40 years. That’s how long Don Harrison, President and founder of IMA has been working in the Change Management industry. While some may joke he started when he was 5, Don has dedicated his entire career to implementing complex changes in organizations. His frequent application of this expertise to technology implementations, cultural changes, mergers and acquisitions, and business process initiatives has led to his popularity as a consultant and keynote speaker for national and international conferences. Plus he is really funny, and that helps!
Consider for a moment the phases of transformational change projects. Transformation typically begins with a core team that develops a vision of the future state. Over time, the team may engage others as it moves through the design/development/testing phases—all leading to the “go-live” or “cut-over” date. These steps represent the installation phase of your program.
As change management and project implementation consultants, we’ve seen our share of unsuccessful attempts at change. These failed implementations happen for a multitude of reasons. Most commonly, organizations just don’t apply the same business-discipline and rigor for managing the human elements of their change as they do the timeline, the budget, and the technical objectives for the project.
In our recent blog article, “Why Do Change Projects Fail? How Can You Prevent Your Project from Becoming a Statistic?” we quoted a relatively well-repeated figure that up to 70% of all major change initiatives fail. We seem to have hit a nerve within the Change Management industry. A debate was started about the definition of failure and why, if this fact was true 20 years ago, is it still applicable today?
How does a change management methodology help ensure value realization for technology regarding a software/technology upgrades? On a recent call with a prospective client, we heard an all too familiar scenario. Here’s how the conversation went:
What happens when change overload confronts transformational change? Too much going on, with resources diffused across too many projects-- if this sounds like your organization, you are not alone! The result is that in the rush to "get it done," the project team becomes focused primarily on meeting milestones and technical objectives, with pressure to not add resources that could affect given budget constraints.
Just this week, two clients have shared a common and very challenging change management situation. They are about to re-launch ERP systems even though they have attempted to implement the system multiple times in the past without success. These organizations are beginning to see that there is a need for doing something different, although they may not be totally sure what that really means! When implementations fail, there are long-term and short-term costs, and direct and in-direct implications. All of this points to a business case for a change management methodology that will reduce risk.
One of the most common questions we get from clients around Defining the Change in the AIM methodology is to explain what we mean by "human objectives." Let's try and take the mystery out of human objectives once and for all!
What's the end-goal for your enterprise-wide change? That may seem like an obvious question, but it's really not! In our thirty-plus years of change management consulting we've observed a common pattern of "premature project completion" across all types of organizational changes, including enterprise-wide change.