Innovation on the Clock: How Taking Time to Work Smarter Can Drive Success

I want to talk about an oldy but goody, the importance of innovation, aka work smart not hard, or maybe both. In our current environment, the importance of innovation is even more pronounced as many industries are experiencing layoffs and downsizing. With limited resources and increased workloads, professionals who remain in their positions or with the company in any fashion are often expected to take on additional responsibilities and tasks that were previously handled by those who were laid off. This leaves them with less time to focus on their own work, let alone innovate and think creatively.

Yet, it is precisely in times like this that innovation is crucial for organizations to stay competitive and succeed in the long run. While it may be tempting to simply focus on completing immediate tasks and meeting short-term goals, taking the time to innovate and find more efficient ways of working can ultimately help organizations thrive in the face of uncertainty and change.

Professionals who make time to innovate can help themselves as well as their organizations. By developing new skills and expanding their knowledge, they can increase their own value in the job market, which can be especially important during times of economic uncertainty. Additionally, by finding ways to work smarter and not harder, they can prevent burnout and maintain their motivation and engagement in their work. Engagement is no small task, especially at times like these.


So, while innovation has always been important, it is even more critical in the current environment of layoffs and downsizing. Although it may seem difficult to find the time to innovate amidst increased workloads, it is precisely in times of uncertainty and change that innovation is needed the most.

Innovation is key to growth and success in any organization. It allows for the development of new ideas, products, and services, and helps companies stay competitive in an ever-changing market. However, finding time to innovate can be a challenge for professionals across various industries, from secretaries to project managers to developers. In this article, I want to explore the importance of professionals having time in their days and weeks to innovate, and how it can benefit both individuals and their organizations.


Preventing Burnout and Improving Efficiency

One of the primary benefits of allowing time for innovation is preventing burnout. Professionals who are constantly bogged down with routine tasks can quickly become fatigued and lose motivation. Having time to step back and work on something new and exciting will undoubtedly help prevent burnout and keep employees engaged in their work. When professionals are given the opportunity to think outside the box and come up with new solutions, they can find more efficient ways of working. This can ultimately save time and resources for the organization and improve overall productivity…It’s not that we are lazy or unmotivated to work hard, it’s that we want to do the best that we can.


Encouraging Creativity and Forward Thinking

Innovation also encourages creativity and forward thinking. When professionals are given time to innovate, they are encouraged to think creatively and come up with new ideas. This can lead to the development of innovative products or services and can help keep organizations ahead of the competition.

Naturally, encouraging innovation creates a mindset of creativity and forward-thinking throughout the organization. When professionals see that their ideas are valued and that they have the opportunity to make a difference, they will be more motivated to contribute their ideas and work towards new and exciting solutions. When it comes to innovation and finding more efficient ways of working, even small changes can have a significant impact.




Let’s do a little math and don’t worry its simple: If a daily task that takes 20 people five minutes to complete and with some automation one guy took a few hours to figure out and implement that can be reduced to only four minutes, this would result in a time savings of one minute per person per day. While this may not seem like a lot, when you consider the impact over time, the results can be significant.

If this one-minute time savings is multiplied by the 20 people who perform the task, it results in a total daily time savings of 20 minutes. Over the course of a five-day workweek, this equates to 100 minutes or 1 hour and 40 minutes of time saved. Over the course of a year, assuming a 50-week work year, this time savings amounts to 100 hours.

Again, this may not seem like a lot, but when you consider that this time savings is just from one task performed by 20 people, the impact of finding more efficient ways of working across multiple tasks and teams can be significant. Math again, if 10 different tasks can be optimized in this way across an organization of 100 people, the total time savings per week would be 1,000 minutes or almost 17 hours. Over the course of a year, this amounts to a time savings of 850 hours. Assuming an average salary of $25 per hour, the 850 hours of time saved would equate to a cost savings of $21,250. This is just from finding more efficient ways of working across 10 tasks in an organization of 100 people. Imagine the impact of finding similar efficiencies across multiple teams and departments.


