies to implementing strategic business or clinical initiatives.
On a recent new technology implementation for a major, global corporation our consultants quickly realized the new system was actually one of 60 initiatives that were being launched over an 18-month period. Each individual project had its own project team and although there were interdependencies between the initiatives, the project teams were completely unaware of what the others were doing.
Don Harrison, the developer of the AIM Change Management Methodology, has spent his 40+ year career working with global organizations on how to implement complex change. He specializes in delivering tough messages to senior executives on their role as Sponsors. Not an easy task!
The rate of change in today’s business world is certainly at an all-time high. Everyone we know is racing around at a crazy, fast pace trying to implement multiple initiatives all of which are chasing the same limited resources. This nonstop, whirlwind of activity often makes an organization seem like it’s functioning like a well-oiled machine. (After all if everyone is busy, change management must be happening, right?) But, have you ever stopped to ask yourself what exactly everyone is doing? Are they just spinning their wheels with activity or are they making an actual impact with their actions?
There are a lot of choices when it comes to change management models. On the surface, many of them look pretty similar. For example, most change management methodologies are founded on behavioral science research concepts in areas like human motivation. They include tools and templates for project teams to use in implementation. Some of these frameworks are home-grown, combining a “mish mosh” of several well-known frameworks; a little AIM here, some ADKAR model there and a dash of Kotter over here.
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Recently we’ve talked a lot about the importance of shifting from traditional to Next Generation Change Management. NextGen Change Management is about achieving business outcomes, and utilizing your limited resources to get maximum benefit in the shortest amount of time. It’s a shift from change management “activity” to change management “impact.”
Prospective clients interested in AIM inevitably ask, “What’s included in your Toolkit?” This question always causes us to hesitate, because yes, there is a toolkit; however, unlike some of our competitors, we understand change management, when done right, is really about targeting your organization’s limited resources for the most impact in the shortest amount of time to get to value realization at speed.
Operational Excellence programs like Lean Six Sigma have been around for many years and have proven themselves time and time again to be invaluable in identifying areas where business process improvement is necessary. Lean Six Sigma, in particular, focuses on improving performance by removing waste. The five steps in the Lean Six Sigma process are designed to optimize and stabilize business process and design and are abbreviated by the initials DMAIC:
The business value in using a disciplined project management protocol, such as Agile or Waterfall, is undeniable. Project management ensures projects are completed on time, on budget and to scope. And with the amount of investments being made on large, complex organizational change at an all-time high, these metrics are critical. But, what about using a change management process? Is there a value there as well?
Like so many other industries, Pharma is experiencing rapid and highly disruptive change focused on driving innovation and cost efficiencies, all at an accelerated pace. It’s a complex and competitive environment. Clinical process improvement, R&D process changes, re-structuring, new regulatory requirements, and new technology are all more challenging in what is often a matrixed, global structure. What’s more, changes go well beyond drug discovery: transformational changes are also impacting the business side of Pharma.