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  • Writer's picturePaul Clavering

Change: Only One Rule, Keep it Simple!

I have been fortunate enough to work on quite a few change programmes in various organisations, from large international FTSE250 companies to smaller, family owned businesses. They have all required various levels of change and were labelled slightly differently in each company, but it doesn't matter if it's a global digital transformation, implementation of a major ERP system or a smaller local process change, I have one golden rule - keep it simple.

"If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself." Albert Einstein

There are some fantastic tools available to handle change out there, from Kotter's 8-Step process (I highly recommend reading this) to the formal PRINCE2 approach for project delivery. There are also a myriad of other less known solutions that I also think are worth investigating, like Daniel Lock's guide, including his 7 day email, however I always think change should be fully tailored to the companies requirements.

Understanding how a company wants to change and how its culture works, allows you to create a solution to successfully manage that change. For some companies this may be a more rigid and controlled PMO approach that has clearly defined deliverables set up front, with key milestones and strong governance, but for others, change will be more 'free flowing' encouraging its employees to have a more entrepreneurial thought process. Both have a place in the 'change' market but the rule of simplicity still applies.

“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” Confucius

The simple goal when considering change is to ultimately change an organisations behaviour to do something differently. This can take many forms but the most successful journeys are often simple and concise, consisting of communications and actions that are easy to understand and therefore easier to implement. I posted a LinkedIn article about comparing project and programme management to that of a restaurant, after being quizzed on what I actually did to highlight this! Being able to apply reasoning and logic to a real-life comparison is easy to visualise and something I look to do achieve in any change programme, for example, what does the end result of a digital transformation actually looklike? Can you image walking into the store or ordering online post digital transformation, or using the product after it has been changed?

“One should use common words to say uncommon things” Arthur Schopenhauer

I created 'Just Enough' to encompass simplicity and focus delivery over, but not at the expense of, governance. Based on many implementations of change, and the scars that go with it, I use the core of this to look at the 3 key areas highlighted below.

  1. What is the end goal and the milestones along the way?

  2. What controls/measures are needed to make sure we are on track?

  3. What is the best way for getting engagement in the business?

Over the upcoming days I intend to post updates on the 3 areas above with examples of how I have applied 'Just Enough' control in various situations.

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