Implementing and Embedding the Change
A Business Users' Group - members of delivery teams around CPD - was set up at the start of the process and, at one of the first meetings, a Senior Project Manager asked, "... this is the fourth time in seven years that we have been in a room like this with people like you telling us to change. How is this any different?"
Any major change of this nature that affects the working lives of thousands of people needs three elements:
- A clear rationale (from the P3M3 assessments),
- A good product (the PMF - developed with widespread user consultation) and
- Sufficient management support to see through the embedment phase which involves significant training, communication and support to users. To succeed, the implementation and embedment of the PMF could not be an initiative that would be released and then not supported.
Within four weeks of initial release in July 2009, there had been 90 unique briefing events ranging from small teams to groups of more than 100. Then, over more than a year, came the hundreds of 1:1 interactions between members of the Embedment team and individuals in the business - mostly sitting with people at their desks.
A target of October 2010 was set as the date at which the various programmes / business units making up CPD would be wholly in ownership of the PMF and its processes - leaving the corporate team to continue to work with users on improvement. This was achieved. A Director of the assessor organization stated, "Few companies maintain the momentum of change that LU has achieved. Moving up one level in maturity is not uncommon, but moving up almost 3 levels is very rare. The improvements in the way things are done are huge."
The necessity to maintain a single-minded focus on embedment cannot be emphasized enough. London Underground had the wisdom to maintain the investment to drive through the full cycle of change from initial diagnosis to radical development, embedment and now continuous improvement. As a well-known writer on change management once commented, "the front end of change is for the rock star. This is where the rewards and recognition lie. This is where most human resources management systems provide reinforcement. But the back side, or late stage of change, is different. It's for the roadie. Indeed, most of the incentives have dried up, the thrill is gone and it comes down to grinding discipline and unrecognized and inglorious execution to take the initiative the distance."
This initiative has, so far, answered the challenge posed by the Senior Project Manager at the start: it has been different because it has kept on going to complete the task.