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Milestone Presentations in Change Management

Change management is one of the most challenging aspects of being a manager. Combine this with the expectation of continuous improvement and a general lack of training for new managers, and it’s no surprise that many change initiatives underperform.

As management consultants, one of the complaints we often hear when we’re discussing organizational change is that “we’ve tried that in the past, but it didn’t stick”. This article will explore this negative outcome to understand the root cause of sustainability issues in project environments.

In the early stages of a continuous improvement initiative, it’s important to identify influencers within the project team who are capable, open to change, and respected by the group. They will be integral to the sustainability of the project, and should take an active role both in identifying challenges and in coming up with potential solutions.

Regular status reports and executive updates are a staple of project governance. Trindent’s approach goes one step further and includes three milestone presentations:

  • Roadmap: aligns the group on both benefits and approach and details how we’re going to “cash the check”;
  • Blueprint: gets commitment from the staff to the changes, and in sustaining them;
  • Results Summary: celebrates results and highlights the work that went into them.

Of these three, the Blueprint milestone is entirely presented by the client, with no input from the Trindent team. What’s involved in a Blueprint presentation? There are four sections:

  • Historical: a review of the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) that the engagement is targeting; that is, the metrics that are being affected by the changes;
  • Current State: a review of the Process and systems prior to the engagement; that is, how things were;
  • Blueprint: the current Process, System, and Behaviors; that is, how things are now and how they are going to be;
  • Future: tying the Blueprint Process, Systems, and Behaviors back to the results in the form of both financial and operational metrics, as well as providing Critical Factors for Sustainability.

The purpose of this milestone is to signify the official transfer of ownership of the improvements and drive accountability within employees. This is further reinforced with the attendance of project sponsors and company executives. For project team members, this is a great opportunity to highlight their successes and gain exposure to senior leadership.

In summary, the Blueprint describes the state of an organization when an engagement begins, the nature and impact of improvements, and where these changes will ultimately lead in terms of operational and financial results. What makes it a powerful milestone is that the team leading the changes is responsible to present them to their peers and superiors. This is an important milestone in Trindent’s structured, effective approach to profit improvement – and a personal favorite.

Contact us today to learn more about how our approach to solving complex problems can benefit your organization.

The author of this article, David Kerry is a senior engagement manager at Trindent Consulting.