It’s that time of the year … having taken some time off to enjoy the holidays and get rejuvenated and re-energized, we are ready to start the new year and have grand plans for what we want to accomplish. How do you keep this energy and focus when work starts to get in the way?
Most, if not all contingent workforce program managers have several changes they want to implement within their program. Whether they are minor changes or a much larger undertaking, all will require time, effort, energy and internal support to be successful. Being able to keep the momentum may be difficult as priorities and workloads change, but it is not impossible.
While change is not easy, it can be easier when stakeholders understand why it needs to happen, how it will be implemented and what the return on investment will be not only to the organization as a whole, but more importantly, them individually. Being able to create a solid business case can help you to provide insight and maintain the support needed for success. Here are some critical components to include for a successful business case:
WHY: This is often referred to as the problem and goal statement. Be sure to describe the current situation and what is not properly working and how, once the change is implemented, the situation will be corrected or improved. Articulating how the organization and the stakeholders themselves, if possible, will benefit is extremely powerful. Knowing “what’s in it for me” can make the change more accepted and supported.
HOW: This is the project plan and scope. Provide as many details as possible along with any types of risks or concerns identified. This enables decision makers to know all the facts and make an informed decision; it will also likely buy you some brownie points as they see you have done your homework and are not oblivious to challenges that exist. Including any type of insight as to how you can address the risks or challenges is very valuable.
WHO: This should include not only the roles identified as part of the project team but more importantly, any executives or key stakeholders that will be critical for the success of the change. These may be C-level executives whose support will provide a top-down message or perhaps super users whose buy-in will give you a “poster child” of just how the change has enriched their experience. Whoever it is, be sure not only to list them, but ensure they know how critical they are to the success and what you may expect of them.
HOW MUCH: Although most first consider how much will it cost to implement a change, you must also remember to include, if applicable, how much will be saved. Some changes may provide a firm cost savings or a risk avoidance that, if not implemented, could have a financial impact to the organization. An example of the latter:
You propose to implement an independent contractor compliance program. If the change is not implemented, it is possible that the organization could be found to have ICs misclassified and, based on the taxes, benefits, etc., the cost to the organization would be millions of dollars.
SUCCESS MEASURE: Providing how the success of the change will be measured is another important detail to include. Some changes may have extremely simple success measures, such as it is implemented on time and within budget. Others may have more detailed success measures, such as you will have a specified percentage of departments, individuals, etc. that have adopted the change within a defined time period. Whatever definition for success will need to be provided to all parties so that everyone involved understands the expectations. Having one group deem the change successful and another think it failed would be a difficult situation to resolve.
ADOPTION: This is the most important success measure. There are probably very few, if any people within your organization that understand the CW industry and your program like you do. Although implementing the change may seem like a “no brainer” to you, it is not that clear to others who will be affected. Providing details and a well-thought-out plan will give reassurance and comfort — and those combined will support the adoption of the change. Remember, adoption is probably the most critical success measure of any change, as without it, even the best thought-out plans fail if nobody adheres to the change.