Questions an External Advisor Might Ask

A change project may be an effort to reduce the incidence of bullying in a school district, an effort to create a more collaborative, cross-functional business organization, or an initiative to improve rapport with customers.  In all of these change projects there are key questions that need to be carefully considered in the planning phase.  If not addressed beforehand, such issues often precipitate conflicts later on that can lead to the change project’s premature demise:

  • Have you assessed the initial state of behaviors that are the focus of your change project?
  • What is the current incidence of these behaviors?
  • How often will you reassess to check on the progress of the change project?
  • What is your time frame for the change project?  When would you first expect to see positive results?
  • Who in the organization will see the assessment results?  Everyone?  A smaller number? Anyone interested?  Who will disseminate and explain the assessment results?
  • What group or groups are charged with performing the assessment, analyzing the assessment data, determining what interventions are appropriate and implementing them?
  • To what degree is responsibility for the change project integrated with the organization’s management structure?  What is the project’s relationship to senior management?
  • Who communicates about the change project to others in the organization and externally?
  • Incoming leaders usually see no percentage in continuing initiatives begun by their predecessors.  What steps have you taken to assure that your change project will survive a change in leadership?