For successful and sustainable change to occur there are three aspects that are involved in most change initiatives.
1. People have to believe in the change and adopt new routines.
2. The processes must be adapted or changed in order to achieve the desired outcomes
3. The right tools or software programmes needs to be supplied at the right time to give us the capability.
People and Routines
Do not underestimate the power of routines when someone has been following a routine for a while they normally do things automatically and without needing to think. When you bring in new processes you need to monitor their adoption and ensure that individuals and groups do not slip back into the old way of doing things.
Get the majority of stakeholders to believe in the change
Change can be difficult even when you know it is required and believe it is been done for all the right reasons. It is important to get the right people involved at the right time if you want sustainable change. The right people include those that are expected to deliver ongoing results after the change process is complete and those who pay for the change.
Once you have the right people involved to identify and work on the answers to the following questions.
1. What is the purpose of our organisation or team
2. Why change how we are doing things today
3. What to change to
4. What to change
5. How to change
Creating new processes
Do not even think of changing any processes or creating new processes until you have a well thought through blueprint. The blueprint should be clear on what strategic objectives will be targeted and what benefits we are looking to realise as a result of the change initiative. We also need to have a good understanding on what to change to, what actually needs to be changed to give us the new capability and how you will implement that change to achieve the outcomes and realise the benefits.
Once you have these answers then it is time to identify which processes to keep, and which to replace or remove.
Where possible and appropriate change processes in small steps to get feedback and also let people see the benefits of the change in processes. The Strategy and Tactics tree is an excellent way to breakdown a big change initiative into smaller steps.
Bringing in new tools or software programmes
The right tools give us the capability to achieve an outcome (change in how we work for the better), when we adopt the new way of working and use the capability supplied by the tool (such as a software programme or some fancy medical machine) we will realise the desired benefits.
The wrong tools in general will remove any capability we had before and therefore prevent us from achieving the expected outcomes or realising the expected benefits. This will result in the change initiative losing support of the participants
Recently I have heard story from a couple of different sources about doctors and nurses not being able to use the new software programmes supplied to them, but still being expected to deliver results. I find this particularly troublsom as I know my taxes are being wasted on these initiatives.
How can anyone in their right mind expect a nurse or doctor to support a change initiative when the new software programmes do not give them the capability to achieve the expected outcomes and realise the benefits that the change initiative is supposed to realise. To think this could have been avoided if the doctors and nurses had been involved in the production of the software and accountable for carrying out quality reviews.