Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Implementation Challenge

In Neil Rackham's work Major Account Sales Strategy (New York: McGraw-Hill, Inc., 1989), he talks about the three stages of implementation:

1. “New Toy” Stage - a few simple successes with little effort.
2. Learning Stage - hard work but not much to show for it.
3. Effectiveness Stage - full results achieved with much less effort.

Below is an illustrated view of this idea.

We're all familiar with the "change curve" which is basically an inverted bell curve any time we experience something new or unfamiliar. Rackham characterizes this as levels of motivation over time (see graph below). At some point during the “Learning Stage” depicted above, motivation begins to decline. This is critical to implementation success because lack of intervention may risk program derailment.

When you overlay these two charts together you clearly see what many of us experience on a daily basis when it comes to our learning programs and the deployment challenges faced at a micro/macro level--whether it is the culture, GUI, standards, or other technical challenges.

Understanding this dynamic may help the organization understands the critical areas to focus an insure long-term success.

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