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‘Go Live’ is not the end game

Two weeks before the AFL Footy season started, the under 10 girls’ Whitehorse Colts only had four registered players.  A strong recruitment campaign run by the parents helped to sign up more players, however, by the first bounce of the first game, the Colts were still short of a full team. The main barrier seemed to be the perception by girls and parents that AFL Footy was ‘too rough for girls.’

However it wasn’t until after the season started, that the changes in the perception of girl’s footy gained momentum.  After ‘go live’, girls and parents were able to see the girls in action on the field, see how much fun they were having and wanted to join the early adopters.

In projects, we often work towards preparing people for changes to processes, systems or new ways of working with a planned go live date.  The majority of the effort is made prior to go live and few projects (46%1) include change management activities in their post go live strategy, plans and budgeting. However often, the re-enforcement activities are just as important as those in the lead up to the change, to ensure the changes are embedded and the desired outcomes of the program are achieved.

The reasons why change activities are not included in post go live activities range from the BAU teams being too busy, they are often burnt out after an intense project, there are budget restrictions or there is a lack of ownership for the program post go live.

Key post go live change management activities include measurement and reporting to identify areas of improvement, managing pockets of resistance, coaching managers to sustain the change and recognition and celebration of successes.

The risks of not continuing the change effort post go live can lead to reduced benefits due low adoption, continued resistance and people reverting to the old ways of working.  Increase in errors is likely if further training and support post go live is not provided. Tips to consider when planning your next project include:

By the end of the season, the ‘colts’ reached their target numbers, kicked a number of goals and even had players on the bench.

References

1 Prosci Webinar – Life after go live – what change management can do

Cherryroad – Sustaining change white paper, P Yeager,  J Bailey

 

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