Want Change to Succeed? How to Improve Your Chances

Why is it that so often the expected level of performance improvement from a process or system change is not fully achieved? Is this because the change manager fails to fully understand the interaction between the individual, the current process and the established organization?

It is essential that the change manager fully understands how the individuals and the team interact with the current process.  It is equally important that the individuals understand that the current methods are not producing success. When the short comings of the current state have been established and accepted then a business is ready to start the journey from the current state to a successful future state.

Process mapping is an important tool for the change manager, but once the current process has been mapped it must be tested. Only by understanding how the individuals really operate with current processes and their effectiveness can a pattern of performance be truly established. This will then enable the change manager to identify what actions will achieve both short and long term performance improvement.

Performance Tracking- Current State

At the forefront of this system is the need to install a measurement system that concentrates on the real performance drivers, not the outcomes.

The real performance of the “Current State” is established through daily individual performance reviews that take place at the start of every working day. The review, between the individual responsible for a critical function, their line manager and the change manager, lasts approximately 5 minutes. The review is a structured information gathering meeting to highlight current performance. This is not the forum to discuss the reasons for the variation in the expected result.

The review consists of:

  • Reporting the daily performance against daily and weekly expectations.
  • The data will be presented by the individual responsible for the process.
  • Reasons for success or disappointment may be highlighted but not discussed.
  • Follow up meetings to discuss the reasons for the variation to the expected current performance will be arranged for later in the day.

The change manager will be able to carry out several of these meetings within the first hour of the working day. This methodology enables real time monitoring of the current performance of the real business drivers, without allowing the problems to escalate.

The process map now can be updated to reflect what is really being achieved by each individual, the team and the organizations.

Performance Patterns- Current State

For a successful change process it is critical to engender an attitude within the group that change is positive, needed and essential for the prosperity of the organization.

The pattern of performance from the current process will emerge within 5-10 days. Giving a clear picture of the strengths and weaknesses of the current process, the individuals and the organization that will be difficult to disagree with.

This will enable the change manager to:

  • Agree with the individuals the strengths and weaknesses of the current method.
  • Allow each team member to suggest personal and organizational improvements.
  • Highlight areas where simple changes will bring short term improvements.
  • Identify aspects of the process that could be changed to greatly improve the current performance in the longer term.
  • Develop an attitude within the group that change can bring the improvements that are essential for the prosperity of the organization.

Performance Tracking-Future State

The Change Manager has created an atmosphere where change is acceptable, where the effects on performance from the new process are openly reviewed each day and where the individual can continue to contribute.

The change manager can now implement the new operating model whilst continuing the daily performance reviews. The daily reviews quickly highlight any imperfections in the new process, allowing early intervention to take place to remedy minor difficulties.

The change manager has not only introduced an improved operating system but has also established an improved discipline for reviewing performance that will ensure that the line manager will be able to sustain the improvement.


The process of introducing the daily review process allows the change manager to increase the chances of quickly introducing successful change.

The process allows the real problems of the current system to be discovered in days rather than weeks. The daily review develops an atmosphere that change is needed within the operating team. Confidence will grow since the team will know that the same process will be used to evaluate the performance of any process change.

The daily review process keeps the line manager and his team fully involved from the start of the assignment by clearly showing the reasons for under performance. This also keeps the change manager from becoming embroiled in running that part of the organization.

The change manager has not only improved the way the team performs but has also implemented an improved system to sustain the performance improvement, which allows the change manager move on to the next assignment.

By Bill Hodges

Photo of Bill Hodges of BGH ConsultingBill is a Director of BGH Consulting LTD., a group of experienced managers who have a common belief that, the best way to increase individual, and therefore team performance is through structured daily 1-to-1 performance reviews. These reviews take no longer than group meeting but are so much more effective for the individual, the team and the manager in understanding the organizations problems and opportunities.

Contact him at bill.hodges@bgh-ltd.co.uk 

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