Increasing The Probability of Success for Major Initiatives

Companies can spend millions of dollars on change management plans yet major initiatives in businesses are still much more likely to fail than to succeed. Don’t believe me? Check out the graphic below. But why is failure such a high probability? Often it’s because traditional change management planning is too narrowly defined and practiced. In fact, most change management is relegated to the HR department and OD professionals when in fact most of the work in mitigating risk lies with the business leaders. There are five risk categories to mitigate. Many businesses focus on one or two, some on 3 or 4, very few cover all five. Which is why 70%-80% of major initiatives fail to meet the objectives.

If you know you’re facing a high likelihood of failure but just don’t know what to do, start by assessing your failure risks in five categories. Many businesses will require a business case but as you can see in this real life example, a business case only mitigates some of the risk (the blue line is after a business case was developed). There are still a lot of other areas that can result in project failure.

Conducting a deep dive into each of these five categories and then training and requiring business leaders to use risk mitigation tools will increase the probability of success substantially. Don’t agree? Let’s talk about it.