The truth is that the benefits of finding more efficient ways of working go beyond just cost savings. By saving time on mundane or repetitive tasks, professionals can free up time to focus on higher-level work that requires more creativity and critical thinking. This can lead to more innovative ideas, better decision-making, and ultimately a more competitive and successful organization.


Fostering a Culture of Innovation

Allowing time for innovation fosters a culture of innovation within an organization. When professionals are given the opportunity to innovate, they may be more likely to share their ideas with colleagues and collaborate on new projects. This can lead to a more collaborative and creative work environment, where everyone is encouraged to contribute their ideas and work towards a common goal.

Fostering a culture of innovation can help attract top talent to an organization. When professionals see that an organization values innovation and encourages new ideas, they may be more likely to want to work for that organization. This can ultimately help the organization attract the best and brightest talent and stay ahead of the competition.


Examples of Innovation Across Industries

Innovation can take many different forms across various industries. For example, a secretary may be able to innovate by finding more efficient ways to manage scheduling for the boss. A project manager may be able to innovate by finding new ways to track project progress or by implementing new project management software. A developer may be able to innovate by developing new features for a software program or by finding ways to optimize code for improved performance. Healthcare professionals can also be innovative in an office setting by finding ways to streamline administrative tasks, such as appointment scheduling, patient record-keeping, and prescription management. Innovation can also take place on a larger scale, such as the development of new products or services.



In conclusion, while it can be challenging to find the time to be innovative, it’s an essential component of personal and professional growth. Whether you’re a secretary, project manager, custodian, or doctor, taking the time to think creatively and work smarter can help you avoid burnout, stay motivated, and achieve better outcomes.

Ideally, companies will recognize the importance of innovation and provide their employees with the time and resources to pursue new ideas and approaches. However, even if this isn’t the case, it’s up to each of us as individuals to make innovation a priority in our work and personal lives.

So go ahead, take a break from your daily routine, and allow yourself some time to explore new possibilities and ideas. Who knows, you might just come up with the next big thing that revolutionizes your industry, or simply find a more efficient way to do your work. Either way, taking pride in your ability to think creatively and work smarter will bring a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment that’s hard to beat. Here’s to innovation, in all its forms!

We Don’t Always Start Fresh

Project Management texts usually assume we’re starting at the beginning of a project, with control over scope, schedule, and resources. Frequently, project scope, resources, and schedule are already determined through strategic planning, Project Portfolio Management (PPM), or the project charter process. In other cases, we take on projects that are in progress. This can occur as a normal part of the project lifecycle as a hand-off from a project initiation team to a project delivery team or due to other circumstances. The existing Project Manager (PM) may be moving to a different, higher priority project, assuming other responsibilities within the organization, leaving the organization for other career opportunities, or leaving the project due to the problems that have arisen. In all these cases, the new PM is required to assess the current status of the project, update or create a plan leading to a successful conclusion of the project, and execute that plan through project completion.


There are specific things that a PM can do to improve their chances of successfully completing the ongoing project, regardless of its current state or delivery phase. While these will be covered in future articles, and in my book, There’s a New Sheriff in Town: The Project Manager’s Proven Guide to Successfully Taking Over Ongoing Projects and Getting the Work Done, in this article we will examine how likely it is for a PM to step into an ongoing project.


Assuming management of an ongoing project is a lot more common than many people think. All the PMs that I’ve met over the years, through work, at conferences, and online, have taken over projects that were already started. Industry results and surveys also show that the overwhelming majority of PMs have had to assume projects or programs that were already in flight. Close to 200 project managers responded in 2022 to an online global survey on their experience with joining projects that had already been started.


PMs are much more likely to take over existing projects than to start with a “clean slate.”


Roughly 93% of the PMs responding have had to take over a project that was already started at least once in their careers. There are significant differences and additional challenges when taking over projects that have already started. Despite these circumstances being very common, they are not routine and should not be treated as such. We need to recognize the challenges of joining a project that has already started, along with the typical challenges of managing projects.


