One of the most significant stumbling blocks that business process re-engineering initiatives encounter is in the deployment phase of the process improvement process. There is logic and data to suggest that although statistical analyses can improve organizational effectiveness, reduce unnecessary activities, increase productivity, and reduce costs, no process improvement or culture change will occur unless solutions can be implemented through to utilization and Return on Investment.
Here’s the reality: Many project teams are focused solely on time and budget and the technical project milestones. All good, but that just will get the team to “installation!” The team is off and running, but if the end-goal is, as it should be, business realization (also known as value realization, ROI, or benefit realization) the project is sure to fall short in the end in achieving sustained change and long-term business results.
Jack Welch, retired Chairman of General Electric once said, “Six Sigma is a quality program that, when all is said and done, improves your customer’s experience, lowers your costs, and builds better leaders.” In fact, General Electric, one of the most successful Six Sigma users, once estimated achieving $10 billion savings in just the first five years of implementation. $10 billion dollars! That is nothing to sneeze at.
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 common strategic changes we see in our change management consulting is the attempt to implement EPMOs (Enterprise Program Management Offices.) Why the interest in EPMOs? What problem is the EPMO trying to solve? For many organizations, the establishment of an EPMO is an attempt to drive greater collaboration across the enterprise and overcome the traditional silos. This is an admirable objective, but what does it take from a change management consulting perspective?
While many organizations include some of the necessary people-side project management deliverables some of the time, it’s not a consistently-applied change management consulting process. As a result, implementation success is spotty. While attempts are made to either “bolt on” a human “change management” plan at the end of the technical plan, or to run a human plan in parallel, the best practice is a blended plan.