Influencing for Results

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Project Management for Business Transformation

by Conrado Morlan

When I started working for a leading global logistics company, I had to wait about three months to get my first regional program assigned. The program, which is still in the works, includes the deployment of a new centralized billing system — including changes to processes and reporting — across 50 countries and territories.

I did not dread the wait. Instead, I made the most of my time and began networking. I started to meet — in person or via teleconference — with people across the regions in which the system would be deployed.

This helped me build a strong foundation with cross-functional stakeholders across the region. I also got information in advance that helped me to draft my stakeholder engagement plan.

When the billing system inevitably changed, I had to perform support for each individual country’s CEO, CFO, CIO and human resources team to help them understand the new features, the improved processes, the consolidated reports and ultimately the benefits.

The program plans and benefits were discussed and approved during an annual strategy meeting with all of the individual country CEOs, CFOs, CIOs and human resources teams in attendance. However, I still faced difficulties with the deployment in those first few countries.  

In the pre-implementation meetings, I had to reiterate the benefits of the program and why it was needed. I had to answer questions and provide solid arguments to justify the tradeoffs between the new and old billing system.

But I used these difficulties to refine my stakeholder engagement plan as I moved to the next country. Understanding the source of change and the stakeholders’ motivations helped me become a better change agent and provide better support during the program implementation.

For the early adopters, it took about three to four months to mature their operation and fully adopt the new system. It was a rough start. But after two months of having the new billing system running, country executives have started to accept the new way of operating.

To build credibility and engage executives from the remaining countries, I asked early adopting executives to share their story and the benefits of the new system.

With this program, I learned how important it is to be an influencer and to build strong arguments that will convince stakeholders to accept projects and programs that change their business-as-usual practices.

What difficulties have you faced when implementing significant change? How did you get buy-in?

Posted by Conrado Morlan on: February 01, 2018 12:40 PM | Permalink

Comments (16)

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Good lessons learned post!
I'm currently working on an important program and I already need to face change management issues and that is one of the most difficult part to handle with.
Thanks for sharing your experience!

Good article, and thanks for sharing.
I think the key here is to understand the true nature of resistance and allow the people to participate in making the change. Also, make sure they recognize the need for change and to search for new solutions.

Good article Conrado!

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
Albert Einstein
Organizations grow and evolve, this evolution triggers changes and sometimes it can be challenging to adapt to changes by management, middle managers and even employees. Big question is how to introduce the change with minimum resistance and extracting maximum benefits. Communicating the benefits of change, involving stakeholders, removing obstacles and a supporting culture for managing change can be helpful for seamless transformation and introducing change.
Thank you Conrado for sharing great article.

Nice story, Conrado. We appreciate hearing about your experiences.

The main challange for me is to change the random methods of work to systematic approach.
Rushing to executing without planning is big No No for me

Thank you very much

I am supporting a huge revenue capture interface with encounter coding system while sustaining the legacy system across the globe. I have found that building influence comes from changing them, they, and those to us by being willing to take on new roles, responsibilities, and skillsets to become the lynchpin in the organizational culture that bridges systems, business, and people.

1. Why? A very critical question to answer on any change. 2. Be transparent. The people in the organization are smart so it is very helpful to point out the pros and cons of the change as they also need to prep themselves. 3. Listen. The organization will be more receptive to the change if they are part of it, their feedback and inputs are welcomed. 4. Execute improvements. The change is not perfect, make sure you continuously assess the impact of the change to business objectives, process, people and tools then have the willingnesd to change or improve as well. 5. Communicate, communicate and communicate.

Great Post. Thanks for Sharing!

Great article, thank you for sharing!

Thanks for sharing

Thanks for sharing such a great information related to change which affect on the overall project and it's operations. I also appreciate the way you handle the change effectively.

Thanks for sharing great insights. I think key is the maximum amount of benefits (tangible & intangible) - convenience - to be identified and showed vividly to all stakeholders. That delta of benefits (between new and old) will be the driver for change.

nice points! People follow people so the right champion to sell the vision of the new world is key to the success of any change

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