How frequently does this happen?


Two-thirds (67%) of all the projects managed by these PMs had a different PM when they finished.


Far from being a rare occurrence, we should assume that most projects will have a change in leadership before they finish. How many PMs plan to hand over leadership to another PM? All too often, we assume that we will finish what we start, so if a change in leadership does occur, we are not prepared for it. Whether we are handing off the project to another PM, or if we are the incoming PM, the hand-off will be more challenging and less successful if we are not prepared for it.




Why is assuming management of an ongoing project different than starting a new project? Table 1-1 provides a brief listing of project characteristics, components, and key management decisions that are still being formulated when a project is initiated but are usually set once a project has started. We’ll discuss some of these issues, and how to handle them as an incoming PM, in future articles.


Table 1-1: New Projects Versus Ongoing Projects

Objectives Loosely Defined Established
Scope/Requirements Being Determined Preliminary or Approved
Quality Being Negotiated Defined
Schedule Being Negotiated Set
Budget Rough Order of Magnitude (ROM) Set
Delivery Method Candidates identified Chosen
Technology May be defined, flexibility will vary Selected
Delivery Team Being Selected Created and working
Delivery Location May be open Set
Delivery Tools Being determined based on technology and delivery methodology selected In Use
Project Plans Being Drafted Published and Approved


The results of the survey, discussions with PMs across the globe, and personal experience have all shown that we don’t always start on a project with a clean slate where we can work with the sponsor and business owner to establish the triple constraints. In fact, it is almost guaranteed that during our PM careers we will have to take over an ongoing project. The bad news is that this can be very different from initiating a project, with additional challenges that make it hard to succeed. The good news is that we are not alone in facing these challenges, and that there are proven techniques that greatly increase the likelihood of success. In addition to covering these in my book, we will address many of them in future articles.

Goals are NOT Expectations: Change Mindsets to Avoid the Suffering of Disappointed Stakeholders

Goals are something to work toward or aspire to. Expectations are beliefs that something will occur in a certain way. Goals are not expectations. And knowing the difference can help to avoid unnecessary disappointment and conflict.


Last month I wrote about embracing imperfection to achieve ongoing performance improvement. The implication is that we must expect imperfection, though it is certainly not a goal. Over time imperfection (for example schedule overruns, defects, and unnecessary conflicts) is very highly probable. So, expecting it to occur is realistic. It is what risk management is all about.

We also expect to achieve our goals. That expectation may be more or less realistic, depending on the goal and the capacity of the people involved to achieve it.


The Problem and Symptoms

While it may be wise to have no expectations, they are a natural part of life. The expectation is not the problem. The problem is failing to remember that the expectation is a belief or desire subject to uncertainty and change.

Failing to remember is a problem because it leads to unnecessary stress in the form of anxiety, anger, blaming, and more. Symptoms are conflict, unmet objectives, and the disappointment and unease of unfulfilled expectations.


Case Example

Imagine this scenario. Senior stakeholders have set a goal. To accomplish it means initiating work in late March, to meet the need to use an expensive, elite contractor team, only available for three months. At the end of June, the resources are firmly committed elsewhere.

According the contractor’s detailed schedule and a guarantee, the work these resources will perform can be done in three months, with some time set aside as a buffer to account for delays related to the work itself, for example sick time, slippage, testing, etc. The contractor agreement stipulates that if work does not begin in March there will be no guarantee of completion by June. If the team has to leave without completing the work the entire project will be significantly delayed.

Project management and the steering group expect that in the two months beginning January 30th the negotiation of a contract and the receipt of permission to perform the work from a corporate controller will be completed so our elite team can begin their work on the planned March start date.




Contract negotiations with the involvement of a legal department has commonly taken an unknowable amount of time owing to the availability of attorneys, their priorities, and the issues that come up in the negotiation. The time the controller department takes to review and sign off begins only after the contract is signed and is subject to committee schedules and the number and type of issues found.

