When planning for a change you need reflective and purposeful steps. This change may be personal and / or professional. I am not recommending a total development and then launch. As I have written about before, when you feel over 70% certain GO! the rest will fall into place. As Alan Weiss says “We need success not perfection”. Additionally breaking Macro-Decisions into Micro-Decisions will result in greater motivation and ability to be agile in your leadership of the change process.
Below is a process of planning for a change. Before and while involved on projects and exploring areas of challenges with existing clients I often look to this chart.
By setting a model for you to place objective thoughts into. As a leader you will be better equipped to determine areas of success and which areas to proceed into next with your Micro-Decisions.
The questions below I created to serve a group with project planning.
Here are questions (by no means comprehensive) that will serve you in thinking through, planning, and making successful action steps for a change.
Planning a Change Question Sheet
- What is the purpose?
- Who will it affect? How?
- Why is it important to your team? The organization/business/community?
- What made you decide that this is important?
- Did you ask your team for input? If so how and what was their input? If not, why not?
- How will this change affect the staff? Those you serve (clients, customers, vendors, suppliers, supervisor(s), etc…)? You as a leader?
- Describe the ideal state…Describe the current state…How will you achieve the ideal state?
- In what ways might the staff and your existing skill set be useful for the change?
- What new skills will be needed?
- How will you accomplish training these new skills?
- Explain, in detail the necessary skill set for completion of change (if multiple people have/need multiple skills, list the key responsibilities of the change and the necessary skill sets for success)
- What skills will you as leader(s) need for implementation of the vision?
- How can the Leadership team partner with you to enable completion?
Incentives – Explain your plan to move your team and yourself towards completion of this change
- Why should we work towards this change?
- How is this change relevant? Now? In the future?
- Identify the resistors to the change.
- What will keep you, as the leader motivated?
- How will you continue to keep the team focused?
- How will you measure success and failure?
- What steps will you take to reward success and re-direct unmotivated team members?
Resources – Explain what you have and what you need
- What kind of budget will be available?
- How much time is needed?
- Explain how this change will be delegated to staff members.
- What will be the steps for follow-up and accountability?
- What resource do you currently have available (list everything from paperwork to people to machines to policies – the more explicit you are in what you have the better your completion will be)
- What resources will you need (list everything from paperwork to people to machines to policies – the more explicit you are in what you need the better your completion will be)
- In what ways may you secure these needs?
Action Plan – Explain in detail what you are going to do and how it will get done
- Re-visit your Vision – and break the change into steps.
- What are the steps for completion?
- Goal (Quality, Quantity, Time Frame, Resources) – What is the 1st step for completion?
- Strategy – In what ways might you implement a strategy for completion of the 1st step?
- Objective – How will you know that you have completed the 1st step?
- Responsibility – Who’s going to accomplish the objective?
- Timeline – When is the implementer going to accomplish that objective?
- Feedback and Evaluation – Who and how is the implementer going to know if they accomplished good or bad work on their objective?
- How do you plan for a change?
- What existing processes do you / team / organization have in place for reflective thought?
- Would this system work for plans outside of change? what would be different?
- Describe how this applies to your current practice / life?
– Michael Cardus