(Photo by Brad Starkey on Unsplash)
Your management team has a great idea, a new strategy, an expansion of your services or you want to go one step ahead in the digitization of your department.
Everyone is enthusiastic and you want to implement this project as soon as possible.
But not everything is clear yet.
You know that such changes often have a major impact on the organization and employees.
Usually more than most people initially think.
You will go through a change process.
And you remember previous projects that were less successful, met with great resistance and even failed.
How should we tackle such a project so that it is successfully implemented?
What do we have to pay attention to so that the planned changes are implemented as effectively as possible and supported and optimally applied by the employees and organizations concerned?
Before you get started, there are three questions that you should always have been answered in your project.
Take the time, describe them in detail and communicate and discuss them again and again with all the stakeholders, from the beginning and until to the end of the implementation.
Why do we need the change?
Describe the purpose of the changes and communicate them to your employees.
Explain why the idea is necessary and makes sense and embed the idea into the organization's vision and strategy.
This creates context and meaning for the project. In this way, those affected can understand this and understand why we are doing this and what will be the expected outcome and benefit.
Or even better, discuss the idea or project directly with the employees concerned. In this way, errors may be discovered at an early stage before you have invested thousands upon thousands of francs.
And maybe a good idea will turn into an excellent idea because the employees, who are specialists in their field, can contribute their experience and knowledge and thus fine-tune it.
At the same time, no one will fundamentally resist the idea if everyone has had the opportunity to actively participate and help shape the solution.
What do we want to achieve?
What is the goal and what should the result look like at a certain point in time. What and where is changed and what remains? What is the change?
Specify as much as possible so that the result is tangible, and the employees can deal with it and identify with it.
Describe not only the product to be achieved, but also the expected characteristics and properties of it.
Try to visualize the result, give it a face.
Animate it and use the modern tools to make it attractive.
A picture says more than a thousand words...
Then have the visualization interpreted by employees to check whether you have the desired effect.
There may be additional insights and early improvements.
Once such a visualization is in place, it can then also be used for several activities during the project, e.g. to measure progress during implementation, where you can see how the individual parts are built and come together step by step.
How do we want to implement this?
Describe and explain how you intend to implement the project? What is the approach, what is the procedure, which methods can, shall be used, what is the organization to change?
Set the basic conditions within which the implementation and the result can and may evolve. Define what is further specified (e.g. budget, time frame, technologies used) and where the teams or individual employees have the freedom to design themselves.
Also make optional suggestions that the teams can discuss, accept, adjust, or reject.
Accompany the project with a feedback loop, for example with a story circle (simple feedback form for a specific success story or a specific improvement, which can be submitted at any time in the project), and implement a change process right from the start, because they will definitely need it.
The answers to these three questions should be documented well, published on various channels, and adjusted again if necessary and based on new learnings.
Of course, these three points require effort and time in addition to creativity, courage, and empathy, but it's worth it!
Because over the entire project you will probably save both several times, and the implementation and the result will be better and more sustainable.