Updated: Aug 19, 2022
Here, Sunfish Online’s co-founder and Technology practice lead Satinder Sangha shares some key insight into how organisations can successfully navigate change resulting in stronger, more agile and often more profitable organisations.
Transformational or change projects can be some of the most nerve-wracking and stressful times for any business. Whether it’s an expansion, a change of direction, or the introduction of a new product or service, these are make-or-break moments for a company’s fate.
Make it and long-term growth is on the table. Break it and…well, you can guess the rest. The stats on change projects are shocking – Forrester/Smartsheet found that a third of major enterprise projects failed, whilst Gartner predicted that up to 85% of AI transformation projects will also be unsuccessful.
Preparation is everything for successful change projects. The perfect trifecta of delivery – on time, on quality, and on budget – is achievable, but it takes planning, focus, and dedication.
Whether it’s the rapid pace of the digital revolution, the coronavirus pandemic, or any number of worldwide changes, the business world is in a constant state of flux. Keeping pace with change is part of leading an innovative business today. How do you make sure your change projects succeed?
‘By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail.’
The reason why so many change projects fail is a lack of focused planning at the dawn of the project. The project needs to have clear goals and measurable outcomes. It needs fallback plans and contingencies in case things don’t go to plan (and let’s face it – something will go wrong!).
It needs leadership willing to make definitive decisions about the directions taken. There’s plenty of advice out there to help you with writing a change management plan, but collaborating with and understanding the needs of the teams around you is key to making the planning stage a success.
Ensuring the change takes place is perhaps the most painstaking part of the process, but also the most rewarding: you’re out of the blue-sky stage and into the nitty-gritty of the action. The three C’s are key here: communication, communication, communication.
If your plan is strong, then the structure for effective communication and feedback will be in place. KPIs should be part of the strategy here as well – effective tracking of key performance indicators will give you an idea of where your change project is succeeding (and where it might need tightening). These KPIs of course, will remain important after the project’s implementation, which leads us nicely onto the last phase.
If you’ve opted to use a different team for the delivery of the project, before handing over to the ‘business as usual’ team, the processes developed during the planning and implementation phases will be vital, as these will provide the bridge between the two teams.
The KPIs will help you define your measures of success and will also provide the groundwork for the project’s continuing success in your business. The handover phase is also a time for reflection. In reviewing the project, ask yourself what was most successful and what could have been better? Think about actions you can implement for the next successive change project.
If you’re thinking about implementing a transformational project within your business, Sunfish Online can help. We specialise in implementing complex changes with expertise and bespoke solutions. Find out more & contact us here.