Delivering successful change programmes

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Implementing change at scale requires a multi-faceted approach

When tackling the complexities of change in today’s rapidly evolving business environment, it’s critical for any delivery programme to find the right balance between rigour, pace and flexibly in order to meet pressing stakeholder demands.  Such programmes are normally driven by a desire to transform the business to generate new revenue, grow into new markets, innovate and go in a new direction, or to reduce costs.

Whatever the business drivers, a staggering number of change programmes fail. The truth is that many organisations compromise their chances of success by adopting the wrong approach from the outset.  Often this is because not enough time is spent up front nailing the scope, building a realistic plan and budget, securing the buy-in of all stakeholders, getting the right people on board (particularly from a programme management perspective) and establishing effective sponsorship.

It’s understandable that businesses want to get to the anticipated benefits quickly but failing to get this important foundation in place will create more problems, result in lengthier delays and incur more cost than if the programme had been shaped properly in the first place.  And, since the journey from vision to outcomes never runs smoothly, the absence of a proper foundation will make it very difficult to adapt to changing circumstances as the programme evolves.

So the 64 million dollar question – how do you ensure that you deliver successful programme management?

Technology is an enabler, but not an end in itself

At DAV we understand that to create the right environment for success you should not view the programme implementation as an end in itself. Instead, activity should be focused on the outcomes and RoI that will be delivered to the business in the long-term.   You should have a clear understanding of what success looks like and how your business will be positively transformed as a result of the programme.  Technology is a key enabler but not an end in itself and many companies make the mistake of looking at the technology changes needed, rather than how the organisation will be enhanced and changed as a result.

When we work with you we’ll provide the leadership and management to help you make sense of the change you need to drive through – every step of the way: turning your strategy into a credible action plan, establishing a robust change-delivery framework that enables us to co-ordinate, communicate, align, manage and control all the activities involved and driving programme delivery towards the outcomes and benefits your business demands.  At the same time, we help you to adapt to changing circumstances while making sure there is always clarity on the direction of travel.

From strategy to outcomes

We worked with one client who had a strategic ambition to double the size of it’s aircraft engineering business in the global market.  To do this it had recognised the need for a new technology platform but hadn’t understood the scale of the change it would need to undertake to get the organisation to a position where it could take on and sustain the increased business volumes.

The key to success, as with any change programme, was to encourage the organisation to take a step back and spend time getting the foundations in place that would enable the programme to succeed.  This meant establishing informed and committed sponsorship, a comprehensive business case with a clear benefits realisation plan, key stakeholders fully aligned behind their responsibilities, a credible plan that was properly funded and resourced with the right people, a governance structure to help manage the programme in a non-bureaucratic way and a communication plan designed to inform all stakeholders of progress and keep confidence levels high.

By making a commitment to do things properly, senior management demonstrated they were serious about the programme.  People across the business perceived its importance and wanted to be involved.  There was a sense of collective ownership which meant that change was coming from within the business rather than being driven externally. Anyone who’s been through such a programme will recognise that this is the single most important factor in making change stick.

From this position of strength, we were able to maintain a clear focus on priorities and management control throughout the programme, mitigating risks and driving out uncertainty to deliver against the programmes original objectives.

Stacking the odds of success in your favour

This is just one example of many. Implementing change at scale requires a multifaceted approach. It is about working with you to bring clarity so your programme has the greatest chance of success. Focusing solely on technology implementation as an end in itself is unlikely to achieve the desired outcome and is a common cause for programme failure. We’ll help you be very clear on what you want to achieve and ensure you have the right people, processes, systems and structures in place to make change happen. We’ll listen carefully, get the right people on board, and ensure all parties are aligned and remain focused to deliver the outcomes and benefits your business expects.

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