Whether the organization is public or private, whether the company is a goods or services company, whether the business field or industry sector is financial, manufacturing, tourism... it doesn't matter. All these microcosms generating activities have projects and move from one project to another.
Weird question: why?
Simple answer: all environments must create more value, whether this increase is qualitative, quantitative or simply speculative (which is increasingly the case). In a constantly changing world, the result of today's efforts cannot simply be equivalent to the result of yesterday's efforts.
Improvement is not an option, it is a sine qua non-condition for survival.
Adaptability is an essential attribute for any organization that aims to create more value today than yesterday, to improve its relative, comparative situation. From this adaptability comes the necessary consequence of project implementation.
Acquisition of new tools and equipment, optimization of work processes, implementation of a new ERP, opening of new markets, digital transformation, creation of new models, opening of branches, marketing of new products, new programming, integration of renewable energies... All these projects will bring the organizations that carry them from an initial state to a target state.
Inevitable, inextricable and universal change
Certainly, change affects all environments and is also inevitable. However, change may not have been anticipated (a surprise, an accident, a crisis...), but it goes without saying that anticipated change (driven by a project, therefore) is by far the most desirable.
Non-anticipated change will be managed by reaction, i.e., after the fact. On the contrary, anticipated change will be managed by planning, i.e. a priori of its advent, hence its project origin.
The potential for improvement is made possible by the organizational and individual adaptability that will be articulated in a project that will itself generate change. Consequently, the change is not the project, but encompasses the project. The project covers a space after the start of the change, but before its end. The project is not an end in itself, it is only the means to achieve the desired target (desired, actualized change). Two entities, two linked realities, two complementary but distinct management.
Where is the target?
But why is it that such a high percentage of projects, regardless of their size, do not achieve their objectives? Why are there so many failures or projects whose benefits have been far less than expected? Several reasons are possible, several explanations can be given. However, however...
The literature shows us that in many cases, the target has been somehow forgotten along the way... that the project has skillfully slipped in as an end in itself... to the detriment of the targeted change...
In the majority of the failure cases analyzed, the project was adequately managed from start to finish, but not the change that encompassed it. The expected change gives rise to and then succeeds the completed project.
Every project has a cost. And this cost can (and must) be reduced by the expected benefits which directly or indirectly will be financial (recoverable or non-recoverable). Moreover, it goes without saying that the expected benefits must necessarily be greater than the effort (including cost) that is required to deliver the project.
In the perspective where the project developed is the one that will make it possible to reach the target of the expected change, the element that will then have been lacking to explain a failure or a half victory is that of change management.
The strength of number
The discipline of change management covers the organizational and individual dimensions of transformation. In its organizational dimension, change management allows the implementation of the operating conditions that will allow the expected transformation to be actualized. While in its individual dimension, change management ensures, by the greatest number of people, the recognition of the need for change, the maximization of the desire for change, the acquisition of the necessary knowledge, the development of essential skills and the sustainability of the change brought about.
It is therefore by getting as many people as possible in an organization to embrace a change that the return on investment can meet or even exceed the initial target.
So why not manage the change?
Contact our experts in change management
LUC LACHAPELLE B.A., M.A., M.I.S.
PROSCI, SIX SIGMA Certified
Director, Strategic Consulting Services