Senior sponsors expect the PM to take care of everything and get the job done. The PM believes that the predecessor tasks will be done quickly, trusting in the attorneys and accountants to do their jobs on time.

What is the likelihood of slippage? When it happens will there be anger and blaming or acceptance and understanding? Who will pay the costs associated with the delays.


The Cause

Over confidently expecting goals to be met with certainty is the problem. But what is the cause?

The cause is ignoring the fact that expectations are beliefs and that there is uncertainty about them being met. People tend to ignore this reality because they are so attached to the expected outcome that they can’t bear the thought that it won’t be accomplished. we tend to like certainty, especially when it comes to accomplishing or acquiring what we want.

The root cause of suffering is ignorance which appears as attachment and aversion, according to Buddhist psychology. It seems true. We tend to cling to an impossible idea or belief until we are convinced it is impossible. For example, being certain that we will meet our schedule (“I’m sure the legal department will get back to us with time to spare”).

Ignorance is an interesting word. Many people are insulted by being informed that they are ignorant, they don’t like to admit they are ignorant of something. Others do not realize or care that they are ignorant of something, for example the demanding boss/client/sponsor/project manager who is not aware of the complexity of the work that has to be done and the risks involved, and who isn’t motivated to find out.

The good news is that since ignorance is not having knowledge or information, it is curable.


The Solution: Risk Management

There is a solution to the problem of over confident expectations. It is to cure ignorance by making it clear to every stakeholder that uncertainty must be accepted because uncertainty in project work is an undeniable reality. That is why risk management is part of the project management process.

The core of the solution is to change mindsets. The desired mindset is one that expects uncertainty and change.

Mindset change can occur as part of a formal training program. Or it can be in the form of content in conversations, proposals and plans that highlight where there is uncertainty, what the probability of negative and positive outcomes, and what impact they may have. Mindset change can be as simple as presenting ranges of cost and schedule expectations.

With a change in mindset, practice estimating and scheduling skills to integrate risks and buffers to assess multiple scenarios and get a practical sense of how likely it is under various conditions to achieve the goal. Then throughout project life report, reassess and adjust as needed to manage expectations.


Going Forward

Eliminating the pain triggered by mistaking goals for expectations is simple. Get rid of ignorance and the light goes on making everything better. Simple but not easy. changing mindsets takes intention, time, and skillful effort. It is a change management or transformation program.

The effort is easiest if there is an existing process improvement process and mindset is addressed as part of it. If that is not the case, then the effort is more difficult. If the most senior leadership is open-minded and aware of the situation, change is more likely to be successful.

If the cause is not recognized on the highest levels, then rely on subtle bottom up change in which there is firm push back and skillful communication to set rational expectations.


Managing Expectations: A Mindful Approach to Achieving Success by George Pitagorsky
The Zen Approach to Project Management by George Pitagorsky

The Most Important Project of Your Life!

Two and a half years ago I started working on probably the most important project of my life, and one that benefits me directly as both the project manager and customer. It would utilize over a million dollars in cost, eight months of focus and attention before moving to operations, and a little over a hundred days of intense focus and coordination. Almost two years ago it moved primarily into monitoring and control phase before moving into a closing phase almost 4 months later. It now sits successfully in operations waiting to see if another project will be needed in the future. If we were indeed successful, then no changes or updates should be needed for this project for a long, long time.

This important project is cancer treatment, and the tenants of project management can be used to help treat patients. In October 2020 I was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) and began the journey through initiation, planning, execution, monitoring and control, and closure. During this time, I was amazed at how similar the process was to managing projects. Thinking of it this way helped me organize my thoughts and make decisions as I stepped through the process. For others that undergo diagnosis and treatment, many of the same requirements and processes I had can be adapted for your treatment. Nursing may even want to formalize some of the steps to accomplish successful outcomes in other types of cancer treatment, but also things like trauma care among others.



