I once worked on a program of work, which was the merger of the 2 top-five banks in Australia. It was between St. George and Westpac banks. As you can imagine, the merger of two enormous banks is quite a big piece of work. Obviously, it was broken down into multiple programs of work across the organization.
One of the particular programs I worked on affected hundreds of people in the organization – in fact, an entire division of the organization. I put in place a very stringent change readiness approach on this project. It was very specific, controlled, and helpful.
It meant that everyone had to be ready or things didn’t happen. It was a phased implementation and every week or every couple of weeks, something would be implemented or changed.
Every single team in the division – yep, a lot of people – had to provide to me a readiness go, no-go before every implementation. There was a strict process that we went through for every implementation, which gave them enough time to assess their readiness and get ready. We gave them preparation time. Then, we gave them reply time for their go, no-goreadiness for that particular piece of implementation.
If we didn’t get all the go’s, obviously, we managed the situation appropriately.
What we did that also made it a huge success was we set each team up for success as well. We told them exactly, for each implementation, what it meant to be ready, we didn’t make them try and work it out for themselves. What they needed to assess. What they needed to change. What they needed to do. How they got help so that they could be ready if they needed it. It was really important that every team knew what it meant to be ready.
This particular approach that we used was a huge success. It worked really well. There were no issues because we made sure everyone knew how to be ready. We made sure they had the support they needed to be ready. We made sure that we didn’t change a single thing until each of those teams guaranteed us that they were ready.
Also, of course, no one team wanted to be the reason that an implementation everyone else was ready for did not go ahead. So they all also made the effort to get ready.
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