But what does it mean for me?!

The first thing that a person’s going to do, when they are told something’s going to happen to their work – whether it’s a new office, a change in seating plan, a new piece of software, phone, whatever – is ask themself “how is this going to affect me personally”. It really doesn’t matter how something is ‘sold’ to them, how it’s better for the business, it’s going to help make savings, be more competitive, make life easier… a person is going to continue being suspicious (until they are told) “but what does it mean for me”.  And it’s amazing how few people ask that question out loud to the right person, they frequently mull it over and water-cooler it…

Handled badly (not through malice, but from not recognising this unavoidable consequence of change – response), suspicion and a will for the project to fail will prevail. Logically, why would people embrace a new anything if they have no reason yet to believe it will not cause them harm. I work in IT at the moment – the team develop systems which are cost effective because they make processes streamlined, self- fullfilling and reduce paper-based / labour intensive tasks. So, it’s very possible that the software we roll out WILL make some of the day to day practices redundant this point ….tasks…..

It’s a perfect opportunity to inspire staff – e.g. ” when we make the repetitive, boring jobs automated, you’re going to have time to do those really challenging, career-progressing tasks that we keep talking about but somehow never find the time to arrange. How about we start thinking about those and getting you trained up?”  See how different that is from a person being expected to embrace the software that does the work they currently do most of the time? Suddenly, it’s not just the tasks which feel redundant…

In summary – projects, by definition,  bring about change, and change has the potential to be amazing. Failure to explain the change and fast-forward to the world where the change is in place and fill in the gaps for those at the receiving end of the change is not only insensitive, but is also bound to affect the enthusiasm with which projects are received.

Isn’t it better to plan for amazing rather than insensitivity and a lack of enthusiasm, surely? You’ve just got to fastforward a little and think like the end user thinks.


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