Initiation was probably the most difficult. This was not a planned project, and in fact one that came completely out of the blue. From the time I found out, a plan did begin to develop, however. While there wasn’t a formal project charter per se, there was an agreement on the goals, the high-level requirements to get there, investigation into assumptions, and determination of funding. Almost all the things that make up a project charter are good to put down on paper as an agreement with the patient. It gives them a plan and direction and helps to organize the high-level requirements of caring for cancer. Many of the high-level items here become more granular in detail as exams are done and more information on a diagnosis is gained. It becomes the foundation for the rest of the project.

Another big part of the Initiating Process Group is identifying stakeholders. Some are obvious, the patient as the customer or project owner. They may even be the project manager depending on how much they want to facilitate or be involved in the project. The project manager may also be another family member such as a spouse or parent, or they may be satisfied in letting the Oncologist as their Primary Care Provider facilitate the care and simply keep them informed as a stakeholder. The decision of role should fall to the patient or guardian as much as possible.

Other stakeholders such as nursing staff, family, and friends, and even nurse navigators and case managers. As groups, stakeholders for me included my employer, Insurance companies, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (,  Be the Match (, and Veteran’s Administration among others. Some needed to be simply updated on status, some provided additional information and research I needed to make decisions, and others had options for funding assistance, materials, and even providing of stem cells for the transplant that was planned.



As you can imagine, the planning part was the most intensive. Things were new, and just like the Project Management Process Group, it has the largest and most significant number of processes. Every single process in this group played a role in planning for treatment, although in the setting of cancer care, the documentation is a little less formal, and many of the details are rolled into patient care plans and progress notes.

A plan is developed, and scope and time management requirements are determined. There is the initial treatment or consolidation chemotherapy with specific medications and times. The work to be done and schedule was laid out on a calendar to follow so I would know where I was at and what was expected at specific steps along the way. Activities were explained and laid out with a specific sequence and duration.

Cost management was laid out by identifying insurance, coverage and requirements. Much of this was reviewed in the context of this diagnosis since many of the resources would be quite costly. Specialty treatments and medications as well as extended hospitalization could easily grow into the tens of thousands of dollars and it was important to know what cost responsibilities would be to plan for financial assistance, or impact on scope of treatment. Nurse case managers as well as contacts at various non-profits could provide additional information on assistance that could be provided in various scenarios.

Project Quality Management, HR Management, Stakeholder Management, and Procurement Management were important areas as well. Daily tests were performed to identify problems or status in order to plan adjust the plan as required. While a patient does not hire the staff and decide on assignments, it was good to know the responsibilities of those staff as stakeholders so that I could pass my own updates as well as request information from the right people along the way. There were many drugs and treatments, some planned as part of the schedule, and some I could request as things progressed and needs were determined.

One of the most important areas is that of Risk Management. There are many areas of risks that had to be identified up front as part of the treatment. Chemotherapy destroyed cells that help the body fight infection and limiting exposure to risks, identifying problems such as a fever or infection, and treating those problems early helped keep things from progressing to dangerous levels. Risks were identified, plans were made to identify anything that occurred, and steps were planned for what to do if risks turned into issues.





Once the plan was put into place, treatment could begin following the steps laid out. Everybody had their roles in managing that work, and everybody had responsibility to double check quality and treatment. I could perform quality assurance checks by verifying information and asking questions about things that seemed different from the expected routine. Nurses double checked meds and transfusions in some cases to be sure that the steps and procedures were being followed. While some of the questions seemed repetitive, they were a key part of performing quality assurance.

Managing Stakeholders and Stakeholder Engagement helped to not only keep everyone on the same plan and aware of any updates, it helped keep family connected to the process and how things were progressing. Using tools such as Social Media made dissemination of information to family and friends much easier.

The several months and rounds of chemotherapy, transfusions and checks culminated in a Stem Cell Transplant in March of 2021 which was the primary goal in the execution phase.


