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The art and science of scalability decisions made easy

No single attribute defines the scale of change management support required in an organizational change. Really, no single attribute is more important than another. An aggregate view is what we need to consider when making change management scalability decisions. This is the ‘art’ of change management – analyzing the hard and soft data and confidently following our gut reactions based on personal change management experience, expertise and education.

I know not everyone is comfortable or feels they have the experience to rely on the ‘art’ approach. Many look for a more ‘science’ based decision-making approach to answering the common question: “How much change management methodology do we really need to apply?”

Although it is not strictly scientific, the LaMarsh Global change management thought leadership team has developed a successful tool that assesses your change based on Six Guideline attributes and provides a more quantitative-based recommendation on how you might scale the change management effort. Applying the Change Management Scalability Guide tool will produce a spider graph similar to the one below. The data points plotted on the graph are based on your responses to items included in the tool.

Collectively, the data points plotted closest to the center point that suggest a lesser degree of change management methodology application is required. Data points farther from the center point are indicators of a complex change and the need for strong change management discipline delivered through experienced practitioners. Individual data points indicate areas of focus to ensure a successful change implementation.

Translating the scalability assessment results into actions can also be more of an art than a science. So we try to keep it simple by applying the multiple of three strategy. If we assign a Less Change Management assessment score 1 and a More Change Management score 3, you should expect to apply three times the resources and three times the rigor, expect the timeline to take three times longer, the level of leadership participation to be three times more critical and the resistance from those impacted to be three times more intense.

Be realistic. Be sensible. Be cautious. The Change Management Scalability Guide is a tool intended to provide you with greater insight and directional data. It is still your responsibility to make competent and informed decisions that will deliver the change management support and discipline necessary to achieve the intended outcomes of your desired state. If I learned one thing in my many years as a practitioner, if you don’t get it right the first time — ADJUST quickly and confidently.

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