Our Process

We Help Clients Close the Change Strategy-Execution Gap

We Help Clients Stop The Leakage Of Value From Change Programs


Aligning Strategy Precedes Change

Do you know what you need to do, and when to do it?  Often clients are not certain where to start, where to place focus, and what to include when conducting strategic planning.  Most companies jump straight to executing on changes, delivering a set of new systems, products, and services solely, focused on the ROI they may return without understanding the brief of what the real problem is or, by falling into the trap of underestimating the size of the effort.

It is the strategy of the organisation that determines how organisations architect themselves for change, and as a business strategy changes, the business architecture may also need to change. Any necessary changes in the architecture of the business (new or, updated capabilities people, process or, technology) then drives the prioritisation for a portfolio of change initiatives and projects.

Adastra Solutions help clients perform a situational analysis to align their strategy and change requirements to tactical operational objectives to effect the desired business results.

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Change Portfolio Planning and Optimisation

Almost never will there be just one thing that can be done to change a situation. In nearly all cases there will be a set of options that, together, will realise the change.  Most companies have lots of ideas, but not necessarily the right ones, not all ideas support business strategies and somewhere the low-value ROI means they are not worth doing.  Companies must strategically manage their change program portfolio to make the right investment decisions and allocate the most profitable use of resources.

Adastra Solutions bring you the visibility and clarity to effectively manage your change program portfolio to maximise the return on investment.  We achieve this by co-creating with the client a detailed portfolio register, followed by a portfolio prioritisation assessment that enables the client to collate key management information that determines portfolio spend, resource utilisation, risk profile and delivery capability.

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Impactful Change Versus Dripping Tap Method

Change and commitment include a great deal about  trust, and long-term trust is founded on evidence. To create a real acceptance of the change, there are two common ways of building commitment. First is the big-bang (impact method), where large amounts of change are bundled together to show how much has changed. Second is the iterative method (dripping-tap method), where a steady stream of evidence is used to keep the change up-front and visible.

The impact method is often used early on, to initialise change program with the big-bang kickoff. The problem with this is that it sets excessive expectations which, when they are not delivered, result in cynicism and a nose-dive in commitment.The dripping-tap method starts more slowly, with incremental changes but has a more certain progress, with regular news from the front of changes that have happened and planned actions taken on track. It works through gradually building commitment with clear evidence rather than trying to grab it all at once. This plays more to how most people give a commitment, not freely and instantly, but carefully and only after there is clear and repeatable evidence.

In our opinion, multiple iterations almost always beat a single-minded commitment to building your first idea. Whatever approach to the change effort is chosen by the client, good execution is key. Adastra can guide the client to understand merits of using either approaches for their own unique situations and the implications when managing.

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Resource Commitment Plan

Too often companies just jump in and announce the start of projects and change initiatives without even looking around to see if the resources that are going to be crucial to our success are even available. Identification of resources required should be derived from the plans for change. It is a common issue that the requirements of change are underestimated and consequently too little or too weak resources are used.

One of the big questions in business and change is how to deploy your best people. Do you put them in the important operational work or do you put them into the important change work? There is the argument for both, but if others can do the operational work it is best to put good people into the difficult work of change.

Adastra Solutions can help clients with the resource plan to focus on what will cause people to become and remain committed to the change. We achieve this by co-creating with the client an initial high-level change program roadmap, to include when different resource requirements that are be needed against their availability (including their commitments to other existing and potential projects and change initiatives) to create a change readiness heat map.

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Organisations do not change, people do

Change is at its core a ‘people process’ and people are creatures of habit, hardwired to resist adopting new mind-sets, practices and behaviours. If employees do not trust leadership; do not share the organisation’s vision; do not buy into the reason for change – there will be no successful change – regardless of how brilliant the strategy or, effective the change execution went.

When an organisation undertakes a change initiative they often require changes; changes to processes, job roles, business models and uses of technology. It is actually the frontline staff who are impacted most as they are effectively been forced to change how they do their jobs.

Embedding change does not start at the end – it starts at the beginning when planning your change strategy not as a bolt-on once the solutions have been implemented. Change efforts must include plans for identifying leaders and devolving responsibility for design and implementation down through the organisation.

Adastra Solutions guides clients to design an effective change process to ensure key decision makers and champions are involved early in the business transformation design process to promote a transformational mind-set and culture that makes change stick.

How we Work

Change Project Delivery Framework

Gate 0 The Mandate is the original request for a project and can be a very short problem statement. Discussion about this leads to it being initiated through Gate 0 for investigation in the Discovery phase.

