Change management is a discipline in its own right, however, it overlooks an important aspect to successfully leverage projects. This is why I prefer a broader approach: the business solution integration, in which change management is a means, rather than an end.
What is a business solution?
A solution is a process, a product, a directive, a division of tasks … that is implemented in order to improve operations. Starting from a problem, the solution aims to mitigate or eliminate it.
Why is it better to integrate solution than to manage change?
The main difference is the angle of approach: change management evaluates impacts, while solution integration determines value. Without exaggerating too much, we can compare change management to Taylorism, where the work is done by experts, who then apply the theory in operations. On the contrary, the integration of solutions is based on the concepts of operational excellence of value, implication and has a much more practical side. Change management focuses on the solution, business integration on end-users.
How to integrate solutions?
The first thing to do is to determine the value of the solution for the operations. What will the solution bring? This result must then be translated into concrete behavior by the employees. How will employees act with this solution? Finally, the expected behaviors will be translated into operational performance indicators, with a target.
Once these steps are completed, we will then use the tools of change management, engagement, training, communication to establish the business solution integration plan.
Comparison of both approaches on an example
In change management mode :
- Change: retirement of the manager and appointment of a new
- Stakeholders: Employees and colleagues of the replaced manager, both managers
- Impact analysis: insecurity, mourning, loss of bearings …
- Change Management Plan: sequence of group and individual communications, accompaniment
In business solution integration mode
- Solution: Replacement of the manager who retires with a new
- Value: Maintain the presence of a manager, new vision and management practices
- Expected behaviors: technical support of the new manager, sharing of information in the team, continuation of work and projects in progress
- Indicators: mobilization rate, absenteeism rate, productivity rate (whichever is available)
- Business Integration Plan: a sequence of group and individual communications, coaching and continuous measurement to adapt the plan as you go.
It is therefore a different approach, based on the value and the expected positive results, rather than the management of negative impacts. The integration of the solution sees the glass of water half full!