Mergers, transformation plans and amalgamations can often mean initiative overload strikes a housing provider. Add to this the digitalisation agenda, process automation techniques or just a desire to shake up the status quo, and it can be difficult to prioritise.
Simple techniques and scenario planning tools can help you see clearly which change plans will have the biggest impact on an organisations ability to meet its strategic goals – build more homes, enhance the customer experience and improve financial strength.
When initiatives and workload spike, the quality of our outputs reduce. We spin plates and don’t end up seeing anything through. It can affect our personal lives and make us feel that we have ‘brain freeze’ when making even the most immaterial of decisions. The risk is that your most important assets – your people, will either burn out or move elsewhere and your customers will become frustrated.
A recent Vantage poll showed that housing providers score themselves as below average at managing overload and prioritising change initiatives.
There are 4 key steps if you think you’ve got initiative overload: Check, Challenge, Change and Communicate.
Step 1 – Check: Take stock of all your initiatives.
Analyse the potential benefits of each and quantify them from a human resource, customer and financial perspective. We use a scenario planning tool that crunches the numbers and shows the actual impact of a change plan on your bottom line. By forensically reviewing the cost to deliver each change plan and detailing the intended benefits, you can quantify the pros and cons of each initiative. Only then can you start to see which change plans deserve your time.
Step 2 – Challenge: Executive Teams need to own and lead the initiatives.
Ownership must sit with the Executive team for them to manage and control the level of change happening at any one time. A RACI matrix is a key tool for mapping out who is responsible, accountable, needs to be consulted, and needs to be informed in projects and processes. It is used for clarifying and defining roles and responsibilities, keeps projects streamlined and on track.
Step 3 – Change: Prioritise and set timescales.
Ask yourself, can you really deliver all the plans you have on the boil? It takes a brave organisation to make bold decisions and be willing to drop low priority projects. You should ideally be focusing on the projects that align with your organisations purpose, vision, and priorities.
Step 4 – Communicate: Get quality, regular feedback from all levels of your organisation
If you do prioritise or drop projects, it is vital that you communicate the reasons for this and show your executive team why other, more important plans will improve things. Asking customers, front line staff and managers for regular feedback will ensure your change plans are having the impact you hoped for and get people onboard.
We have developed the Vantage Value for Money tool for customers and used it on our own business too. The tool provides the executive team with the ability to overlay projects and assess their impact in a quantifiable and dynamic way.
Get in touch for more information or to have a chat about your initiatives.