Monday, 3 March 2014

13 Indicators Which Must Focus Your Attention To Make HR Change Projects Successful!

Erich Unkrig
Head of People Development and Deputy VP of Human Resources, AREVA GmbH
Mr. Unkrig is Head of People Development/Deputy VP HR at Areva, the world's largest nuclear company. Lately, AREVA went through major organizational changes. This was an incredibly significant project for the HR department, considering the company has nearly 50,000 employees. 

Mr. Unkring is sharing with Alexander Karvai from 13 proven indicators that helped him and his team deal with these changes.

Failed change projects do not appear out of nowhere. Sensitive teams should be able to anticipate indicators which create a sense of urgency. If these indicators are observed, most crises associated with a given change project should be localized, reduced or prevented. In line with the motto “Tell me how your change project has begun and I will tell you how it will end!”, an observation of the following indicators might help to optimize change project results.

You can meet Mr. Unkrig -online- at the HR Change Management Webinar where he will speak about “Dynamics of corporate development – is HR a driver or victim of change?”

Indicator 1: Rash promising!

If power differences between sponsor and change agent are too strong, the risk appears that untenable promises are given blindly or may be forced by the sponsor.

Indicator 2:  Neglecting scope!

The wilful or unconscious negligence (or cut out) of scope contents creates risks, especially if finalizing the change project at all costs becomes the main goal and if neglected work packages are on the critical path.
Indicator 3: Underestimated complexity!
The complexity of change projects is often underestimated, especially in the planning phase. When combined with a lack of stakeholder analysis, the risk of the change failing increases dramatically.

Indicator 4: Uncleared targets!

Not having s.m.a.r.t. formulated and committed goals is seen as one of the most reliable indicators of impending failure.

Indicator 5: The sponsor and his/her managerial capability

A sponsor often has a stake in the evolution of a change crisis. His/her readiness to take accountability and/or responsibility is important when change projects accelerate. Acting in such situations restrainedly enables the development of critical situations.

Indicator 6: No time!

In many cases, sponsors do not take the time to support their change projects in a sustainable manner. This is demonstrated in OTD (on time delivered) decisions as well as in the facilitation of steering committees or the support within stakeholder management activities.

Indicator 7: No structure!

Project managers as well as sponsors who do not request dealing with (project management) standards or the definition of clear process structures often become a risk for planning and executing change projects and processes.

Indicator 8: Priority on “politics”, not on results!

Setting a priority on intra-company politics rather than entrepreneurial results jeopardizes change projects.

Indicator 9: Problems become personalized!

Common challenges and problems which can potentially arise in most projects are not accepted as such, but are rather viewed as an opportunity to find a scapegoat.

Indicator 10:  Results become whitewashed!

Explicitly bad and/or uncompleted results being communicated in a positive manner demonstrates a risk indicator.

Indicator 12: Reduced co-operation

Decreasing readiness to co-operate (especially in cases where potential for personal benefit is not visible) is a strong sign of potential problems and risks.

Indicator 13: Increasing tardiness!

Timeliness is very often a great challenge in change projects. Increasing tardiness could be a signal to monitor it as a potential risk indicator.

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