“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.
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.
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.
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?
You may be surprised to hear us say that being “change adept” requires multiple capabilities, including, but not limited to, a systematic change management methodology like AIM. It’s true. Change management is just one piece of the puzzle!
In our 35+ years of change management consulting, we have never once come across an organization who told us they have way too many resources with too little to do. Who are we kidding? We’ve never even met a client who had the right amount of resources for their current portfolio of initiatives!
Editor's Note: This article was originally published in July 2017 and has quickly become one of our most popular blogs to date. Because the topic is so timely we have chosen to republish it as this week's blog!
As change management consultants, we’re often asked how Agile and change management fit together. There are a lot of questions about how adding change management to an Agile project management cycle works; there are concerns expressed about whether change management will slow things down, and get in the way of the speed and innovation derived from Agile.
Here’s one thing we can all agree on: our organizations have never been stretched like they are today. It would be simple to believe the answer is for organizations to narrow their portfolio of changes. Unfortunately, most organizations do not see a lot of its projects as optional. What we can do is a better job of sequencing changes, and we can be much more effective in how we target our limited resources for maximum impact.