When you move your family, even if it’s into your (and presumably their) dream home, the inconveniences outweigh everything you love about the new place.
At least they do for a while, which is why, if you’re in the change business, you should read and re-read William and Susan Bridges’ Managing Transitions. It clarifies the essential divide separating a change’s immediate annoyances (the transition) from its ongoing joys.
Which is why I had my annual physical before upgrading our household to Microsoft 365.
I wanted my blood pressure to look good.
So while I like my terabyte of cloud storage and 50 more gigs for email, I didn’t at all appreciate the three multi-hour chat support sessions required to make them available (don’t ask).
Not to mention the time spent finding all the features that have been rearranged.
Which brings us to why, if you’re in the change business, you should also ponder how and why it is that plug-in hybrids and pure-play electric vehicles are more likely to dominate future driving than the vastly superior alternative — cars powered by hydrogen fuel cells.
Disagree? Explain why in the Comments. For our purposes today just go with it.
The problem with hydrogen powered vehicles when compared to plug-in hybrids or pure-play electrics is as easy to grasp as it is difficult to solve.
Pure-play electric vehicles need electricity. As a nation we have an electrical grid that delivers it. It might (and does) require upgrading, but it’s there. Plug-in hybrids need the grid, along with gasoline or some other hydrocarbon-based fuel. We have a deep and rich system in place for obtaining, refining, distributing, and selling this stuff in massive quantities.
Hydrogen? Even overcoming the unfair perception, created by the Hindenberg, that hydrogen is too explosive to ever be safe. I’ve read that most of those who died were killed by the fall; the hydrogen itself, being lighter than air, floated up as it burned).
Where was I?
Overcoming the complete absence of a hydrogen distribution network will most likely prevent hydrogen from ever catching on as a fuel.
Now about that software project you’re running.
By now, assembling requirements or their Agile user-story equivalents, is something most IT shops know how to do. Your developers know what outputs the software is supposed to deliver, and the inputs and algorithms it needs to deliver it.
Your testers have the same knowledge and know how to turn it into an organized, and ideally automated test plan and program. Your project might not deliver bug-free code, but its bug count won’t be the sort of embarrassingly huge number generally reserved for astrophysicists trying to describe the age of the universe in months. No worries on that front.
You’ve ticked all of the check boxes put in front of you by the Change Advisory Board (CAB) and Architecture Review Board (ARB). These i’s have been dotted and t’s crossed.
And you’ve involved Organizational Change Management (OCM) throughout. They’ve communicated with everyone to explain why the change is necessary and good, and they’ve put a training plan in place which you’re ready to launch just as soon as you know the official deployment date.
What could go wrong?
Welcome to the problem of hydrogen logistics. Sorta. It’s an analogy. Don’t worry if it’s not a perfect fit.
Anyway, imagine, for the sake of argument, the software your team is preparing to deploy is to consolidate the 17 supply chain management systems that are the legacy of past corporate acquisitions.
You might have designed the new software to be flexible enough that all 17 supply chain managers can use it to manage their supply chains as they like (the car will run on hydrogen, gasoline, diesel fuel, or batteries) at which point you might as well have designed and developed 17 separate supply chain management systems. You’ll deliver all pain and no gain.
Or else, all 17 supply chain managers agree to standardize their processes so they can use the same software the same way. It’s as if enough gas stations start selling hydrogen, fuel delivery trucks are retrofitted to transport it, and so on that anyone driving a hydrogen vehicle anywhere can fill it up before it runs out of fuel.
Let’s hope process standardization is the plan. If it is, make sure your OCM trainers avoid a common mistake: Teaching business users how to operate the software, not how to do their jobs a new way with the software.
That leaves you with one advantage over hydrogen: You don’t have to convert supply chain management all at once.
But you do need to figure out who will go first.
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Want to be more adroit at making change happen in your organization? Get yourself a copy of There’s No Such Thing as an IT Project. It’s nothing but practical ideas you can put to use tomorrow.
Assuming, of course, you’re a fast reader.