A Three-Step Plan for Successful Change Management

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Once you have discovered the real issue, you need to properly define the scope of both the problem and its intended solution. A frequent planning occurrence is when the problem is clearly defined, but the solution slowly expands to include more than just the problem. In project management terms, this is called ‘scope creep.’ While it is admirable that a solution goes well beyond what it’s intended for, if the ‘well beyond’ is not planned for, it could compromise the entire initiative. The signs of scope creep will usually include budget and time overruns.

It happens repeatedly. A company adopts a new technology platform that ostensibly will ease the workload, streamline operational processes and result in overall gains in efficiency and budget spending. The intention is spot-on but the execution is decidedly less so. A post-mortem will usually reveal errors in the execution but misses the real culprit: planning errors. While Garbage In – Garbage Out (GIGO) is true for any process, it is especially apparent in change initiatives. If the initiative is not planned properly, the end result will almost always reflect that lack of planning.

Moe Glenner, founder and president of PURELogistics, a leading consulting firm that specializes in organizational change, frequently observes companies that attempt technology-based change initiatives with the latest and greatest new technologies. Many believe that the provider of this technology will also ensure that their technology will successfully effectuate the intended changes. They effectively defer the planning, execution and most importantly control to this third party. More times than not, this recipe fails and takes the change initiative down with it. The result: Blame the technology and try to find a “better” technology. In other words, they blame the equipment and not themselves.

When Glenner's clients engage his consulting services to help effectuate change, he advises them that successful change involves a three-step process: plan, communicate and execute. These are not mutually exclusive, as each step comprises elements of the other two steps.


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