You've somehow made it through the tender process, but your
mission-critical IT project stubbornly refuses to run off the
rails. Don't panic! If your project involves significant
organisational change, here are 10 sure ways to consign the project
to its doom, and perhaps even take your organisation with it.
Don't engage with the project sponsors or senior
executives. Sure they're paying for the project, but once
you've got their approval, there's simply no reason for
their continuing involvement. It's not as if their input will
be needed should the organisations' business needs or
priorities change. Nor will their ongoing support be required. The
change management process is bound to succeed, even if the sponsors
and key executives ignore the change themselves, or tolerate those
in the lower ranks who stubbornly resist it.
Similarly, don't bother obtaining the buy-in of your staff
(particularly key influencers), and under no circumstances involve
them in the change process. Your staff are like machines
– they arrive to work, do what they're told, and go
home. They don't require motivation, training or encouragement,
and they certainly don't have any valid opinions about how
significant change should be implemented across the organisation.
Hasn't history always shown that there's no better
governance structure than a dictatorship?
Consider outsourcing the entire change process to an external
consultant, with absolutely no involvement of your own people. The
consultant is sure to obtain a flawless understanding of the
business and change requirements without any input from those
incompetent employees of yours.
Never, ever have a communications plan, or appoint a
communications manager. The less communication there is, the more
everyone will assume that there is some grand conspiracy, and you
know just how good that is for productivity – it will
just skyrocket! If (heaven forbid) you are forced to communicate
about the change, make sure the message is cryptic and garbled and
is not customised to the intended audience. If at all possible,
hold off communicating until after the change has been
Don't attempt to define the scope of the change or the
problem you're trying to solve. Surely any change is for the
better – even if it may appear difficult, unnecessary and
costly. Even better still, encourage your sponsors and stakeholders
to change the scope of the change project as often as they want.
That way, you may be able to extend the change process
indefinitely, without making any real change to the organisation
– and spend a small fortune along the way!
When implementing the change, ignore the culture of the
organisation, division or team who'll be most affected by it.
All that talk about culture is just warm, fluffy,
politically-correct drivel and has no place in today's modern,
fast-paced corporate environment.
Resist doing a cost-benefit analysis of the change. It's
not about the money, it's about being seen to do something
– anything! –even though the organisation may
go backwards in the process. It is best to leave this analysis to
the end – when it's far too late to adjust the
Never allow time for the change to take root and be accepted by
the organisation. Indeed, try to overwhelm the organisation with
the maxim amount of change within the least amount of time. This
will ensure that impacted personnel do not have time to catch their
collective breaths, never mind criticise or evaluate the change.
Alternatively, try to implement the change as slowly as possible,
so that your people get bored or disconnected from the change. It
will help to drag out the process if you dispense with key
milestones, deliverables and transition plans.
Throw all those tried and true project management principles
out the window. Scope, risk and issues management and project
governance are just unnecessary. Eliminate them and you will have a
much more streamlined project. Besides, dealing with unplanned
surprises will add a certain 'zing' to the project, and
forestall any prospect of your people complaining that their lives
are dull or predictable.
Finally, under no circumstance should you ever measure the
success of the change project. This will only highlight its
failings and may lead to the organisation actually learning from
its mistakes. It may even put everyone involved in the project
(including you!) on the chopping block – which is not
exactly the change you were planning.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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