There are many instances when a client calls upon a consulting firm to come in and improve their process. The client is in a state of complete confusion and frustration. They have spent time, money, and resources to create a new process which they believe to have a positive impact on a large part of the organization. The client states that there is substantial resistance to adopting the new process. Often those who have no choice but to adopt, due to the large effect to their everyday duties, are angry about the change and have little confidence in the team that implemented the new process. The client believes that the new process brings increased efficiency and accuracy to the business, but feels that the process still needs improvement in order for the employees to eagerly adopt.
The consulting firm is called in to analyze the process and recommend improvements. Many times, while the process can use improvements, the heart of the issue lies with ineffective or nonexistent Organizational Change Management (OCM) when the process was rolled out. New implementations, can be a very positive change to the organization, but poor change management will result in low adoption, frustrated employees, and overall resentment. Low adoption can be due to poor communication, a lack of visible enthusiastic executive support, improper education, or failure to encourage or reward participation in the design of improvements.
According to the Prosci™ 2009 Best Practices in Change Management benchmarking report, only 17% of projects with poor change management met or exceeded the project objectives, while 95% of projects with excellent change management met or exceeded their objectives. Before starting your next project, plan for managing the people side of change as they are either your biggest advocates or your biggest detractors. The following table represents some common issues in making changes and OCM tools that can be leveraged to employ effective change management.