Table of Contents:

Sustaining Strategies

Overview

Organizations deploy many initiatives. Some are successful and become that organization’s way of doing things, whereas others fail. What makes an initiative successful? How are they sustained? Technology, tools, and methods alone cannot guarantee that a change initiative will be useful for increasing productivity and customer experience. An organizations culture or way of doing things should always be considered when deploying initiatives. This does not imply that poor work habits or non-competitive processes cannot be changed. But it does imply that there are effective ways to change them as opposed to other ways that severely impede change. In Chapter 2 we discussed the success attributes for effective change. In this final chapter we discuss ways to ensure we institutionalize changes that work.

Institutionalization requires leadership support to practice new behaviors. This will not be difficult if an operational initiative increases productivity and customer experience. With leadership support, the project portfolio and other resources are integrated into the strategic operating plan. These will provide the needed support to expand or create new competencies. Based on the lessons learned, paradigms will have shifted and the old way of working will be changed. The new tools, methods, and concepts are also assimilated. Leadership engagement is critical for success, and they must also practice these new behaviors. The organization will need to continually see their value for sustainability.

Sustaining change starts when we realize that the current state for the way things are done needs to be different. The teams that are brought together to envision the future state create a common vison for moving the organization forward. This is how they modify work processes and transition plans to develop new ways to work. From this work, productivity, customer experience, and other benefits are gained that increase competitiveness. In this final stage, the beneficial ways to work are expanded across an organization, validated, and institutionalized for sustainability. As we move to practice new behaviors, we also need to identify the resisting forces that impede doing things differently. Four topics are useful for sustainability. These are resistance analysis, stakeholder analysis from a sustainability perspective, roles, and responsibilities or RACI (Responsible, Accountable, Informed, and Consulted), and communications. These were discussed in Chapter 2 and examples were provided.

 
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