Change readiness: Large scale digital transformation

CASE STUDY 03

Change readiness for large scale digital transformation.

Large international company responsible for the rollout of an international program with many government and international stakeholders was going through a significant program scale up and digital transformation. They proactively wanted to assess the “Change Readiness” of the teams critical to both the transformation and the delivery of the program which would be scaling more than 400%.

LESSON

WHAT WE IDENTIFIED

Majority of change projects fail because organisations have not identified the teams critical to the success of the project and diagnosed any potential team resilience, and psychological safety and engagement issues.

Performing psychological safety and organisational resilience scores prior to commencing large scale projects or transformation will increase the success of the project through early identification and prediction of resourcing issues, behavioural issues and governance and systems issues.

OVERVIEW
Three concurrent transition projects were running simultaneously – significant scaling of the number of participants in the program, large scale digital transition, acquisition for new staff quadrupling the number of employees.
People plus Science conducted a Change Readiness Score, Psychological Safety Assessments of teams and an Organisational Resilience Assessment.
During these assessments we found that the two most critical teams were at a point of crisis which put the program at great risk and needed significant resource allocation and management. Team acquisition was occurring without any workforce planning or strategy which was resulting in a churn rate of new and old employees creeping from 5% to 25%. Innovation and process improvement projects had stalled. Internal communication was difficult, hard to navigate and external parties knew more than internal teams leading to frustrating customer and stakeholder experiences. Leadership was immature and underdeveloped and underprepared for new responsibilities that required more people skills than technical skills. Stakeholders were more demanding wishing to see fully documented plans and engagement strategies for multiple stakeholders.

  • Critical teams to the change process were in need of immediate intervention.
  • The program was at risk of collapse which could have caused significant fallout with national and international stakeholders.
  • WHS compliance was starting to slip and increasingly required with poor staff acquisition strategies.
  • Change readiness of old teams was initially enthusiastic with the digital transformation and the benefits to processes communicated. However lack of communication failed to identify with staff the significant changes to roles and responsibilities. i.e. They understood and agreed with the “why” however the impact on roles and responsibilities was not communicated.
  • Trust in the management team and the decision making process started to fall as communication failed across the teams implementing changes. Management failed to gain understanding of consequences and impacts of change within teams.
  • Teams were disempowered as policies and procedures were “overruled”.
  • WHS complaints started to arise from poor onboarding and a toxic blame culture started to surface.
  • Communications and change management plan tailored to the teams essential to the projects.
  • Stakeholder engagement and risk management plans established.
  • Documented roles and responsibilities.
  • New employee grievance and feedback loops established for the project.

RISKS AVERTED

Resourcing.

Forecast requirements averted resourcing crisis in two critical teams.

Decision making.

Decision making governance processes established

Leadership

Leadership mentoring and training implemented based on leadership competency framework.

People + budget blowout.

One team ignored the process and did not engage resulting in

80%

churn rate of the team

RINGING THE PROJECT TO A STANDSTILL RESULTING IN

115%

budget blowout

14 month delay

Reputation

Program reputation maintained.

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