Effective mobilisation can save valuable time and cost at the start, and help ensure sustained uplift in performance of change delivery.
Whatever happened to mobilisation of change programmes? All of our colleagues at Project One have been working in business change for many years, and we have noted a marked reduction in attention to mobilisation. Is this inadvertent or deliberate, and does it matter?
The case for mobilising effectively
In the last blog, we talked about the importance of firm foundations for transformation, the cornerstones. Mobilisation is the equivalent of a pre-flight check undertaken by a pilot, and it should leverage those cornerstones. The purpose is to ensure readiness for a long and challenging journey ahead; to twist an old adage, ‘fail to prepare; prepare to fail’.
It’s hard to be sure why mobilisation often now seems to be overlooked, or at least skinnied to a minimum at the start of the transformation journey. Blame may reside with methodologies, like PRINCE, that emphasise a sensible set of artefacts and controls, without stressing how to prepare. Or it may be simply that the value of mobilisation isn’t recognised, whilst the cost is. Perhaps it’s a lack of senior management attention with a ‘JFDI’ approach; and occasionally we have seen clients simply rushing to deliver a solution that has been oversold to them – even the best products don’t just deliver themselves!
Without mobilisation, your programme team will be organising and aligning whilst in flight, by which time attention should be on the road ahead. Aspects of preparation that have been overlooked will become snags, and all the while the ‘meter’ is running on your expensive resources.
Different situations require different degrees of mobilisation, and whilst not every aspect of change readiness needs to be locked down before your programme goes live, there is often a minimum standard that ought to be met, for example:
- Is the purpose of your change understood and aligned to business strategy, and appropriately championed? Is there a clear and exciting vision?
- Are the benefits and objectives of the transformation clear?
- Are roles clear and agreed?
- Are the approach, plans and controls understood with a focused and effective governance established?
- Have you agreed ways of working with business sponsors/SMEs, suppliers and key third parties?
- How is mobilisation success judged – do you have defined entry and exit criteria?
Whilst every project may be different an effective approach to mobilisation that can be re-adapted can save valuable time and cost at the start, and help ensure sustained uplift in performance of change delivery. It’s also important to ‘remobilise’ periodically on longer programmes.
At Project One, whether as part of our core delivery, or as part of our Change Capability service, we have the tools and techniques required to help you plan and prepare your change so that you don’t jump the gun, but you do prepare quickly and well for the tricky journey ahead. Fail to prepare; prepare to fail: is that something you and your change can afford?
Have you seen our insight – Mobilising Change Programmes – I’ve started so i’ll finish?