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Managing change means managing reality

By Nikki Keene

August is a time when the pace of a change programme inevitably slows. Those with the responsibility for delivering business change can find it frustrating, but it can be reframed as an opportunity to step back and reflect on how things are going. 

Managing change means managing reality, not just a programme plan – changes in human behaviour cannot be monitored against a Gantt chart and people risks are rarely mitigated by a project office. When you are immersed in the day-to-day world of the programme, it is all too easy to lose touch with organisational reality. Holiday time offers an ideal opportunity to consider the progress of your change programme with a more dispassionate eye. What is stopping you from taking that same step back while you are in the here and now? How do you know whether your change programme is making the intended difference to your organisation?

A global pharmaceutical firm has needed to transform the way in which the organisation interacted with customers. Members of the programme team sensed that there were challenges with how change management activity was being managed – for example, that leadership was not on board because decisions were not being made effectively, and there was too much focus on technology aspects without thinking through how people needed to change as well. By taking the time to consider the change management approach, the team were able to appreciate the strengths of their programme and identify what was actually going right, giving them confidence that they were heading in the right direction.

In addition, the team were able to understand the issues that they had been sensing for a long time, and identify some ideas for how these issues could be overcome. This in turn assisted in building a case for investing more resource in the programme. 

PA Consulting Group offers a quick way to ‘temperature check’ the current reality of your change programme using a change programme assessment report that offers:

  • a full review, benchmarked against a proven change framework

  • an independent view of the reality you are experiencing

  • the confidence to make the right decisions.

By reviewing your change imperative profile, considering the balance of emphasis between driving and releasing change and identifying the strengths of your change programme as well as the interventions that can close specific change gaps, you can quickly see whether your change programme is heading in the right direction. 

We are now making our change programme assessment diagnostic tool available more widely for the first time. Could your change programme benefit from a temperature check? Contact to find out more.