The Human Side Of Change Management

Jordi Servat

The most important characteristic of these times is the tremendous acceleration in which the changes are taking place if we compare them with those occurred in the last 5 years.

These changes force companies to bet on where the new needs of potential consumers of their products and/or services are heading, with the aim of preparing a competitive offer that differs from the other existing alternatives in the market. The purpose of the company is to continue in a position that allows it to grow and maintain the necessary rates of return to meet all its objectives.

With this, they are forced to introduce changes in the procedures, in the technological systems, in the training of the human team, in the productive tools, etc. to satisfy the new needs.

It is common for companies to prepare and use tools such as Project Management to introduce and implement the desired changes that will take the company to that new stage.

But at the same time, it is very frequent that this Project Management is not approached in the most suitable way, because it forgets precisely the human part. It is not very common to think about the involvement and motivation of the project team members and neither about the people who are going to be affected by these changes, not taking into account what is their state of opinion and their feeling about the new proposals.

In fact, 70% of IT projects according to Gartner either fail, or do not reach their objectives in cost, time or desired scope, because they suffer from significant deviations. It is also common that once the project is finished, after one year, it is found that its implementation is practically non-existent, acting again with the same practices previous to the implementation, deeply rooted within the organization.

In the world of information technology, from the beginning, there has been talk of the hard part (computers) and the soft part (programs), and both are necessary and essential because they give meaning to the information systems.

People also have two fundamental parts, the brain and the heart. The brain, which refers to the capacity to think, to relate, to logic, to reasoning and the heart, which refers to the emotional part and the feelings that we all have.

Both parts are essential to achieve the maximum involvement of people in what they do, the brain is involved in the rational part, what to do and how to do it, but if you also get the heart involved, is when people give that extra, that go above 100%, which will make a difference.

In any project of change, whether or not you use Project Management, if you get people to make it their own, and for this it is necessary to address well from the beginning and work caring for the feelings, you will see how the change is a reality, with much better results than if it were done differently.

As a result of our experience, of more than 15 years focused and dedicated to help the companies that have trusted us, to Manage Changes, has allowed us to develop our own methodology, taking care of that soft part…the heart of the people, to reach a greater and better success in the implementation. (It is also true that on this subject, there is not much literature worldwide).

The methodology we have developed can be based on Project Management. If the company uses this tool, as an element of change, it focuses on its 5 phases:

1) Definition and Planning, 2) Execution, 3) Implementation, 4) Finalization and 5) Post Project

If the company does not use Project Management, but still wants to achieve a new way of doing things within the organization, we use our methodology referring to the 4 key areas of every company:

1) The strategy, 2) The internal communication, 3) The organization and 4) The people who make possible, suitably motivated, what is difficult.

In fact, in Gestión del Cambio Empresarial we have always defended the need to have a very clear strategy to be implemented in the company and that for this it is necessary to have a good organization and give all the importance to internal communication, which facilitates informing and listening to what people in the team think and feel, which must be fluid in all directions and senses, and finally, you must also have a good strategy with people, to get them excited about what we want to do.

In Gestión del Cambio Empresarial we say that when we have a clear and defined strategy, we know how we are going to play, we communicate among the people of the team, and we are all willing to give 120%, we say that we are sure to win this game.

All in all, it is necessary to have a methodology, which we specify with our book, with the appropriate tools to be used in each phase, to provide the best action in each case and thereby overcome or reduce the resistance that will surely appear throughout the process, to successfully achieve the desired goal.

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