Lean Change: a unique approach to managing change at speed

Paul Jenkinson introduces Lean Change, a vital new addition to the change agent's toolkit when dealing with the problems posed by ongoing digital disruption.



Those who have been around long enough will have heard stories of large organisations spending millions (or even billions) on projects that have provided very little in the way of benefits. This is often due to the disruptive nature of new technology emerging during the project’s lifespan. These are often very painful, and costly, exercises that impact organisations for many years.

The rules of the game have changed

Digital disruption and rapid deployment used to be the sole domain of software development. New developments in technology would constantly change the game – shifting the pieces on the board, or even turning the board upside down.

Disruption, and the need to master rapid change, is now affecting all businesses. This poses significant challenges for organisations who want to stay ahead of the game. Or, for some, simply survive!

There is intense pressure on organisations to have current and effective Change and Project Management capabilities and processes. In this dynamic environment, how do you do change quickly, and how do you do it well?

Change can be hard – constant change, even harder

Successful Change Management is hard enough in static environments, let alone in this age of digital revolution.

Many projects fail to deliver ROI and benefits, or fail to manage effective, efficient transitions. This is primarily due to poorly executed, and/or underfunded, Change Management.

Paradoxically, all projects are essentially pieces of organisational change and yet most organisations continue to under invest in this critical discipline.

In the past, projects were often managed using a waterfall method. What this approach doesn’t do well, is move at a fast pace. Flexibility, responsiveness and incremental development are its nemeses.

Change at speed: the new ‘normal’ in today’s multi-speed delivery environments

There will always be a time and place for waterfall based delivery. But what is becoming more common is the need for organisations to be able to deliver in rapid environments, usually using an Agile methodology.

Essentially, organisations must be able to deliver at multiple speeds. Clearly, this increases the complexity of the delivery model and places additional demands on the resources required to be able to deliver successfully, regardless of the approach.

What’s driving this, of course, is customer expectations. They expect that you’ll have the latest experiences available to them on multiple platforms, and that you will offer services that are responsive, often immediate and increasingly personalised.

A feedback-driven approach to staying innovative

Lean Change takes the proven principles of Agile and Lean Start Up and combines these with best practice Change Management thinking and models to deliver a unique, tailored approach and toolkit that manages change at speed.

At its heart, Lean Change is a simple model (good design is inherently simple) for Change Management based on an iterative and collaborative cycle of generating insights, assessing options and conducting experiments.

The model contains an extensive range of unique and tailored tools and processes (for example: change canvasses, perspective mapping and culture hacks) proven to be an effective and efficient means of managing change in an agile environment.

Is Lean Change the answer?

Is Lean Change the answer to successful Project and Change Management in the current environment of ongoing digital disruption?

It’s certainly one solution to solving this difficult puzzle and is leading the way with a unique set of tools and analytics. If you’re struggling to bring your offerings to market in a manner that is timely and responsive, then Lean Change offers a pragmatic and intelligent pathway.

Talk to us about how your organisation could benefit from cutting edge Lean Change advisory, delivery and capability uplift services.

Paul Jenkinson is National Practice Lead, Business Transformation at CSC Consulting. Since joining the team in 2006 he’s delivered business transformation, change management and project management expertise to clients including the Victorian Department of Justice, ANZ Bank, Minerals and Metals Group and Fosters. He was recently accredited to deliver Lean Change training.