Involvement Plan

In the book, Bare Bones Change Management: What you shouldn’t not do, Bob Lewis explained the seven must-have elements for any change management effort to have a chance of succeeding. Here are my takeaways from one of the topics discussed in the book.

Bob talked about business changes involve two groups of people, the perpetrators, and the victims. The perpetrators are not necessarily evil – it just so happens that the perpetrators dish out the changes while the victims receive them.

To succeed in delivering change projects and have the business change or transform, stakeholder analysis is crucial. Bob recommended having an involvement plan.

Bob defined four levels of involvement: Perform, Approve, Consult, and Inform (PACI). Involvement plans have two parts: 1) a list of responsibilities and decisions, and 2) the PACI assignments.

Perform means doing the actual work of an assigned task. Be mindful of who needs to perform a task for a sensitive part of a change. Some alternative techniques may be necessary such as assumed delegation, buddying up, or harmless involvement.

The Approve role creates opportunities for derailing the project, slowing down decision-making, creating critics, and demoralizing the performers. Delegate this role carefully and gather approvals along the way with no surprises to anyone.

The Consult role can give people a sense of involvement without the decision-making authority to sidetrack the effort. “Consult widely.”

Carefully sequence and execute the information delivery tasks in your change plan. Make sure no stakeholders are left behind and not informed of a crucial piece of change.

When selling the involvement plan, always 1) obtain approval from the stakeholder’s manager before putting the stakeholder down on the plan, 2) assign the stakeholders to the slot where they can best perform, and 3) make clear who needs to make decisions and obtain a commitment for quick turnarounds.

Finally, incorporate the involvement plan into the project plan for timely execution and monitoring.