As a consultant, I have been assigned to several challenging IT change projects. For instance, where the projects started but could not move past the inception phase. In some cases, 2 to 5 project managers will have passed before me but the project goes in a circle until no one in the organization wants to lead it or even hear about it anymore.
In some cases, the project moves up to the development or integration phase, but only after skipping the phases that presented too big of obstacles. It may continue until being stopped further due to either poor quality, too high load of defects, lack of involvement of part of the organization, or by the lack of decision making. In some cases, it is all of the above. Then there are organizations that may be extremely busy but are not achieving the organization or project goals.
Change is a complex process and has an order to follow. Not following the order or skipping phases creates greater challenges to overcome.
If you reach that space where the challenges get intertwined, the best way to respond to the resistance is to stop enforcing the change. Changing the project leader does not solve the issue, either.
Here is an example of the flow to help move the organization forward.
Acknowledge the forces that lead to change and use them as fuel.
Assess the current phase, the context, and identify the top 3 to 5 key challenges.
Create a COMPLETE strategic plan.
Restore and re-phase the context.
Progress with the appropriate transformative strategy implementation.
Improve with continuous transformation and acknowledgment.
Maintain the transformation.
Often, organizations go in circles because they decide to skip or not complete some of these steps, especially steps 1, 3 and 4.
Find out how you can help your organization move forward with change, whether it is a small project or a strategic governance program implementation.