Yuri Shojdin, Boris Yosypov
Despite the emerging crisis, and perhaps it is, thanks to it, today’s society continues to change at an incredible rate: technology, management tools, more and more companies are changing
comes to the need to create a horizontal organizational structure, digitalization changes the attitude to the collection, analysis and use of information, the world becomes transparent. Under such circumstances
companies are forced to adjust their attitude to change management, they too need to be done quickly and purposefully, and here we will have to again mention project activity as the main
change management tool.
The topic of change management is huge, and although Kozma Prutkov said that “no one will embrace the immense”, but we will still try and make a series of articles in which it is superficial, but tell about our
experience in designing and implementing change, we will offer tools and understanding of the sequence and logic of events.
You can’t talk about changing a company without knowing what it is. If you look at SI Ozhegov’s dictionary, change is an amendment, a change that betrays something former. physical
the meaning of the change is very well understood from Kurt Levin’s three-stage model, which consists of the following stages:
defrosting – unbalancing the system: identifying areas of change and planning for change;
implementation of change – in fact, the measures to change the system;
freezing – performing measures that prevent the system from returning to its previous state.
The caveat here is that the measures in the article are only part of the required steps at each stage of the change.
Identify strategic initiatives
Today let’s talk about where strategic projects come from and what companies need to do to come up with a first, comprehensive transformation plan.
Take a look at the schematic below, which “molds” our experience of 15 years of management in various top positions. This experience shows that for any business organization
it is very important to understand the strategy of changing your organization, that is, the business model strategic as a regular, iterative process. In order to agree on one
submission process strategic, And this picture is given. Let’s figure it out.
The vertical axis of an organization may be different, such as revenue, EBITDA, market share, and more. On the horizontal axis everything is trivial – a timeline. First, let’s describe point A –
the current state of the organization by selected metrics at this point in time. Point B roughly reflects the status of the company by the same metric, but in the future if we sail
we do nothing. That is, unless strategic development projects are made (breakthrough projects that can change the course of natural events). Point B balances in the market: market up,
point up, market down, point down.
Next, you should ask yourself a “simple” question: how do we want to change the metric selected to be displayed in the picture in the future, in the future? The answer to this question is usually
positions the leadership of the organization as “ambitious” or not so … So appears in the figure cherished point C. Between the current indicator of the organization at point A and the future indicator of the organization in
point C is a gap – in the language of management it is called problem. Top managers are called to solve this problem in a strategic session, which usually aims to answer the question “a
how do we get from point A to point C? After all, if nothing in the current activity substantially not change, then, as practice shows, the organization will fluctuate near the line from point A to
point B, and the amplitude and frequency of these fluctuations will depend on changes in macro and microfactors in the industry market. If you’re lucky, your organization will grow with the market, that’s all we are
participated in zero years in our country, and if you are not lucky, the organization will “perish” under the influence of adverse combinations of factors of distant (STEP) and neighbor (competitors,
suppliers, customers) environments.
The value of an internal strategic session in a company is to understand point A. It is a rather complicated and often impartial work to solve all significant current problems that do not give
organization of the opportunity to move to the desired point C. Based on our experience, to formulate correctly and correctly existing problems is not so easy, but to recognize them even more difficult. But without that
honesty audit of their own activities do not move further, do not delude yourself – the solution to the problem begins with its recognition. And of course, you can never set up the process for the first time
strategizing effectively. People need time and a tough but professional moderator, so if you don’t have one inside the company, then it makes sense to turn to experts.
As soon as during the strategic session, all the top managers manage to agree on the formulation of the most significant problems, we move on to the second part of the Merlezon Ballet – to understanding point C, and
it is very important here not to clamp down on your “whims”. It is necessary to unpack in the most comfortable and friendly atmosphere all the expectations of top executives and owners about the future state
organization – this is the formulation of VISION. In this image, visions must necessarily be accompanied by specific initiatives along with “slogans and good wishes”. For example, “a new system
rewards “,” introduction of a balanced scorecard “,” entry into foreign markets “, etc.
The next step, after describing the “problem field” in point A and the “strategic hotels” in point C, is to proceed to the formation of two groups of strategic initiatives. the first group
strategic initiatives are aimed at solving our problems from the “problem field” – each problem on one strategic initiative, we will call them “Improvement Initiatives”.
Similarly, we form a pool of strategic initiatives designed to implement all of our “wants” – we call them “Development Initiatives”.
