What is the biggest factor in the success/failure of a competency project? The technology? The quality and relevancy of the competency frameworks that you use? It may surprise you to hear that as a software and competency framework provider, our answer at Lexonis is ‘no’, they are critical but they are not the biggest factor. When asked by clients, my answer every time is “executive sponsorship and good change management practice”.
All too often I find that good change management techniques are either overlooked or limited to some light touch communications. The result is that the project appears to have little alignment with the organisation’s business objectives and critically, no buy-in from the project’s key stakeholders.
Let me elloborate…sponsorship is not just about having a senior figurehead, someone who sends and signs off communication emails. My experience is that sponsorship management is a real business skill and needs to be visible right from the start of a project, then through and beyond implementation.
At Lexonis, we place a lot of importance on supporting our clients to engage active and visible sponsorship and helping them to achieve the objectives of their change management strategy. To that end, earlier this year I formalised my change management experience by qualifying as a Prosci Change Management Practitioner; the methodology aligns well with our existing engagement and change methods and techniques, and incorporates the ADKAR Model. Here are the 5 key techniques that are included in this model:
- Awareness of the need for change
- Desire to participate and support the change
- Knowledge of how to change
- Ability to implement the change on a day to day basis
- Reinforcement to keep the change in place / make it stick
To help build Awareness we provide samples and templates for early communications, to help with sponsorship support and management; suggestions for engaging managers and supervisors as change leaders as part of a sponsorship coalition. We also demonstrate how the Lexonis tools can provide ready access to information, important for moving onto creating Desire to support the change.
There are a range of Knowledge, skills and behaviours that individuals, supervisors and managers will need, in order to adopt the change; understanding the process and using the Lexonis system included. We provide learning and development support using a range of methods, from workshops to video tutorials, that can be integrated into an organisation’s plan for upskilling and knowledge transfer. Naturally, as part of that, we share a plethora of lessons learned and sample materials that can be adapted to help our clients develop Ability across stakeholders and impacted groups.
We know that developing the right change management strategy has many dependencies which will differ for each organisation and for each specific project. We invest time speaking with our clients about the outcomes of any impact and readiness assessments, and the resistance that they are likely to encounter. We share with clients anecdotes and lessons we have gained from our long experience of implementing skills and competency projects and introducing new software – they often express their appreciation when we help them to develop their ‘resistance management plan’.
An additional facet for the project team to consider is how to get the change to stick, so that change adoption becomes habitual as the celebration of their successes occur. It’s a continuous programme of work in a good change management strategy which we recognise as an absolutely critical part of our consultancy provision.
As you can see, there are numerous ways in which we support our clients and help them to demonstrate how their skills and competency project is reaping the benefits originally envisioned for employees, managers and senior leadership teams. The impact of this work should never be under-estimated, remember – it’s the biggest factor in the success or failure of your competency project!
If you would like to find out how Lexonis can help you with your competency initiatives contact us.