Thursday, September 02, 2010
Help! No One Is Following Our Processes!
I Just Don’t Understand Why They Don’t See The Value!
We did everything by the book and We thought for sure this would work.
- The CIO stood up and declared that she/he believes
- We sent everyone to ITIL Training
- We engaged knowledgeable consultants
- We developed process design teams with participation from key stakeholders
- We had creative communication sessions
- We conducted proof of concept pilots, focus groups, process testing workshops
- We delivered quick wins and small improvements to show people we were on the right track
- We designed and executed a brilliant marketing campaign
- We purchased a great ITSM Service Management Software
- We trained all key stakeholders on our new processes
Why then is there no real adoption or compliance to the new Process?!!!
Interesting question, can you relate?
Apparently many organizations are in the same boat. This week alone I spoke to three quite different companies with this specific challenge.
Now to be clear, all of the points above are necessary and the right things to do when you are tackling a major transformation project. However all of that is not sufficient to ensure the organization follows the process after you go live and disband the project team.
The item missing from this list comes down to Professor John Kotter’s 8th Step for Managing Organizational Change “Anchoring new approaches in the culture” from his well known books “Leading Change” and the “Heart of Change”
- Establishing a sense of urgency
- Creating the guiding coalition
- Developing a vision and strategy
- Communicating the change vision
- Empowering broad-based action
- Generating short-term wins
- Consolidating gains and producing more change
- Anchoring new approaches in the culture
Without that last step in the Kotter model the result of all your work comes to naught leaving you (and the rest of IT management) frustrated and disappointed.
In the end, this last step may well be the most critical to your transformation activities. You have to find the courage and organizational will to transcend silos, create new governance/ownership structures, new roles and personal performance measures that will ensure that Executives, Managers and Staff feel personally accountable to actually change their behaviour and practice the new methods.
When you address these critical success factors for anchoring the new approach at a personal level for every individual in your organization you will get real change. Oh, the more positively inclined and cooperative people will get your message and intuitively understand why the new process is better. However it probably means more work for them and they will willing follow the process until during a stressful moment they are forced to make decisions about what to do and what to drop.
Unless the individuals / departments and organizations believe they are being measured and held accountable for the process in a real and tangible way that actually has consequences, they will resort to the path of least resistance when deciding about how they operate and what work they will prioritize.
This inability to establish the organizational capability to deploy the process is one of the key impediments to success that we hear over and over again, and is a key finding of the research we did in 2008 and 2011.
Moving people to change their current practices takes effort on many levels. In one sense you need to engineer out of the organization any potential legitimate excuse for non compliance. A topic I explore in greater depth in the following article: Employee Compliance A Key Factor For ITIL Process Adoption
So, if you are on an IT Service Management journey and you look back on your efforts and are asking “Why is there no real adoption or compliance to the new Process?” , the chances are that you have not created the necessary organizational structures, governance roles and performance measurement systems to motivate people to believe that this is a change that benefits them as well as the organization and that they have to follow the processes or suffer the consequences.
Ask yourself, “What are the real consequences of not following that process you worked so hard to establish?”
Build it and they will come only works in fantasy movies like “Field of Dreams”
You can have the world’s best process design and a great IT Service Management tool and people will still not choose to change and follow your process unless you have anchored your new approaches into the culture with personal accountability.
Troy’s Thoughts What Are Yours
PS: Make sure you check out the comments for this article from several of Pink’s most experienced Executive Consultants.
“Experience has taught us that men will not adopt and carry into execution measures the best calculated for their own good without the intervention of a coercive power” ~George Washington