Following upward feedback sessions, nudge change management goes into practice. Using the principles of project management, the change manager wants to build quick momentum by completing and proselytizing easy actions. This starts the ball rolling and encourages the organization to jump aboard. It is the walk before the sprint, but it is also the sign that it is okay to jump into the water.
Secondarily, as the project runs, the Change Manager will place a heavy emphasis on removing obstacles. He will continue to hold feedback sessions to understand what is getting in the way of the change coming to fruition. There will always be intrusions that will deter the change; however, a good Change Manager will work tirelessly to uncover what those items are and will coordinate solutions to overcome them. These actions get added to the project plan and the plan grows to meet the ecosystem that encompasses it. Change events will always have special circumstances of why it is perceived on why it cannot work, however, change success centers on people making it easy to change and hard to go back to old ways.
The third important facet to change execution is sound project management. Running status and risk meetings, tracking action completion, and resolving issues. The Communications Manager needs to over-communicate and ensure that the change stays relevant even when the project is running during the doldrums of the timeline. Lastly, a major emphasis must be placed on closing out the project when it is completed. This sets a temporal landmark with the team where they can recognize the amazing accomplishment that they’ve achieved.
As a change leader, you want the change to succeed. Achieving quick wins builds a gradual process to help make the change stick and increase your probability of success. If you were to choose the hardest to do the task first, you have increased your level of difficulty as you will not have obtained enough organizational support to help complete the major milestone. This puts you in a predicament of the entire change going south due to an early failure. However, by placing your focus on trying to get early buy-in, this helps with the stakeholder’s perception of if it will be successful and if they should join in.
Your second key success factor during implementation is managing the change as you would manage a typical project. Your goal is project completion so that the change doesn’t fade away but also being adaptable enough to morph the end state to the shape it will fit in. Continuous feedback helps to shape the change. While adapting to the environment makes the project harder to manage the adaptations help build your coalition of supporters and carry you into completion quicker.
Completion signifies achievement and achievement is the reason for celebration. You have asked your organization to do something dramatic, by just going onto the next thing and not recognizing the effort, you dismiss their contribution. Your team will need the closure of the experience and you will want to leave them with a good experience so that the next change will not bring up negative connotations or change PTSD.
Following the upward feedback sessions, Andy formalized the change plan and Communications Manager Sean published it. The organization started prepping for the first pilot automation move which consisted of a two-person workstation station. The first station was projected to be a simple transformation to becoming automated. The engineering firm had predeveloped adaptors to program and automate the process with relative ease.
While staging the first machine for reconfiguration, issues came to light on how the work would overlap on another machining area. Andy led the floor through a high number of iterative adjustments of the shop floor to keep the production lines going while installing the new set-up. The new machine was put in place with more effort than planned but overall implementation went well. Ron wanted to capitalize on the pilot and held all employee lessons learned. There everyone got to walk through what went well, what went wrong, and what they needed to do differently next time. Ron’s primary goal was to get everyone talking about the experience and to help realize that this was moving forward.
The change team was methodical working through the factory floor making new automated lines active every month on average. The replaced workers went on to help with implementing the next lines. Some of the workers took advantage of early retirement options provided. Some workers also started early on building a customized shop. There they cannibalized the old machines to build their own maker space. Marketing and sales quickly came on board to sell the newly customized product line to their customer base.
After year two the final line achieved automation. The customization found early success in the racing industry which brought forward again their brand reputation. Finances were showing growth in savings, higher productivity, and increased morale. Howard and Ron confirmed mission complete and threw a blowout celebration to say thank you. Inviting back all the retirees amongst the workforce, they had successfully automated their business while pivoting their workforce into a second life of value creation.
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