Monitor and Control

Frozen Stem Cells getting ready for transfusion. Held by gloved hands next to the nitrogen container.

As noted in the Execution and Planning groups above, monitor and control was a major part of the process from start to finish. It occurred during each round of chemo, and during the process of the Stem Cell Transplant itself.

After completing the transplant, some quality assurance took place as an inpatient, and then for several months as an outpatient over the next 100 days. Quality checks became less frequent as lab tests stabilized and as treatments based on those checks also became less frequent. A bone marrow biopsy became one of the final quality assurance tests performed at the transplant facility. Once it was determined that the expected results were obtained, cancer was determined to be in remission. I was able to return home back across the country, to settle back into a more normal routine. Stakeholders were updated, and risks continued to decrease over time. Bills were checked and paid.



My cancer project was placed into what I would consider “operations” in that routine follow-ups decreased from once or twice a month to every two months or more. Ability to return to work became part of normal operations to the point that I’m back at full-time work. Right now with some modifications, life is returning to normal. Quality checks continue as part of the follow-up and as long as they continue to remain normal, no further significant updates or beginning a new project should be required.

If there are abnormal exams or tests from here on out, they will require beginning a new project like this one with possible changes to scope or processes depending on requirements and advances.


Final Thoughts

Cancer is a difficult process for anyone to go through. With all the things involved in my treatment and care from symptoms because of not only the disease, but the treatments involved, I often thought about how much more difficult it is for kids, as well as those without the experience or resources that I had available to me. Having a well laid out and documented plan helped me organize and elicit the information I needed to be informed as a stakeholder and project manager. My medical background helped me understand the hows and whys of the treatment, and my experience in medical billing has helped me navigate the world of health insurance for a diagnosis as challenging as this.

Incorporating some of the processes in project management can help not only staff, but patients better organize their treatment and expectations. Even if not certified in project management, the knowledge gained by medical staff members can only help patients work through the complex healthcare system for things like cancer, trauma care, and chronic illness.


Best of PMTimes: Change Management in Projects – The Overlooked Methodology

The Scenario

The decision to implement a new technology solution is a significant one and, in many cases, a project that typically an organization is unlikely to undertake often. It is a project that requires a significant investment of money, time, and effort and so, return on investment (ROI) represents an important set of metrics that an organization should keep at the forefront of their minds. In almost all cases, the primary ROI metric is in fact a question – “How many people are now using the new software?”. This basic question should never be overlooked and I recommend asking it at the earliest stage of the project and phrasing that question differently- “How do we ensure everyone embraces our new software?”.

This subtle nuance is so frequently missed or undervalued, which is understandable as so much focus is applied to the traditional method of running technology projects; the priority is delivery and subsequently, user adoption does not get the attention it requires. Like a motor car, you can build the finest, most performant engine but if you only include one seat, only a select few people will choose to drive it.


The Culture

First and foremost, it is important to understand that having a perfectly designed and configured technology solution will not alone deliver a truly successful project. In the modern professional world, each of us has a significant level of autonomy in how we work and when using technology; we do not share email addresses or mobile phones and we typically undertake our day-to-day jobs differently from the next person. These examples are obvious when we think about them, so we should look at change through a similar lens; change affects people at an individual level.

The human mind is a complex thing; 1.4kgs of intelligence, hope, love, fear, and everything in between. We celebrate and promote our individuality in life, so we must consider everyone’s uniqueness when delivering a project. When we think back to previous changes we have experienced in our professional lives, almost always the same combination of positive and negative questions and remarks are made. Such examples include:

  • “Great! It’s about time we improved that.”
  • “Not for me. The current solution works just fine.”
  • “The last project was a nightmare.”
  • “Wow! This might actually make my life a lot easier.”

It is natural to respond negatively to change. Even as a Project Manager, in the past I have instinctively reacted with pessimism when I have felt a change was forced upon me! It is this realization that has driven me to adjust and develop project delivery methods to encourage people to embrace change.



