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Upgraded Tools to successfully Manage the Change, with PROSCI.

29 April 2022

All the tools you need to complete Phase 2 of PROSCI's 3-phase change process.

author picture Article written by Morten Kamp Andersen

Joining us right now or just discovering this series? We are halfway through PROSCI 3-phase process. Our last blog offered plenty of advice on how to design the "best fitted" approach to preparing for the change with PROSCI's refreshed Methodology. Let's now dive into the nuts and bolts of Phase 2: "Managing the change". In this fourth instalment, you'll learn how to drive adoption and utilisation by creating, implementing and adapting plans to help people and the organisation navigate ADKAR transitions.  

Managing the change is the art of connecting the "how" to the "who". Organisations don't change. People do. Get familiar with the new ADKAR Blueprint for structuring the change. Discover a refreshed set of Change Management plans. Find out how to track your performances to optimise for success and adapt your plans to stay the course. 

Plan and act.

Key question: What will we do to support and equip the people?

 

1. Create your CM roadmap with ADKAR Blueprint

Introducing "ADKAR Blueprint". Blueprint is a roadmap for structuring the change. It takes the classic ADKAR model and wraps it up in a scalable guide to help you set milestones and activate CM roles. Beware that ADKAR is different from what is usually referred to as a "Change Management plan" (more on this below). Think of it as the overarching structure that will pave the way toward the envisioned future state.

ADKAR Blueprint helps you evaluate the effort needed to build each element of ADKAR and plan for subsequent actions. If you are not familiar with the ADKAR model for individual change, please consult our free resources for an introduction and comprehensive look into ADKAR Blueprint

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The following grid gives you a quick overview of ADKAR Blueprint[1]. It all boils down to this asking yourself: what do I need and who should take action to build Awareness and Desire for change, then Knowledge and Ability, and finally Reinforcement? Your goal is to equip and support the people so that they can operate the change and/or play their part in deploying CM activities. For that to happen, you need to:

  • determine the barrier point: find out where people might remain stuck (i.e. lack of Knowledge, or Desire?) and focus on that.
  • gauge the gap:  evaluate the expected effort to build a specific ADKAR block and set the milestones accordingly (i.e. introducing a brand new ERP will take a substantial amount of training – Knowledge – compared to a simple software update).

Once you know exactly where to put time and energy, list the actions and define the roles needed to complete these tasks, setting a clear start and end dates.

2. Choose and create the right plans

As PROSCI puts it, "plans are a subset of ADKAR Blueprint actions". Blueprint sets out the initiative's direction; the right mix of CM plans gives it flesh and blood as it defines sequences of activities. But because Change Management should be context-based and context-sensitive, not all plans hold the same value. Therefore, Change Management plans are classified either as "Core Plans" or "Extended Plans".

Core plans are recommended plans, targeting roles and activities. The most important plans you'll come across are usually the Sponsor Plan and Communications Plan. Remember that sponsorship is the number-one success factor of any change initiative. On the other hand, communication  – the art of crafting the right message, using the right channel at the right time for the right audience – is the not-so-secret ingredient to generating buy-in across all organisational levels (Awareness) and keeping people on board (Reinforcement) … two often neglected yet essential ADKAR blocks.

Depending on your initiative's unique features and requirements, extended plans may - or may not - find their way into the CM Master Plan. Examples of these additional plans include a Resistance Management plan, a Change Agent Network Plan (for change advocates representing specific impacted groups), a Sponsor Coalition Plan, a Sustainment Plan, etc.

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3. Prepare and activate roles

ADKAR Blueprint, together with the Role Roster prepared in Phase 1, helped you identify critical roles and difficulties, challenges, or obstacles people might encounter (roadblocks). Phase 2 is where you equip them to activate those roles successfully.

4. Integrate and act

As a PROSCI pro-tip for everything Phase 2-related, don't fear bending the Methodology and be ready to pivot. Your organisation's CM maturity level, the change's risk profile and the organisational culture, among others, should dictate what to do. Don't try to tick all the boxes to stick to the playbook. Expect to spend a reasonable amount of time adapting to the organisation and project specificities, and then to everything that comes your way and calls for rapid or significant adjustments (see below).

Track performance.

Key question: How are we doing?

 

1. Define tracking calendar

Change is only real if you can measure it. It is only sustainable if you actively seek to make it long-lasting. Managing the change takes some serious monitoring efforts to determine whether your project is still on track or has deviated from its initial purpose, whether people successfully stick to their new routines or are reverting to old habits. Suppose you have proceeded to an early PCT assessment or conducted a thorough analysis of the impact of the change. In that case, you already have a good idea of which variables and metrics are relevant.

Performance tracking happens at three levels – organisational, individual, and CM-related –requiring different tools.

2. Monitor the progress of the initiative

Tracking organisational performance means taking stock of the results achieved so far. Did it meet the objectives, did it fall short, and if so, in what ways did the performance falter? The PCT analysis should be conducted multiple times to get snapshots of the situation from every angle at different points in time (shared definition of success, Project Management, Change Management, Leadership/Sponsorship).

3. Monitor ADKAR results

Individual performance measures how effectively people embrace the change and adopt the solution. Syncing everyone's trajectories is a daunting task, but you certainly don't want to deal with a "Swiss Cheese situation" that would spell disaster. It typically happens when the graphical superposition of all individual ADKAR journeys reveals many gaps caused by different transition speeds and incomplete personal change processes. Perform an ADKAR assessment to examine how well each impacted member of the organisation progresses along the 5-step sequence.

4. Monitor Change Management activities

Change Management itself is, of course, not immune to criticism and performance control. How well CM was done and is being deployed is just as important. How far along with your Change Management Master Plan are you now? What elements are missing, and why? Take stock of the situation and see how you can improve.

Have you identified performance strengths and opportunities? Use the findings to inform new adaptive strategies and actions (see below). 

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Adapt actions.

Key question: What adjustments do we need to make?

 

Change Management requires that its practitioners display a superior ability to pivot whenever needed. Extract the lessons and adjust if the context and unfolding events ask for it. Decide whether new actions are necessary. Plan and implement adaptive measures. Keep tracking …, and most of all, keep adapting.

As we reach the end of our series, more emphasis will be placed on assessing and sustaining results, which means course-correcting and dealing with late resistances. Learn more about this in the next instalment. And if you are interested in getting a headstart on PROSCI's refreshed Methodology, check out our upcoming sessions. 

 

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