Monday, 17 February 2014

It Might Not Be That Bad

When a change project looms on the horizon it may look pretty daunting.

It may look like something of a big deal to handle and that alone may put people off.

It may of course be a lot simpler and a lot faster / simpler to implement than originally thought.

I see numerous projects that have stalled because the people tasked with implementing the change have decided it was way too big to handle. And so it goes 'on hold'.

There are two remedies that I like in this instance, and both attempt to do the same thing in slightly different ways.

Scope and plan

When you confirm the scope of the changes required and plan out the necessary steps you can quickly estimate the amount of time each step will require. In many cases the time is less that you thought it was, and you can now get on with it (with a general feeling of relief!). Alternatively, as you have now broken the plan down into smaller steps, you will be more likely to be able to fit these quantified chunks into your diary. Any larger steps can also be broken down again until the whole thing feels comfortable and progress gets underway.

Nibble away

Slightly less organised than the first option, but great if you are unsure of the overall plan is to nibble away at the first step. Take the first step that you think needs to be completed and then break it down into tiny little chunks. You may have come across this method as the 'Kaizen' approach, and it works wonderfully if projects are getting stuck due to inaction. Who can say 'no' to a tiny task?

Both of the above suggestions are aimed at understanding that change projects are usually made up of several smaller components. I hope that you can use either strategy to get your stuck projects moving once more.

Giles Johnston
Author of 'Business Process Re-Engineering', a practical plan to improve business performance.

C'mon! Just write the SOP!