Project failure is nearly always a failure to recognise that people at the front line in an organisation make change happen.
People often say that they do not like change. What they are really trying to say is that they do not want change thrust upon them.
The key is to accept this — “People do things because they want to.”
– Successful projects are led by enthusiastic middle managers, motivated to change by their leaders. They understand the vision and are happy to navigate towards it.
– The less confident managers will follow the enthusiasts, usually because they trust them more than they trust the senior management. This takes a little time to happen so encourage it.
– Negativity is infectious. Neutralising it is vital. Some managers fail to understand that change is happening. Identifying these negatives early in the change process is important. Ask what is personally holding them back and deal with it. Listening has often been the key for me; the negatives in a team need a voice. Sometimes listening is all you need to do to get them on board.
I think that the last point helps the enthusiasts too, they notice the negative managers. It gives them more confidence if their leader is dealing with it.