The Blueprint - What Actually is the Point of All This Change? Why Are You Doing it?

So let's be absolutely clear about this - precisely why are you are you embarking on all this change? What actually is the point? How's it all going to be different after your proposed changes - and why should we go along with it then??

In considering any step change initiative - in any organisation, in any sector and any location, we need to be asking and seeking answers to these simple questions:

- How am I going to manage all this so that it happens and I succeed?

- How's it going to be different when I've made the change?

- Why am I doing this - how's it going to benefit me?

- How will I know it's benefited me?

- Who's it going to affect and how will they react?

- What can I do to get them "on side"?

- What steps do I have to take to make the changes and get the benefit?

- What are the risks and issues that I'll have to face?

The Blueprint is just a fancy term for a description of how your organisation is going to look after the step change.

As you create a change programme, the more detail and clarity you have about this, the greater the chance you have of being able to communicate it to your staff and customers - and the higher the possibility that you will actually achieve it.

I often ask people directors how they envisage their organisation looking after the change - and all too often the answers are fairly vague - or expressed in terms of "bigger", "better", "closer to customers", "more efficient / profitable / cash flow..." etc.

You need to know precisely:

- How?

- Where?

- When?

- Why?

...The changed organisation will be different.

The Blueprint is a clear, defined documentation of your changed organisation - after the completion of the Programme and the delivery of the benefits.

In other words - this is the capability - and the "where we want to be" - that you described in the Pre Programme Review and Planning process. It is used actively in a structured manner to maintain focus on the delivery of the new capability throughout the duration of your Programme. It takes the review process further and provides a detailed description of what the changed organisation looks like in terms of:

- Organisation structure, staffing levels, roles and skill requirements necessary to support the future business operations

- Cultural changes and the specific definitions, characteristics, actions and behaviours that will define the new or changed culture

- Business models of the new functions, processes and operations

- Information systems, tools, equipment, buildings, required for the future business operations

- The data required for the future business operations

- Costs, performance and service levels for the support required for the future business operations

With the possible exception of the "Benefits Profile" [i.e. the definition of the benefits of your change initiative], the Blueprint is the single most important document in your whole change initiative.

If you don't know what it's going to look like - how on earth will you know when you've got there?

And even more to the point - how can you expect your people to buy-in to and fully support your change initiative?

Author:.

Equip yourself to avoid the 70% failure rate of all change initiatives with the Practitioners' Masterclass - Leading your people through change, putting it all together and managing the whole messy business."

Stephen Warrilow, based in Bristol, works with companies across the UK providing specialist support to directors delivery significant change initiatives. St...

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