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Change Management

It is an unfortunate statistic that between 60 and 80% of change programmes fail to deliver the anticipated benefits, or, worse still, fail altogether.

Successful change cannot be guaranteed, and indeed, anyone that claims that they can deliver, every time, without fail should be treated with extreme suspicion. What good companies with a track record of supporting successful change can do is to minimise risk and maximise the likelihood of success.

At Expeditus Consulting, making change happen is at the heart of our business. Our consultants are experienced and successful change managers to help ensure that change programmes, large or small, deliver results. We have the skills and experience to help our clients avoid the mistakes that most often lead to the failure of change initiatives. We do not come in and impose change. It is vital that change is understood, accepted and then lead from within. To this end we work very closely with key client personnel, at all levels of an organisation, building internal teams to develop solutions, plan and implement change. We provide as much or a little support as necessary to make things work.

How do we ensure successful change? Given the enormous variety and size of change programmes, it is not possible to give a simple answer to this question. However, we approach change initiatives with a simple, flexible framework, which we can adapt to suit the exact needs of the situation, from simple, quick change initiatives right up to very large, complex, international change programmes that can take many months and involve many hundreds of people. Expanding on the three traditional but effective change management questions “where are we now”, “where do we want to be”, and “how do we get there”, and the simple Lewin framework of “unfreeze - change - refreeze”, our approach to planning, managing and implementing change, typically addresses the following areas:

Assess the need for change. We take a balanced, holistic approach to change, taking into consideration strategy, people, business processes and the systems used to support the running of the organisation. To start off with, we help assess the need for change. Is change actually needed? What are the benefits? What are the consequences of not changing? What are the risks? What are the consequences of failure?

Build the case for change. Having got to grips with what change is wanted, we look more closely at building the case for change in order to help demonstrate and communicate the need for change - preparing the way to make the change happen. We look to demonstrate the need for change, show the value case for change and the cost and implications of not changing. We also look to identify the drivers of change and any factors impeding change. All these steps are key to supporting the next phase - planning change.

Plan change. It is probably obvious to say that in order to maximise the probability of success, careful planning is necessary. Having said that, careful, detailed planning of change is the area most often overlooked or where corners are cut...and where most of the problems and causes of failure reside. At Expeditus Consulting, we ensure that the change is planned to a level of detail appropriate to the situation, depending on such things as client needs, culture, level of resistance to change and urgency of required action. We look to assess risks, anticipating problems and minimising the chance of problems affecting the planned change. We assess skills required during and after the change and ensure that any skill gaps are addressed, building capability within the organisation. Careful consideration is also given to the role of communication and its use in securing commitment to change.

Manage, implement and monitor change. Successful implementation of change is not merely a case of following through with the plan, though if the plan has been well thought through and is both robust and flexible, then it is very much easier and generally more successful. Execution of the plan must be carefully monitored, noting progress against major milestones. Any deviation from the plan needs to be quickly identified, interventions made where necessary, and re-planning if appropriate to keep progress on track. Regular reviews, communicating achievements and celebrating success are additional elements to help ensure successful implementation and to encouorage new processes to bed-down smoothly.

Review. Often neglected or overlooked completely, a planned review is key to learning and improving capability in the organisation - and to communicate and celebrate success. This is all about reinforcing change, ensuring that successful change sticks, and about building a culture of continuous improvement - identifying what went well, what needs to be done differently next time, noting lessons learnt, what is left to do, and working out what happens next.

For more information about how Expeditus Consulting can help support change management for large and small projects alike, please contact us. [contact us]

Expeditus Consulting ... making change happen ... delivering real results

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