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January 2009
Managing and Delivering Change: Fighting the Buzzword
 It’s everywhere, affecting our personal and professional lives at an increasingly fast pace. There’s been so much talk of change, it’s one of the biggest buzzwords used today. While many resist change, we instinctively know there’s value to it. But how do you transform the buzzword into a meaningful strategy that delivers results, strengthens your organization, and facilitates innovation?

     How we manage change in our organizations is a great challenge. However, the ability to seamlessly implement change is what takes good companies to the next level. It can enable struggling companies to survive, even thrive. In today’s marketplace, the ability to manage and deliver upon change is THE essential differentiator.

    We embark upon change for many reasons. But, the reality is that change happens, and frankly needs to happen. To reap the rewards and avoid pitfalls, it needs to be implemented effectively. The best recipe for managing and delivering change is to balance the change across three key dimensions: people, process and technology.

     All too often, we witness or experience poor change management. For instance, a traditional information technology project can fail for many reasons. Common culprits include lack of end user buy-in, inadequate training and misunderstanding of requirements. If the new technology doesn’t meet business and process needs, users won’t adopt it.

     A process improvement project can fail if redesigned processes don’t align with the roles and skills of the employees responsible for the process. If technology is part of the solution, it must support process efficiencies.

     Finally, a people-focused initiative will fail without considering dependencies on process and technology. New organizational design and business processes must align. Technology solutions must be configured to meet user needs. Effective use of targeted communications and training ties it all together.

     These examples illustrate a pattern—people, process and technology must be aligned for successful change. So how do you do this? An effective approach integrates the following activities: Portfolio management—Delivering change across your total “change portfolio” through program and project management; Stakeholder management and communications; Process reengineering; and Training and solutions integration.

     So leave the buzzword behind. By focusing the dimensions of people, process and technology, and applying an integrated approach, you can effectively manage and deliver the change required for success in today’s dynamic marketplace.

    T.J. Eberle is president and CEO of NouvEON, a regional business and technology consulting firm. Contact him at 704-944-3155 or visit www.NouvEON.com.

 

 

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