Managing Resistance to Change
- • Resistance to change is a deep-seated complex issue that should be addressed at the beginning of the project. Resistance is not always about the project. You must understand the organization and the operational issues impacting the business. Make sure to select the right time to suggest the project - think both tactically and strategically.
- • Consider the types of resistance associated with the project. Employees might be cynical of the project because they have seen other projects that have failed or did not live up to the promoted expectations. Some employees might distrust the organization's leaders because of labor issues or perceived problems with pay and benefits. The leaders might doubt the project and offer resistance because it is safer to resist the project than to take a chance on the project failing or changing a dynamic that is beneficial to the leader.
- • The empowerment of the workforce is critical to successful change. Promote involvement, creativity, seek ideas (i.e., comments and feedback) from the employees, and recognize achievements. Develop the "vested interest" concept of building support for the project.
- • Effective change is attributable to the employees, not the managers. Managers provide the resources, structure, and guidance throughout the change initiative. However, the employees must willingly participate in the change to see success.
- • Recognize the feedback from employees that help improve the change initiative. Feedback is a great way to build the involvement of employees and show that they are essential to the success of the project/program. The manager should spread the credit for success - the manager is not the key component for success; the employees are the linchpin for success.
Author's Note: As discussed earlier, consider the root causes for resistance to change, and consider how to work with those employees resisting the change project. Many people will indicate that they are too busy to become involved in conducting BIAs. Ensuring that all of the early steps of establishing the justifications and approvals for the project will help reduce some of the resistance. It is a requirement of ISO 22301:2019 that a business continuity policy exists for the organization. Ensure that the policy is developed and published before trying to implement other aspects of the project that require employee involvement. Creating a partnership of equals allows for the building of trust that will pay dividends in the current project and future projects.
- • Organizational projects require various plans to gain support and approval to proceed. Plans allow the organizers to demonstrate the organization of the project - plans are critical to the success of the project.
- • Make sure to use the existing organizational project structure and approaches. Using existing approaches will allow the leaders to understand and feel more comfortable with the project. While the project might be innovative and transformational, try to use a known means to achieve the project goals.
- • Plans based on reliable project management approaches (e.g., the Project Management Institute Body of Knowledge Standard) are the best ways to achieve project goals. Projects must have established management structures of performance and authority, clear objectives, established and available resources, an approved budget that is reasonable, a communication plan that is associated with the change management plan, and a thorough project plan.
- • Selecting the right people for the project is critical to success. The people in the organization will determine the success of the change (i.e., the project), and they should be representative of the teams involved in the change.
- • It is also wise to consider the risks associated with the project. Identifying the risks at the beginning of the project will allow the team to address and mitigate the risks early in the planning process.
Author's Note: Initiating a change to conform to ISO 22301:2019 requires several plans (i.e., think approaches if plans are undesirable) to ensure success. Approach the plans from a straightforward perspective following everything presented in this book. For instance, document the communication plan and list each of the elements/vital methods necessary to reach the organization and communicate the critical messages. Keeping things simple will help reduce the stress involved in the project.
Momentum through Communication
- • Communication is the most critical aspect of any project because everything is dependent upon effective communications. It is necessary to develop a good communication plan that augments the change management plan.
- • Maintaining a sense of urgency and flow of activities keeps the work progressing. Maintaining the momentum of the project is essential to avoid stoppages or people losing interest in the project - plan for the continuation of the initiative and the reenergizing of the people and the activities.
- • Keep a steady flow of energy going into the initiative so that the activities maintain forward momentum.
- • Ensure to establish and maintain regular updates to management and the organization. The promotion of the project through organizational updates reminds people that the project is managed and conducted by professionals. It is necessary to keep the change initiative in organizational awareness.
- • It is wise to have a communication strategy that is grounded in a marketing perspective.
Author's Note: Consider developing a multimedia approach to communicating information. Planning and implementing ISO 22301:2019 requires considerable effort and involvement from the organization. Conducting the business impact analyses (BIA) throughout the organization or that portion of the organization that falls within the scope is time-consuming. The approach taken to conduct the BIAs will determine the amount of time. For instance, using a manual approach such as Word or Excel files will likely increase the time by a factor of four. An electronic tool will decrease time, but there is a learning curve to benefit from the tool. Demonstrate the power of the electronic approach and the internal metrics that are undoubtedly part of the application. If a manual approach is used, demonstrate the simplicity and cost savings; try to downplay the amount of time required.
Institutionalization of the Initiative
- • When the project is completed, there is often an expectation that the maintenance of the program is necessary to keep the work progressing.
- • Regular management reports on the program and periodic updates to the organization on the critical value that is generated by the program is necessary to remind people that the change initiative produced tangible results benefiting the organization.
- • A useful way to view the change process is a cycle of movement from planning through evaluation with iterative change and continuous improvement as the constants.
When attempting to conform to ISO 22301:2019, it is advisable to conduct a gap(s) analysis of the organization compared to the requirements of the standard. Figure C.l is a partial gaps analysis of clause 4 of ISO 22301:2019. It is presented as an example of how to document a gap analysis. As stated earlier, the change initiative manager should use the project management approaches used by the organization. Using established tools and approaches will resonate with senior leaders and build confidence in the project and the leadership. While implementing ISO 22301:2019 requires many plans and documents demonstrating how the standard requirements are in operation, the organization
Figure C.l Gap Analysis Considerations - Partial List (the clause requirements were quoted from ISO 22301:2019).
Figure C.2 Project Plan Example - Partial List.
might have project-oriented documentation that is appropriate. Here is a list of suggested plans for the project:
- • Project Management Plan
- • Change Management Plan
- • Communication Plan
- • Risk Management Plan
- • Resources Plan (e.g., people, budget, equipment, locations)
- • Include other organization-specific documents required for major projects
The examples in Figures C.l and C.2 are presented to illustrate the types of documents that are helpful in planning and implementing a business continuity change initiative. These figures are partial examples and do not list all of the items necessary for the gap analysis or the project plan. The development of the project plan is complex and requires a degree of experience. Requesting a project manager from the organization will facilitate the management of the project and bring a high degree of competency to developing the plan.
Author's Note: Conforming to ISO 22301:2019 is sophisticated and extremely resource-intensive. It is beneficial and necessary to develop the implementation plans of the project to ensure that the conformance is long-lasting. The standard is intended for a program and not a project. The project will require considerable organizational resources to achieve conformance. Once conformance is achieved, it is wasteful to allow the management system to degrade (i.e., become a nonconformity). It is incumbent upon the project manager to demonstrate the absolute need to maintain conformity through a robust business continuity program.