Gate 1 The first purpose of Discovery is to find out whether there is a worthwhile project to complete. This starts with interviews with stakeholders to understand the problem and any conflicts. The problem is then formulated, the overall approach chosen and the approximate timescale determined. It is presented and agreed at Gate 1.

Gate 2 The Definition phase follows up the understanding of requirements from Discovery by detailing a specification of exactly what will be delivered. This is accompanied by a detailed plan of who does what and when. As with Gate 1, the commitment from other people also needs to be carefully included at Gate 2.

Gate 3 is the ‘go live’ decision and the development phase includes all activity to prepare for deployment in the wider organisation. This may include redesigning processes, writing support materials, development of training and so on. The development needed varies greatly with projects – for some, it is the main aspect of the project, whilst for others, the delivery and deployment is more significant.

Gate 4 In the delivery phase, the project is deployed into the organization. This may require significant behavioral and cultural change and thus needs strong support from the whole management team. At Gate 4, the project manager hands everything over to ‘business as usual’, archives materials and reviews the overall project for lessons learned.

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Five Key Stages When Effecting Successful Change

Standardising The Change Lifecycle Process

Change Planning is about how to get from the output of your strategic review to a successful implementation. It focuses on collaborating with the experts in the business and drawing out the key issues of the necessary change and puts some structure and timeline around the necessary change plans, goals, metrics, etc.

Change Leadership is important because good change leadership provides the sponsorship, support and oversight necessary for the change activities to receive the visibility, care and attention they need to overcome people resistence and maintain momentum throughout the process of transformation.

Change Management is the subset stage that most people think of when they think about organisational change as it focuses on managing the change activities necessary to achieve the change objectives.  Definition of change management is usually seen as a bolt-on of project management at launch or, referring to code changes during software development process has confused what we mean here which, means the end to end management of the change journey, not a downstream event.

Change Maintenance the most neglected stage as sponsors and change leaders lose interest after the major launch milestones are achieved and this is a real risk to the sustained success of the change effort. The change, maintenance phase is when the organisation measures the outcomes of the planned change activities and reinforce the change to make it stick.  Neglect this phase and people often slip back into their old, well-worn patterns of behaviour.

Change Portfolio Management every company will have a collection of larger change efforts (digital, merger integrations, cost reduction programs, etc.) and smaller change efforts (including all projects) underway or, in the planning or, maintenance stages at all times. This portfolio of change efforts must be managed and the portfolio management process balances the prioritisation and balancing of resources across the variety of change efforts.


We Help Clients Standardise A Best Practice Approach For Change Success

Top-down initiatives for change that are imposed in the workplace instead of being supported through effective change process rarely achieve the intended outcomes. Primarily, this is because it is the employees who will inevitably need to change how they work for the expected changes to be realised. The desired change initiatives that can be brought successfully to fruition by adopting an effective change approach may reference any aspect of the operation. Changes to a client’s corporate strategies, business model, job roles, conventional processes, and technology address central problems, improve performance and advance opportunities for growth.

What Is Change Management?

Change management is the best described as the systematic approach and application of knowledge, tools and resources to deal with change(s) / project (s) at every level in the organisation.  It involves defining and adopting corporate strategies, structures, procedures and technologies to handle changes in external conditions and the business environment.

It may be tempting for leaders to assume that as long as they have the best project management controls and the most elegant technical solutions, any new project and initiative rolled out will achieve success. However, when such a seemingly perfect plan fails, in most situations, the cause of failure was the lack of focus on the people, who were most affected by the changes being implemented.

What Is Project Management?

Project management is the best described as the systematic approach of initiating, planning, executing, and managing resources with the goal of executing on a specific change deliverable within budget and time.  (Note: Definition of change management is usually seen as a bolt-on of project management at launch or, referring to code changes has confused what we mean here which, means the end to end management of the change journey, not a downstream event.)

An effective change process addresses the change leadership, planning, and people problem directly and creates effective management of change for every level of an organisation.  Still, however, change process framework remains an afterthought for many executive teams. Moreover, even when a change management model is implemented, it is often under-budgeted and not completely followed through.

When it comes to architecting enterprise change, most people think change management is a bolt-on exercise once the change has been executed by project team but, this definition of change management is only focused on change execution and for standalone projects. Rarely is a change program about just delivering on one project but, rather a portfolio of projects that need to follow a standardise change process.  Leave one out of the key steps to successful change and eventually your change effort, no matter how big or, small, will eventually fail. If you are setting out to change the world, then you will want to be sure to consider each of the five keys and make sure that you proceed in a measured way that takes each into account.


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