In order for you to practice the tools learned throughout the course and explore the concepts in a personal way the course is designed around a “Consultant Container.” This consultant container system allows you to practice proposal writing, discovery, change management plan creation and addressing issues that may arise throughout the consulting process in a safe environment by playing the role of consultant on a professional or personal change that you feel needs to be made.
Identify a “modest change” that you believe needs to take place either in the organization of which you are currently a member, an organization with which you are very familiar, or in your personal life. Some examples might be, “Restructure Comp Function,” or “Introduce New Appraisal Form”. Throughout the course you will serve as a consultant to ensure this change occurs. Assignments and discussion throughout the course will be based upon this modest change.
Develop a 2000 – 4000 word paper (includes the title page, abstract, and references section, but not any appendixes) with a minimum of ten to twelve credible references). Your paper must include the following:
Proposal: Short proposals are often provided to potential clients after initial meetings and before a contract is created and signed. Proposals ensure that clients and consultants are on the same page from the beginning. Additional language is often added later to create a contract. Provide an overview of the issue, background information, objectives of the project, the scope of work, the process you’ll take, timing and credentials of the consultant (you). Make sure you include if you will be acting as an internal or external consultants and why.
Discovery: Once a contract is signed a consultant generally enters a discovery phase. In this phase a consultant will utilize a range of tactics to dive deep into the problems occurring at an organization. Pick three discover strategies you’ll utilize in your discovery process, explain why you are utilizing them, outline the process you will take and how you will implement discover. Discovery strategies include but are not limited to: document review, interviews, surveys, root-cause analysis (fish bone), qualitative analysis, S.W.O.T., external or environmental scans and situational analysis.
Case for change: Create a “case for change” (sometimes also called the “case for action”). Questions to ask yourself when creating a case for change: What are the top three to five “selling points” for the change? If you were pitching this to your boss, or a family member or friend if it’s a personal change, what argument would you lay out to persuade her or him of the urgency of this change? In short, why do you believe you must you do something rather than do nothing and leave things well enough alone? What happens if the change happens? What happens if it does not? What are the costs either way? What’s the likely investment (in general terms)? What are the risks either way? What will you say when other people likely to be affected by your “Consultant Container” ask you, “Why?” Note: these questions are to help you develop your case for change, you do not need to answer them all in your final paper. Instead utilize this simple formula for creating a case for change:
1. Logic/Current State: 1 -3 sentences about the problem
2. Emotion: This change needs to be made because…(list three reasons why)
3. Ease/Solution: “Don’t worry, we got it!” “The solution is…It will result in…”
Change supports and change resistors: Think about the people, teams, and departments in your organization who are likely to support your change initiative, as well as those who are likely to resist your ideas. It’s okay to consider individuals by name (mum’s the word to us, of course) or groups of employees (teams, departments, divisions). For each side (supporters and resistors) pick out two or three individuals or groups. For supporters address how you will approach the individuals or groups to engage them in helping you make the change happen. Tell us in detail how you will work to counterbalance the resisting individuals or groups to diminish the impact of their resistance
Change management plan: Create a detailed plan for how your change will be implemented. Develop action steps for implementation, outlining what steps will take place and how the change will be implemented. Create a calendar of action steps and delegate who will be responsible for implementation. Address how the change will be communicated to key stakeholders. Hint: Look at the your “ease/solution” section in your case for change. What are the steps that need to be taken to make that happen? This is the basis of your change management plan.
Implementation challenges: The first step after building a change management plan is to identify “implementation challenges.” Pick at least two of above the six categories and identify specific implementation challenges for your change initiative. For each implementation challenge you have identified, provide a couple of ideas for how you will overcome that implementation challenge. The more specific you can be in describing a particular challenge, the easier it will be to provide concrete ideas for overcoming that challenge: The six principal categories of “implementation challenges” are
2. Increased Workload
3. Employee Morale
4. “Land Mines” (e.g., major changes, hard hit functions, mission-critical tasks, key talent)
5. Phasing in Areas
6. Perceptions and Support of Customers and Major Stakeholders (people who will counterbalance the resistors you identified).
Measuring change: What measures will you look to in order to determine the progress you are making with the implementation of your change initiative? What are the quantitative measures? What are the qualitative measures? Identify at least four measures, two quantitative and two qualitative. For each measure address the following: 1) What kind of data will you need to collect for that measure? 2) Who will be collecting the data? 3) How will they be gathering the data? 4) How often will they be analyzing the data and presenting the results to senior management? Hint: Look back over your implementation challenges to help determine which four measures are the most critical. Remember, two quantitative and two qualitative.