People-centred approach gives government department tools to nurture change
Our client, a local government department, established a change management office in 2018 to support its far-reaching transformation activities in response to employee feedback that change could be better managed in-house. With a recent survey indicating just 34% employee satisfaction with change management, the office’s primary focus was to provide advice and guidance for a number of programs to rapidly improve change delivery and employees’ experience of change, and to increase change capability across the organisation. The client sought support from Blue Seed for a series of change design workshops intended to help Program Managers create initiatives with people at the forefront. The main objective was to achieve stakeholder alignment, as well as develop a change strategy that would set each Program Manager up for success. The client also requested a change assurance approach to give the Executive Leadership Team the confidence to endorse its decisions, as leaders needed certainty that change management activities would improve employee experience and minimise business disruption through the transition. In all aspects of delivery, we needed to provide an approach that was flexible enough to meet each project’s differing needs but also consistent enough to be repeatable; we also had to be able to accommodate rapidly changing organisational needs and shift focus quickly when needed.
As a result of the change design workshops, relevant change strategies were developed with each Program Manager reporting that the process was invaluable in identifying key risks and opportunities and providing practical guidance on how to manage them. Throughout the process, the workshop and strategy approach was refined before being combined as a full document suite to support the end-to-end process, including a guidance document to enable the organisation to continue to deliver it independently of Blue Seed. Importantly, the approach could be used flexibly, with the required sections clearly outlined as well as those which could be adjusted according to the program’s specific needs. The change assurance approach we developed outlined a two-step process of document review, followed by deeper analysis and assessment of specific areas. This offered a predictable framework to focus attention and effort on the key areas of risk.
As a result of Blue Seed’s engagement, the client now has a flexible and repeatable approach which can be delivered independently to support Program Managers in the early stages of program design that boosts the chance of successfully achieving organisational outcomes. This is further supported by the pragmatic but rigorous change assurance approach that identifies any residual people risks, offers advice to address these, and ultimately gives the executive leadership confidence that change programs will not cause unnecessary business disruption or negative employee experience.