As a company focussed on Transformation, Change and Change Management is a key area of our work at Veran. The saying “Change is the only constant” is well known throughout society, and yet we encounter companies recovering from projects with poorly implemented Change, or who feel that they do not have the skills to engage and guide their employees through a large scale transformation programme, on a regular basis. The reasons for this generally fall into one of two camps:
Technology led projects (system implementations or automation efforts) put the appropriate effort into data, process design and testing, but the readiness and adoption efforts risk of becoming an afterthought
Organisations use system change or automation as a platform for wider standardisation or transformation efforts, and quickly become overwhelmed with the changes, audiences and messages that need to be spread
The most important pre-requisite to a successful transformation is Stakeholder buy-in mixed with a willingness to change. Motivating people across the business to change how they work becomes even more difficult if senior leaders and specialists are not fully committed to the project or advocating the need to change. However, as anyone who has ever worked with people will know, this is much easier said than done. At Veran, we are advocates of starting Change efforts as soon as possible i.e. whilst writing the Business Case. Whilst this may sound excessive, we have found that Change Management is the second biggest delay to projects, only behind Data. HR Transformation projects with a system implementation element will rightly deploy resource from the very beginning to document systems of record and map data, so why not do the same for Change Management? The best designed system only shows return on investment when users are ready and willing to adopt it into their daily lives.
To aid clients in leading their employees through the Change Journey, we have developed a metric led “3 Levels of Change”. This model allows us to work with you to plan how to guide all stakeholders across an organisation. Starting with Senior Leaders, we identify key areas of the business strategy that can be measured (i.e. reducing time to hire or increasing uptake of the apprenticeship levy), assess links to the Transformation programme and work with leaders across the business so they are enabled to drive the metric changes in their area. The next level down supports key users to understand behavioural changes to their ways of working. Many transformation programmes, being so close to the detail, assume some level of knowledge but Veran work with specialist HR or Finance areas and Managers to bring out how their working life will change post go live, and how to best prepare themselves and their teams for the transition. The final level looks at End User Adoption and will be the most familiar to anyone who has undergone a change programme. Many providers offer their own service on system functionality and training; however, we find linking the senior manager, specialist and end user experience together gives business a full analysis of Change across their business, from the high level to the nitty gritty detail.
Change is indeed a constant, and engaging stakeholders across any business to positively embrace changes to their ways of working will always be a tall order. With proactive Change Management that is embedded into Transformation efforts, this needed workstream will mean fewer preventable delays to projects and an organisation lined up on what to expect and how to adopt from day 1. Veran, as the largest consultancy specialising in transformation, will use the 3 levels of change to show how your organisation can measure the change, bring all levels of the business on the Change Journey from project initiation to go live, provide the business with clear outcomes and benefits of their transformation programme.
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