To summarize, after a high-quality strategic session, we get a set of strategic initiatives, some of which “cure” current problems and have a chance to become in the future
“Improvement Project”, and part embodies our dreams and claims “development projects”. Here the question arises: we hold the session once a year, with the vision of point C and the criticality of the detected
problems can change within a year, what to do? The answer is one: hold more often. At the beginning of the article, we wrote that strategizing is a regular, iterative process, not a once-a-year binge
holiday homes, as is customary for us. The length of the cycle you choose depends on the capabilities and culture of your company, we usually do two or three times a year.
The strategic initiative format is close to SMART criteria – what exactly needs to be done? What indicator and its value will indicate the successful course of strategic implementation
initiative? Who is personally responsible for the successful implementation of the strategic initiative from the top managers present at the strategic session (future role of the curator) and who
Will the strategic initiative (the future role of the strategic project manager) be directly implemented? And of course, the date by which the target value should be reached
In our practice, the answers to these questions have given rise to a variety of emotions in the participants of the strategic sessions – from aggression, slamming doors to windows and up to
lethargic apathy and withdrawal from participation. The reason for such a spread of emotions is simple – the existing culture of the organization usually does not take such a rigid format of project-oriented
strategic. You have to admit that talking about transformation or change is easy, but breaking the established rules and the usual way of thinking and acting is architec- tical and painful for all participants,
don’t think that it’s a simple decision for a CEO or a shareholder.
Preparing for change
In order to somehow smooth out such transformational “breakdowns” of corporate culture and prepare development projects and their participants for implementation, we have created a set of activities that
high probability leads us to a positive result – launching strategic projects, that is, before the transformation process begins. Of course, to completely unify the process
we have not been able to prepare, yet the companies and their needs have differences. Two action programs are now in place: one focused on training and the other focused on mentoring. Thus
so, you can choose the most convenient option to use.
How it works: At the end of the strategic session, we invite all senior management and owners to consider the scenario of transforming the organization’s existing culture
through the implementation of the first or second program, we called them respectively “Breakthrough Strategy” and “Design Workshops”. What is their essence.
Breakthrough Strategy is a six-month training program with four modules:
constituent session, development of basic rules and restrictions;
the Soft Skills module, which includes a set of necessary tools;
design and project management.
The second Project Workshop program is a three-month, shorter, simpler mentoring program. It contains eight workshops one day a week, staffed
and the supervisor prepare their projects for protection on the board of directors or other collegial body, simultaneously obtaining the necessary knowledge.
The difference between the two programs, in addition to the duration, lies in two main aspects:
The Breakthrough Strategy is primarily used to form a “change agent guard”, whose members, apart from preparing their strategic projects for protection in the course of implementation
Writing homework, mastering management skills that allow them, without losing their current Combat functions, to cope with the basic challenges of project management.
“Design Workshops” – for a more “rigid implantation” of a project-oriented approach to the culture of the organization. In eight workshops, as in Soviet labor lessons, participants “master”
their strategic projects, and also by doing their homework, they prepare them for protection on the board of directors.
It is very important, at the end of the first part on strategic planning, to say that in our practice there is a cynical saying – “you can die from hunger, but you can from gluttony.” This tale,
given in the right place of the strategic session, cools the hot heads of top executives, who, in an effort to “do as much good as possible”, initiate more than 12
The figure 12 is taken empirically and, in essence, reflects the logic of the Balanced Scorecard, namely the three “managerial” perspectives of this approach – “Market”, “Business Processes” and
Staff should not exceed 12 strategic projects, ideally four in each area. Bitter practice shows that if this boundary is broken toward the essential
increase in the number of strategic projects, there is a serious threat that the organization in the desire to change “everything and quickly” will enter the zone of “turbulence” – line staff
cease to understand what to do and to whom to obey, middle-level executives will be disoriented towards goals and ways of leadership, senior-level members are graciously expecting that “combos”
as always pull out all the strategic projects without them …
But not only is change manageability important, it should be remembered that the implementation of any project requires human and financial resources. “Step wide, break your pants” says the proverb, but oh
this in the following articles, in which we will consider in more detail each transformation program separately, well, on the “sweet” we will leave the question of the need of the project office and the role of the program
security throughout this story.
IT-Manager Magazine [№ 01/2020],
Member of the Board of Directors of the Russian Union of IT Directors, chairs the Information Security Committee.
Business Coach, Consultant, System Change Workshop