We know that delivering change is notoriously challenging. Studies show that up to 70% of change projects fail to achieve their objectives.
Our own change report, ‘Failure to change: why business transformation can go wrong’, revealed the many perils and pitfalls of transformation programmes.
Why is this and what are the factors that could enable a higher success rate for change delivery? Jennifer Draper shares three factors critical to change success.
During the past five years, I have been lucky enough to have some fantastic experiences working with organisations undertaking change. At Curium, I have been part of a number of successful operational improvement projects, across different industries, which have resulted in both a sustainable transformation for the people and impressive annualised benefits.
Having carried out feedback sessions with our customers using our ‘Win, Learn, Change’ methodology, I want to share three factors our clients felt were critical to the overall success:
- Validate the real barriers
- Engage and inspire everyone from the start
- Track and share results every day
Validate the real barriers
From Day 1, we ensured that we fully understood the clients ‘pain-points’. To establish a balanced view of any challenges to be overcome, we carried out a health-check in which we assessed the operation through four lenses.
Sharing our conclusions honestly and openly with the client helped us to move seamlessly into the next phase. The client identified this as a major win.
Engage and inspire everyone from the start
It is common knowledge that ‘no one likes to be done to’, which is why we invested time to ensure that everyone involved was engaged and involved from start.
During both projects we ran a series of relevant and fun experiences designed to both educate and inspire for everyone involved. We received positive feedback and the events were recognised as being intrinsic to the overall success of the projects.
Track and share results every day
Communication is key! We kept everyone up to date, no matter what their involvement in the project.
On occasion, progress may have temporarily slowed but, by consistently sharing these outputs openly and positively, we supported the overall engagement and stimulated wide-ranging involvement in its success.
By working collaboratively with the team in this way and working through all issues together, the solutions we implemented made sense for everyone.
Identifying these three factors as being critical to these projects helped me to realise that, while no change is easy, there are undoubtedly simple things, which when delivered sincerely and consistently, support the overall result.
It’s always a pleasure to be able to work on projects like this. Since completing these projects, we have learned that that both intangible and tangible benefits have been sustained, with benefits ranging from £71K to £2.3m, representing ROI outputs between 76% to 1040%.
This blog is about supporting people going through change. In my experience, people need to be the priority if a project is to avoid becoming part of that dreaded 70% failure figure.
I wonder how many of the ‘failed’ projects were impeded by poor levels of people engagement?