Delivering Change

We need to view delivering successful change as both a lineal and perpetual process. Embracing change starts at the onset of a project and continues throughout the weeks and months ahead until we reach ‘go-live’ and beyond. The sections below include suggested methods for embracing change and delivering a successful project.

1. Ignite Interest – 0-1 month of the project

It is important to start communicating with the user community as soon as possible. This is a vital step- addressing the common complaints raised by users that they were unaware of and/or not consulted about the new software.

Below are some ways to get you started on communicating and igniting interest:

  • Announce during any regular “Town Hall” style company-wide meetings
  • Send an email to announce and sell the benefits
  • If appropriate, force-out screensaver/ desktop wallpaper announcements
  • Print free-standing banners and place in communal areas of the office
  • If screens exist in communal areas, display messages of the new project
  • Utilize the Intranet

The key to these activities is to build interest, not provide copious amounts of information. View this as a method of igniting some excitement so focus on the key selling points of the product.


2. Develop Interest – 1-3 months of the project

It is now time to build upon the initial interest that has been generated in the project. We should now be at a point that everyone in the organization is aware of the incoming software; this initial interest needs to be developed. We must remain mindful that one of the most common complaints following a project’s implementation, is that the end-users have not been consulted or felt involved. If someone feels negatively towards an incoming change, it is often because they feel that change has been forced upon them. Here are some recommended activities you can undertake at this stage of the process:

  • Run demonstration Workshops of the software
  • Establish user groups from each business area and run “interview” sessions to develop an understanding of how they work and how the software will need to be optimized for them
  • Set up a small number of workstations for users to “play” with the software
  • Provide regular project updates – most people don’t want huge amounts of detail; they just want to feel included and updated so share timelines and high-level updates


3. Empower Users – 3-4 months of the project

Training users on the new software is not a new concept but it is vital. The training delivery method is of particular importance and tailoring the training to specific departments is something that is highly recommended. When planning the training, ask questions such as “How will this department use the software?” With the knowledge built from the steps in stage 1, you will already have this knowledge so let’s use it to develop tailored training sessions. Training can of course be delivered in many forms:

  • Face to face, classroom sessions
  • Training videos/ eLearning
  • Quick Reference Guides (one-page graphical guides)
  • Remote, web-based training sessions

4. Support Users – Go live

To reach this point of the project, a significant level of investment and effort will have been expressed by all parties involved. Users have been trained, informed, and updated, but now they need to use the software. The risk here is that if there is one small gap in a user’s knowledge, then that can spark negativity that spreads throughout their user experience and transfer to their colleagues rapidly. To counter this, I always strongly recommend floorwalking. As outlined in this document, floorwalking ensures users are supported immediately during the first few days of using the software.


5. Into the Future

Change- specifically managing and embracing change, is a perpetual concept. Think of it as sliding down a curly-wurly slide and landing on a roundabout! Each twist in the slide represents the steps required for effective change during the project, followed by the roundabout which is the ongoing process of ensuring the change continues to be embraced and enjoyed. Whilst a new piece of software might not be as enjoyable (or nausea-inducing) as a roundabout, it is important to continue to communicate with your users after they have started using the software. Be sure to give that roundabout a “nudge” every now and then to keep it spinning. These nudges are often best delivered as metrics. The good thing about metrics is that they are typically easy to generate and simple to communicate. Consider options such as:

  • Usage stats – share how many people are using the software and when
  • Tangible benefits – where possible, calculate the direct or indirect cost benefits that have been realized vs the cost of the solution
  • Speak to your user community – remember, most software solutions are to benefit the users so be open to their feedback and share it


I honestly believe that there is no perfect solution to implementing a successful change. The wonders of humankind and technology mean there are just too many variables to have a concise set of rules to follow, in order to achieve a successful change. The points I have made in this document are simply my thoughts and broad suggestions, not a roadmap for success. If I can leave you with one concise suggestion, it is to always put yourself in the shoes of the end-user; base your approach on one that you would be comfortable being a part of.