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The Value of Operational Readiness for Change Management in Projects

Based on my experience with various projects in the mining industry, I have often found that much of the benefits of our work is in the process of getting to the end result, rather than the end result itself. 

Operational Readiness on projects, especially defining user requirements, is a great example of where this applies.  Our approach when defining user requirements is to consult with as many end users as possible in order to ensure that no user needs are overlooked. 

This approach ensures that the project delivers end results which are well aligned with the operational needs.  We also finding that where a wide stakeholder base has been consulted with the defining of the user requirements, already in the prefeasibility phase, the project is less likely to experience resistance from users with implementation, even if the project did not deliver on all the needs identified.  It seems that where people have had the opportunity to voice their views they would readily buy into the change resulting from the project, as most reasonable people would buy in if they had a chance to “weigh in” and getting what they want is not a prerequisite.

For projects where there is a high risk of resistance to change due to a significant operational impact for a wide user base, good Operational Readiness practice is key. Operational Readiness practice therefore, entails following a thorough process of consulting as many operational end users as possible to define the user requirements, so that mitigation for change management risk can implemented effectively.

Source: Margariet Lumgair B.Eng (Industrial) Snr. Mining Decision Support Consultant

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