Business Change & Best Practice Needn’t Be Puzzling

Imagine your business as a jigsaw with each jigsaw piece being a business function.

Each piece has an important part to play in the overall success of the organisation and all pieces need to fit and work together in harmony in order to create the ideal ‘big picture’ that’s required for the business to operate effectively. However, over time, the pieces can get a little worn, considerably out of shape or even completely broken, meaning a piece of the business is no longer fitting in properly and consequently obscuring the big picture.

So, if one or more pieces of your organisation stands out from the big picture because it either no longer fits in properly, meets its requirements or works how it should, what should you do for the sake of your business? You should CHANGE it to make it fit-for-purpose.

A business can’t retain the status quo forever. Change is inevitable if a business is to compete and prosper. Pressures due to business demands, competitor activity, out of date IT systems as well as changes in rules, regulations and legislation can all make it necessary to change the effected parts of a business.  Sometimes new opportunities arise which can trigger a required change within the business. If nothing is ever changed, then the pieces of the jigsaw won’t do what they were designed to, meaning they no longer fit and/or function properly with the rest of the pieces. Essentially, you need to keep each piece in just the right shape for the bigger picture to remain looking good, run smoothly without any ‘disjointed’ pieces and for the business to realize the ongoing benefits of doing so.

How Can Best Management Practice Help To Build And Sustain The Bigger Picture of your Jigsaw?

For Managing a Single Change – PRINCE2®:

If one piece (or business function), needs changing in order to meet business objectives, then the change should be justified using a Business Case and project managed using a professional best management practice approach, such as PRINCE2®.  PRINCE2 will help to ensure the requirements of the change are delivered on time, to agreed cost and that all the outputs from the project are fit for purpose and therefore capable of delivering the outcomes and benefits expected by the business, thus making the piece of jigsaw, once again, fit and work efficiently within the bigger picture.

For Managing Multiple Unrelated Changes – PRINCE2®:

If a few pieces (or business functions), need changing but for different reasons and are being carried out to help achieve various, yet unrelated business objectives, then the change to each piece should be justified with a Business Case and separately project managed using the PRINCE2 method.

For Managing a Collection of Related Changes – MSP®:

If several pieces need changing for the same reasons, i.e. to help the business meet the same longer-term strategic objective, then they should be managed as a unit, as a collection of ‘related’ projects, delivered as a programme of strategic change and managed using MSP® (Managing Successful Programmes) method. Each project would be individually justified with a Business Case and managed using PRINCE2. However, the collection of projects would need to be managed as a unit (a programme), using MSP. Each project output is transitioned into the business in such a way that it ensures the business outcomes and benefits are realized, thus introducing the changes required too many pieces of the jigsaw in order for the big picture to work and the business to continue to prosper longer term.

For Prioritising & Ensuring Maximum Benefits Realization from All Changes – MoP®:

All of the projects and programmes (the totality of business change) delivering multiple changes to numerous pieces of the jigsaw would be considered a ‘portfolio’. All of the change initiatives would need to be properly resourced and prioritised in terms of how they will best contribute to building the jigsaw in the most effective way. Why start changing a piece of the jigsaw if you don’t have the resource capacity to do so and why change it if there’s another piece which, if changed, would better benefit the bigger picture, i.e., is it best to have a side piece of the jigsaw missing, or a centre piece? Managing such a portfolio of change would be handled by the MoP® (Management of Portfolios) method.

For a Decision Enabling/Delivery Support Structure for All Changes – P30®:

If you have a lot of pieces of jigsaw to change over a long period of time and feel you should have a team of support staff to help enable better decision-making through the effective administration and co-ordination of the portfolio, projects and programmes being undertaken to deliver all of your business change initiatives, this would require the P30® (Portfolio, Programme and Project Offices) method.

And What About the ‘What If’s’? – M_o_R®:

If there is uncertainty, (which there normally is in every business), within one or more business functions (or jigsaw pieces) then this should be treated and managed as risk, using the M_o_R® (Management of Risk) guidance. Risk can be defined as ‘an uncertain event which, should it occur, would have and impact on objectives’. The goal is to identify the risks, assess them and control them in order to minimize the chances of issues arising and maximize the ability of the business (each piece of the jigsaw) to fit together and operate as effectively as possible. Risk management applies from the longer-term strategic, medium-term programmes and projects and shorter-term operational perspectives.

Richard is the lead PRINCE2 trainer at SPOCE Project Management and runs many of our classroom and virtual classroom courses. If you are interested in finding out more about project success and the fundamentals of planning then why not contact us.

About SPOCE

SPOCE Project Management Limited is a global leader in delivering best practice training for project programme and risk management. They offer a wide range of courses which can be tailored to suit any form of training need. For example, public courses, virtual classroom, e-Learning and client workshops.  SPOCE is the flagship training provider for PRINCE2 and MSP and were APMGs first-ever’ training provider.

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