Comfort is a quiet woman in her mid-thirties. When you were introduced to her, your first thoughts were ‘’Cool, reserved and logical.’’ You notice that when she speaks to you, her facial features are controlled and she speaks in a monotone. Also, when you’re speaking to her, she does not like to make eye contact but stares over your shoulder with a slight frown, ruminating on your words. She asks a lot of questions and prefers to influence people with a modest, low-key approach.
Comfort is the Head of the Finance Department. As your Change Sponsor, she is the first person you have to sell the vision of the new SAP FICO solution to.
As a Change Manager, what are the top 5 things you can tell her that will get her to commit to the new solution?
- 1st Message (‘’We understand you’’): An Analytical is difficult to mislead so you will need to do your research. From your Change Impact Assessment Report, distill key facts and figures about the current situation in the Department, the challenges they face with their current system and how the new solution will ameliorate these conditions. She needs to believe that you understand where she is, where she wants to be, and the challenges she faces.
- 2nd Message (‘’We have thought this through thoroughly’’): Create a Case for Change by answering the following questions:
- Why is this change important?
- What is the richer detail of the Vision?
- What about the Vision is compelling?
- Why would someone want to sign up to the Vision?
- Is there a “burning platform”?
- What are the negative aspects of remaining in the current state and not moving towards the Vision?
- What are the positive aspects of moving towards the Vision?
- What will happen if you don’t realize your Vision?
For larger, more strategic changes, you may have to conduct a PESTLE Analysis and show the Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legislative and Environmental considerations that led to the decision to implement the change.
- 3rd Message (‘’We see the risks and know how to mitigate them’’): Every change comes with huge risks and the implementation of a new SAP solution is no exception. Be sure to mention the various Business Readiness and Change Readiness Assessments you will conduct prior to the Go-Live date and how these will ensure that the necessary environment has been created for a successful launch of the solution. Share your Business Readiness Checklist which will assess the readiness of People, Processes, Technology/Infrastructure, Worktools, Communications and Organizational Structure prior to the implementation date
- 4th Message ( ‘’We can show you how to do this’’): The last thing Comfort wants is to be stuck with a solution she does not understand and cannot explain to her staff. Analyticals never want to look clueless. Share your Training Plan and your plans for post-implementation support as agreed with technical partners.
- 5th Message ( ‘’We have excellent tools and methods’’): Drawing upon your formal credentials will help establish yourself as an authority and make her trust you more. Emphasize the rigorous processes and mature tools in your kitty. Try to avoid sounding unpredictable and ad-hoc in your methods. A key buyer value for Comfort will be accuracy and professionalism.
Precise, formal Comfort will be turned off if you sound as if you are:
- Selling to her
- All flash and no substance
- Risky and impulsive
- Pressuring her too much to make hasty decisions
- Not being transparent with her
- Error prone and not accurate
In summary, the most important Change Management documents you need to change a key stakeholder with an Analytical style are:
- Change Impact Assessment Report
- Case for Change document
- Business Readiness Scorecard
- Training Plan
In my next post, we’ll discuss the top 5 strategies for changing a Driver.