New projects are regularly initiated in companies. Often, at the time of initiation, it is not yet clear in detail what impact the project will have on the company and, above all, on the employees. The depth of change is often underestimated.
At the beginning, there should be clarity about the target picture. What is to be achieved with the change? The individual aspects of the change project are derived from this. In this tip of the week, we would like to highlight the essential aspects.
The project story is elementary in order to clearly highlight the impact that the change project will have on the company, its individual divisions and, of course, its employees. It is important that the project sponsors clearly formulate the objectives. It must be clearly stated where the change is coming from, i.e. why there is a need for the project. It therefore makes sense to conduct a kind of impact assessment to get an overarching idea of what will change.
The project story should therefore address the following aspects:
Once the project story has been defined, the purpose of the change is clarified. In workshops, a precise picture is drawn up of what consequences the entire change process will have for the company and its employees. This picture helps all those involved to prepare for the change and to build trust and establish that there is no alternative to the change. It also gives confidence in communication. After all, this is crucial to the success of the project. Everyone involved in the project works toward the agreed target state and can argue the benefits and effects at any time.
The change project can only be designed successfully if all project members are 100% behind it. Therefore, identify other stakeholders at an early stage who can actively collaborate and positively influence the course of the project.
The project network serves to make the attitude of the employees transparent and to show in which areas there are still deficits that could have a negative influence on the course of the project. Here, positive influence can be exerted with the help of additional sponsors and well-connected employees. In addition, areas in the company that may not yet have been sufficiently communicated with become transparent.
Addressing the personal attitudes of individual employees is the basis of detailed action plans to achieve effective engagement. This point in particular is often neglected in practice, which leads to high expenses in the course of the project.
A key position is occupied by the multipliers, who actively support the benefits of the change project out of deep conviction. However, this only works if they have in-depth project know-how.
Depending on the change, the multipliers‘ area of responsibility often includes the transfer of technical knowledge. But above all, dealing with critical employees and the ability to pass on their own conviction for the change is a criterion for success. They know the value of their role but also its limits, as well as its positive effect on the entire change project.
From practical experience, it can be summarized that if the points described are sufficiently taken into account, there is basically nothing standing in the way of a successful change project. In addition, it helps you to make the following points transparent:
Set up your change project in a structured way and use the opportunity of a meaningful story and motivated convinced employees. Use the power of communication and increase the probability of success of your project!
Stefan Plass – Senior Consultant