The traditional change management process is painful because it’s broken. Most change management strategies mean babysitting to make sure people do what you want instead of doing what they did before.
But that’s because the traditional change management process is broken. You don’t hire smart, talented people and proceed to treat them like they can’t figure things out themselves.
If you want an efficient way to effect change, you need to listen to what these smart people have to say about it. Everyone wants to be heard and high quality employees are used to being valued for their opinions and analysis.
When you do this, they’ll pull themselves through the curve because it will be a change they built and own.
In an effort to increase our Sales, we need to change our marketing process specifically blogging. In order to do that, we translated our qualitative problem into a quantitative KPI. We then turned the process KPI, into a full process map so we could find the bottleneck.
We attacked the bottleneck and root caused what was behind it to come up with a prioritized list of improvement. Our last step is to make sure we never slip back into old habits.
WHAT IS CHANGE MANAGEMENT
Change management means going from one current habit to a new habit. We’ve evolved as humans to be creatures of habit. But just like natural selection, if you don’t evolve in the business world, you die.
In business, we call habit cycles processes or workflows. We change or improve processes when we aren’t hitting our business goals. Lean process improvement adds to business process management (BPM) because it focuses on people.
Change management applies to every process in your work or personal life. If you want to hit a retirement goal without winning the lottery or lose weight without catching the stomach flu, you’ll need to design a new process.
WHY YOU INSPIRE CHANGE
Making decisions using data is a reflection of your organizational culture. People need to believe using data is better than solving problems with their big ‘ol brains.
One of the 5 lean principles says a process designed to pull inputs instead of pushing into a workflow it is more efficient. Brooms were the hottest cleaning tool in the New Testament and then the vacuum showed up.
If you want a Dyson instead of a corn husk, you’ll need to purposely design a process to inspire me from point A to point B.
The milestones in the process need to address these critical to quality attributes:
- I want to leave point A
- I want to go to point B instead of C, D or taking a nap
- You know the best way to get from point A to B
PROCESS TO INSPIRE CHANGE
Inspiring change starts with understanding what motivates your people. Most of us love a good hero journey or underdog story. We like seeing them fall and pick themselves up. A story or journey is a process. Your change process should make people their own heroes.
If you don’t know where each team member falls into these categories you need to find out. You can ask them, do psychological tests like Personalysis
or get an executive development coach to lay it all out…
HERO JOURNEY CHAPTER 1
The problem with most corporate projects when they use data is everyone tears it apart. There’s nothing wrong with skepticism but there is a problem with inefficiency. You skip the infighting around data by letting your process answers their questions:
- how we collected it
- why we collected it
- who collected it
- when we collected it
The process is to collect a sample that represents what flows through the process 51% of the time. You don’t have to worry about statistically sampling because we aren’t trying to get a statistical improvement.
We focus on fast iterations so sample well but quickly. If you map what feels painful or what you think happens 51% of the time, you’re just guessing.
Why We Collected IT
If your goal is process improvement, you know need data samples to tell you the cycle time (ideal), lead time (reality) and quality (conversion rate) data. Once you have this data, you can find the bottleneck to improve.
Who Collected It
The process owner or the expert collects the data as they perform the process. This way they can flag exceptions versus the standard.
When We Collected
We collect data every time the process runs for a time period until we can see a consistent trend so we can do a gap analysis.
CHANGE MANAGEMENT TOOLS
You’re only limited to visual tools by your own creativity. The only question you need to answer is, “can a stranger could read it and understand the gap within 30 seconds?”
If your signs, graphics, pictures, symbols or dashboard meet their criterion – you’re good to go. A few standard tools you can start with are:
- Standard operating procedures
- Daily gap analysis review or self reflection
Dashboards are the new black. Have a problem? Don’t worry, we’ll get IT to make a dashboard. Most dashboards are full of vanity metrics because they reflect what we want to be true not reality.
You can zhuzh up that performance gap with all the fuel gauges and colors you want but it’s not going to be the fairest in the land. Your dashboard can have only 1 KPI but if it drives action to improve it’s going to get results faster.
All KPI’s measure process performance. Once you know the KPI, then you can back into the process you need to collect data on.
SOP: SELF MANAGEMENT
As a business owner, the dashboard makes it easier to manage your team’s performance. If they aren’t able to get their productivity goals in the morning, you can meet and close the gap after lunch.
As an employee, you can root cause and countermeasure your productivity gap before your meeting. Processes break down all the time so you need to have a good system to quickly repair them.
We use our Trello board and TeamGantt powerup to keep us accountable. The Trello board shows the post status in our marketing process. TeamGantt tells us how much time we’ve spent on each post so we can compare to our target time.
We built the Trello board based on our process map and standard operating procedure which goes into more detail on “why” and “how” we do things.
Smart people need to understand why instead of taking orders so we respect them by writing up a document that gives them these details.
Part of holding yourself accountable is letting go of perfection and blame.
There’s no failure in an agile company, only learning.
One of Lean Six Sigma’s and the Toyota Production System’s foundational beliefs is hansei. We don’t focus on outcomes only process so you do hansei regardless of what happened during the day.
This is your new habit so you can keep yourself accountable for your daily, monthly, annual strategic goals.
MAKE IT COUNT
There’s no sin greater than wasting time except for maybe not complimenting my new haircut. How much time do you waste managing others because you’re afraid that they aren’t doing it the way you would?
Inspiring change isn’t just about getting your time back but it’s about leading your people. Everyone deserves a leader who inspires them to get out of their comfort zone and innovate.
And you deserve a process that takes the burden of change off of you so you can lead instead of managing it. Either way – the change starts with you.