Change Management In Your Business – Part 2

Part #2: PROJECT PLANNING Your Change

In part 2 of this 5-part series, we’ve taken a look at the role of project planning when implementing change into your construction business. Arguably the most critical component of successful change management is having a robust project plan in place: consider this the blueprint for successful change.
Just like the project nature of any type of construction job, ‘Project Management’ must be the central tenet of your change execution. It means you will:

  • ensure all relevant stakeholders are considered at the right time, and for the right purpose
  • the costs associated with change are monitored & contained
  • the responsibilities of all parties are on track
  • deadlines are adhered to
  • expectations are set: no big, nasty surprises for anyone
  • the cultural shift (no matter how big or small) can be gradually introduced & well managed

We’ve outlined here the major components for you to consider in your change management project planning. Make sure you consider each of these in the context of the change you’re undertaking. For example, if you’re implementing new field worker & asset management software like Assignar, the education communications piece will likely be more detailed than say, the introduction of a new materials supplier.

Our guide to your change management project plan covers pre and post-change implementation. This ensures you’re aware of, for example, any oversights or potential opportunities associated with the change. All of these elements have the potential to make the change a huge success for your construction business (or a huge failure if you miss something).

1. SCENE SETTING

Despite this being an internal document, setting the scene of the proposed change is critical. It give the change context. In setting the scene make sure you cover off:

  • why this change is happening
  • the top 3-5 benefits of implementing this change
  • who it will affect and who will need to participate
  • the timeframe for delivery

2. DEFINE THE PROJECT LEAD

Document the person who is leading the change. This is the person who is accountable to the business to make sure the change is implemented smoothly, and according to the identified & desired outcomes.

3. DEFINE THE PROJECT OBJECTIVES

Make sure you document in detail, the expected outcomes this change will deliver for your construction business. Examples may include:

  • What the change process will achieve (e.g. better management of fieldworker time & resource)
  • Principles that underpin the change management plan (e.g. better workplace collaboration, workforce integration, resource allocation)
  • Cultural issues the change will affect and how the project plan will address them

Monitor Change as it’s Implemented

4. STAKEHOLDER ANALYSIS

Identifying the stakeholders to change is critical in the project plan, so all parties involved are briefed, prepared and aware of their required involvement. Your stakeholders may include any or all of the following:

  • suppliers
  • staff
  • leadership team
  • clients
  • unions

For each of these groups, ascertain their appetite for change, so you can manage them with precision throughout the change process.Some key points here to consider include:

  • what’s their main concerns or fears?
  • how likely are the to support the change?
  • what style of communications best suits each group?
  • what’s their level of information requirements?

Set expectations early, business-wide

5. DETERMINING PREPAREDNESS FOR CHANGE

Document the status of change from current state to future state. Use this project plan document as a high-level roadmap that stakeholders can commit to, and that provides a framework for change.

Also document here the senior-level support already garnered for this change. This will give your project plan credibility and an increased likelihood for business-wide acceptance.

6. CHANGE PLANNING

It’s a great idea to include in your Project Management Plan, a roll-out of responsibilities and timeframes for all the key stakeholders.

7. COMPONENTS OF THE CHANGE PLAN

Document the key elements you’ve identified for the change management project plan. Some examples include:

  • people/culture
  • systems & technology
  • internal processes
  • the role of individuals for the change documentation
  • the roles & positions affected
  • resourcing (internal, external)

Make Change Desirable and the Benefits Relevant

8. RATIONALE FOR CHANGE

Here you need to define the key drivers as to WHY this change is being introduced to your construction business. Make sure you identify:

  • the potential risks
  • the current state which is no longer
  • satisfactory, stimulating the need for change
  • the lead drivers & constraints

9. IDENTIFY CHANGE ELEMENTS

The major elements to change include:

  • organisational structures
  • processes
  • responsibilities
  • resource planning
  • timeframe for delivery
  • performance measures

In light of these, it’s best to consider if a need for transitional arrangements is required to support the change and whether the project roll-out needs to be staged. Be open, transparent&consistent with your communications in regards to all change elements. This will give your project ongoing credibility and stakeholder buy-in.

Communicate consistently

10. CHANGE MESSAGING

Typically, we recommend identifying 6-8 key messages about the change AND the change process, including the likely gains and potential losses. In crafting these messages factor in the following:

  • what will be gained & lost for key stakeholder groups, throughout the change process
  • the messages from a stakeholder perspective: what’s going to achieve greatest cut-through?
  • what will be their major concerns?
  • present change in a positive light, even when you’re acknowledging the likelihood of loss

11. CONSOLIDATION

Ensure all relevant company policies are included in the Project Plan. As you’re coming closer to the change implementation finalisation, be mindful of any potential organisational barriers to the change, and how you’ll manage them. Also at this stage, through savvy communications to all relevant stakeholders, reinforce how the change is providing benefit to the organisation.

12. EVALUATION

Within the project plan, make sure you document how the change will be evaluated and on what measures success is being assessed. And do this throughout the project phase, not just at the end. Success is an ongoing journey when it comes to change, not a final destination Hence, be diligent in deciding what success looks like at each stage of the project, and in actually making those assessments during the change execution.

For more insights into change management in your construction business, book a demo.

In the next part, we’ll explore implementing a strategic communications plan to manage change within your construction business. To Part 3 (Communicating Change).

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