Building a compelling case for change

You have been given a problem to solve or an objective to achieve. You have developed your strategy; you know what needs to happen – why doesn’t everyone else? 



Never assume it is obvious 


After days, weeks or even months of wrestling with the challenge, you finally have the answer – this is what we need to change as an organisation! You eagerly start to engage with other parts of the business to discuss how to get started, but for some reason people do not seem that interested. There is no sense of urgency, they book you in for a meeting in a month’s time! The problem – they might not understand why they need to act. Just because the reason for the change is obvious to you, you must remember this is going to be new to some people. So how do you address this? 



Get everyone on the same page  


  1. Firstly, make the time to get everyone to the same point of understanding about the change: the following four steps will you help to achieve this: 1. Explain why the change is required Take yourself back to when you were first presented with the challenge. What was the rationale? Is your cost-base too high? Are you looking to increase revenue share? Do you need to invest in your core technology platform? Are you getting left behind in the digital environment? Whatever the reason, start creating your case for change by capturing the rationale for initiating the programme or project
  2. Outline what will happen without the change: a powerful way of reinforcing the message is to capture the impact if there is no change. Will profit margins be squeezed to the point where the business is no longer sustainable? Are you going to lose revenue share by not keeping up with your competitors? Whatever the reasons, sometimes people relate to potential negatives around their current environment, which in turn helps them imagine the positives of a future state
  3. Describe what the change will deliver: to increase engagement, present a vision of what the future organisation looks like, considering the individual stakeholder groups and describing how the change will impact them. What will be different in terms of the ways in which people work or the technology they use? Articulate the objectives of the change alongside a summary of expected outcomes. Provide people with a picture they can relate to and start to engage with
  4. Set out what the change will involve: Having established the vision and convinced people the change is required; the next step is to talk about how the change will be achieved. What types of activities need to be initiated and who will be involved? Manage expectations by producing a roadmap that shows the timeline over which the change will be introduced. Sustainable change does not happen overnight, and people need to understand the process and effort that lies ahead of them. Presenting a compelling case for change should motivate stakeholders to get on board and start to take ownership of the projects and activities that will deliver the change. 


Build confidence that the investment will deliver Secondly, build on the foundation of shared understanding by detailing how the change will make a tangible difference to the organisation. Again, four simple steps will help with this: 


  1. Develop a compelling business case: having laid the foundation discussed above, the next step is to capture the output in a comprehensive business case, providing confidence that the change is going to be delivered
  2. Cover all the bases: the business case should be all-encompassing, covering the initial challenge and rationale through to the end-goal and the expected benefit, value, or return. There should be an outline of the proposed solution, detailing impacts on people, process and technology
  3. Describe the how: the implementation process should be documented, including a summary of the key risks and how these might be mitigated. Who is responsible for delivering the change and what support will they need? If third parties are involved how do the roles and responsibilities split between the organisations? 
  4. Capture the finances: a key element of the business case is the costs and benefits. How much investment is needed and when? What level of return will this deliver and how will it be realised? How will the benefits be measured and who is accountable for delivering them? 


Follow our advice and you will create a compelling case for change that will provide a strong platform to build upon as you shape, mobilise and execute your transformation. 



Do you need change expertise? 


At Project One, we help and support many of our customers to create a compelling case for change to support their strategic ambitions. It is a critical part of a successful change journey and one which lays the vital foundations for success. Our team of change experts have years of experience in helping our customers through every step of their journey. If you would like to discuss your challenges and how we can help, please get in touch.


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