Change management is a discipline in its own right, however, it overlooks an important aspect of successfully leveraging projects. Behavior change is more complex than it appears. By focusing on value and positive expected outcomes, rather than managing negative impacts, you will have better results.
This is why I prefer a broader approach: solution integration, in which it is a tool, rather than an end.
What is a solution?
A solution is a process, a product, a directive, a division of tasks… that is implemented in order to improve operations. Generally starting from a problem, the solution aims to mitigate or eliminate it.
Why solution integration rather than change management?
The main difference is the angle of approach: Change management assesses impacts, while solution integration determines value. Without exaggerating too much, we can compare change management to Taylorism, where work is defined by specialists, who then apply the theory in operations. On the other hand, the integration of solutions is based on the Lean and Agile concepts of value, involvement and has a much more practical side.
How to integrate solutions?
The first thing to do is to determine the value of the solution for operations. What will the solution do? This result must then be translated into concrete behaviors on the part of the teams. How should they act with this solution? Finally, the expected behaviors will be broken down into operational performance indicators, with a target.
Once these steps have been completed, we will then use change management, resource mobilization, training and communication tools to establish the solution integration plan
Comparison of the two approaches with an example
In change management mode:
- Change: Retirement of the manager and appointment of a new one
- Stakeholders: employees and colleagues of the replaced manager, both managers
- Impact analysis: insecurity, grief, loss of bearings …
- Change management plan: sequence of group and individual communications, coaching
In solution integration mode
- Solution: Replace the retiring manager with a new one
- Value: Continued presence of a manager, new vision and management practices
- Expected behaviors: support of the new manager on the technical level, sharing of information within the team, continuation of ongoing work and projects
- Indicators: engagement rate, absenteeism rate, productivity rate (as available)
- Business Integration Plan: sequence of group and individual communications, coaching and ongoing measurement to adapt the plan as it is implemented.
Solution integration sees the glass of water as half full!