Unfolding plans 121 – never knowingly undersold

Perhaps I undersell myself.  If not me then perhaps I have undersold the effect of some of the changes that we are making.  I have never knowingly been undersold, until now.  I say this because twice I have had to stop and think about some of the things that we are doing and the good, if somewhat slow, progress that we have made.

Both incidents occurred within our Core Group which comes together to look at ICT issues and how they affect the business.  It comprises representatives from all of the internal customer groups as well as people from my own team.  (Really we are all part of the whole team but you hopefully know what I mean.)  Latterly the meetings have been much more productive.  I feel that we’ve got into the ribs of the issues we need to deal with, addressing such issues as ‘can we really afford to spend our resource on such and such a project?’ or ‘how do we communicate better to make change happen more easily and more effectively?’

We’ve learned how to challenge in an open and non-combative way.  We’re moving from norming to performing.  These things take time.

And I guess that is the first issue.  I noticed how far we had come, especially around the maturation of the prioritisation methodology.  We were reviewing the process whereby we come up with an agreed list of projects that the organisation needs to spend its change resource upon.  It used to be an annual process but now we are allowing in-year changes.  We used to take anything that came along on the chin but now we are going to realign the whole agreed programme at every change to make sure we deliver against what is most important.  We used to agree to a portfolio knowing that there would be slippage and that would mean we could accommodate everything but now we’re not going to allow such a lax approach to resource management.

We’re also going to add a section on project closure and benefits realisation.  We should have had these in from the start but you live and learn.  These things take time and we’ve only been able to make the changes because the process has been accepted as of benefit.  We also agreed to change the agenda around to allow more time to talk about the most important things.

The second issue was around culture change and the New Ways of Working Programme.  I suggested that I thought we’d jumped the gun a bit early and that the organisation wasn’t ready for some of the changes.  We were not clear enough on who would be going where and how management would make sense of the changing environment.  I didn’t suggest.  This is what I said.

The group disagreed though.  They went on to catalogue a whole series of positive changes that were underway. They described how people were changing the way that they worked and how some managers had positively engaged with how things could be and encouraged their teams to get involved.  At times ambiguity can give you the wriggle room to let people try before it becomes mandated.

Change really is in the air.

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