Mastering The Challenge of Change

The challenge is to clearly and consistently communicate to participants what the project is expected to do for them, and what they are expected to do for the project. If you want to motivate people, you must clearly define from the beginning what the project holds for the participants, how it will impact them, and what its consequences will be to their jobs.

By balancing individual needs with group objectives, you can go a long way toward assuring the success of your project. Successful change management requires a disciplined execution based on key success factors:

Establish a clear direction: Develop inspiring and achievable project vision and mission statements that clarify why a project exists and what it is meant to accomplish. Then set measurable objectives that will lead to the realization of these ideals.

Build a focused team: A successful project requires all affected constituencies be involved. Create champions from all affected groups to build a strong team that will help you execute every step of the initiative.

Develop a plan: Create a measurable, consistent, and ongoing communications plan that will reach your participants through numerous methods, on many different levels. Ensure that your efforts are designed to motivate your participants through interaction.

Account for culture and diversity: Organizational culture takes years to develop, but once ingrained it is difficult to modify. Your change effort must play to your company’s culture or you will also be faced with the challenge of shifting company beliefs and traditions.

Therefore it is essential your communications be crafted with this culture in mind; while taking into account geographical and social differences as well. Your efforts should be appropriate and effective for all involved.

There is no mistake that change can be difficult, but, as the CIO, you are ultimately accountable for the success of the project. By treating change management as a vital process, it will help you to be more successful and achieve outstanding results in the long run.

Claudio Muruzabal is CEO of Neoris, a global IT consultancy, systems integrator, custom application developer and leader in emergent technologies.