The Most Important Thing to Know about Implementing Change

Implementing organizational change is hard. If you research how often such efforts fail, it’s not unusual to find numbers like 60%, 70%, or even higher. That’s a lot of failure!

Think of the costs of all those failures. Sure, the millions of dollars of hard costs, but the soft costs and opportunity costs can be even greater. So why do we allow this to happen?
If there is one thing you must know about implementing change, it’s this:
There are two sides to every change initiative, the technical side and the people side. We typically plan for the technical side but fail because of the people side. The two sides are equally necessary and equally important.
Just as you have Project Management for the technical side of a change initiative, you need Project Management for the people side. The integrated approach to change is called Total Project Management.
The people side is more than just a dash of communication, a sprinkle of training, and a little support you can add as needed. It requires a systematic approach that ensures people are engaged, equipped, coached and supported to embrace the desired change.
Most companies’ so-called Change Management efforts don’t grasp this. The people side can’t simply be a tack-on to the “real” (i.e., technical) change. And it can’t just be shuffled off to HR since they look after all the “touchy-feely stuff”. No, Total Project Management requires that both the people side and technical side of change have equal voices and equal status at the table.
Implementing organizational change is hard. Whether you end up with the majority who fail or the minority who succeed is a choice. When implementing change, choose Total Project Management.
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