The Change Planning Toolbox: 10 Initial Steps
This is intended as a checklist to start any personal or corporate change project. Just take a blank sheet/ screen and start answering the following:
Initial planning questions:
1. What are you trying to change?
2. Who is involved in the change?
2.1. Do they want to change?
2.2. What do they need to change?
3. What does the changed future look like?
4. What are the top 3 blockers to change that require specific strategies to overcome them?
Detailed Planning Steps:
5. Clearly articulate objective: what does the changed vision/ goal/ future look like?:
5.1. Write down in technicolour detail.
5.2. Use this as an initial engagement step with those involved in the change (i.e. facilitated brainstorm/ meeting away day)
5.3. Create a clear list of benefits that will be enjoyed when change is achieved
6. Go public with the change vision: be clear on how those affected by the change will be kept engaged and informed
7. Create a clear and detailed timebound plan with detailed sub-projects, tasks and next actions needed to achieve the vision in 5. above, whilst ensuring the blockers in 4. above are addressed:
7.1. The actions all need to be concrete and measurable.
7.2. They must include clear accountabilities and ‘sprint’ milestones that effectively breakdown the overall change project into manageable chunks capable of completion and celebration (see 8.)
7.3. You must also create specific sub-projects for overcoming blockers and resistance to change as well as communication and engagement steps included in this list
8. Communicate and celebrate successful achievement of change chunks.
8.1. Ensure these are timed to maximise the positive internal (and any relevant external) PR impact: you’re aiming to create change momentum here.
8.2. Ensure that real small rewards are earned/ enjoyed – even if it’s just a round of drinks with the people involved in achieving the sub-goal or giving yourself a small treat
9. Keep on reminding all involved (those identified in 2, 5.2 and 7.2 above) about the clear list of benefits that will be enjoyed when change is achieved (you created this list in 5.3. above). You need to treat this step as a communication sub-project in its own right
10. Take a planned action
10.1. Repeat 10.
You forgot one or may not have articulated it strong enough:
Be honest about negative consequences en convince people about the benefits outweighing them. If you miss any consequence for one of the stakeholders they will think the changes have not been thought through properly and are being forced onto them from the big shots who don’t know anything et cetera et cetera. Ergo: you created a saboteur.