Stepping into solution design: Change management's best innovation yet

No one can deny the satisfaction we get just from checking something off a list. Whether it’s another item from our grocery order, a step on a meticulously planned vacation, or another line item in a critical project plan, there’s a sense of accomplishment when we can cross something off.  And this checkbox-style management may be practical in most cases, but is it always efficient? The discrepancy becomes glaringly obvious once the stakes are higher.

Checkboxes vs. custom solutions

Don’t worry, you’re not reading some high-brow dissertation on the theoretical efficacies of making a list and checking it twice or thrice; however, you are reading a rebuke of one-size-fits-all change management.

Whenever we approach a big project, such as onboarding a new TMC, switching OBTs, or rolling out a new approvals process, we think about the tasks we need to complete in an itemised list; and the truth is, this “standard” approach hinders organisational change instead of helping it. That’s why many change professionals are encouraging solution design as the basis for your major change projects. In solution design, you start with what you want to achieve and then define concrete outcomes to measure against your change plan. And with so many moving parts within major corporate travel change, setting your goals earlier on, along with defining the parties involved and the tools you’ll need to succeed, is critical.

Solution design is built for complexity, and enterprise corporate travel programmes are, if anything, complex. But the goal is ultimately to make a complex project uncomplicated.

So what’s the difference?

Solution design covers the entire change process, from prep to post-implementation iterations. Standard implementation focuses just on the project’s here-and-now. Let’s break down the key differences:

  • One-size-fits-all approach

  • Focus on checking boxes, not transformation

  • Lack of transparency, communications are focused to the core project team

  • One-and-done with no plan for iteration

  • Custom per client, based on their needs

  • Multiple parts of the project run in tandem, with everything flowing together

  • Establish champions and stakeholders across the organisation

  • 30/60/90 plans in place, with annual iterations scheduled

Invest in a helping hand

Solution design change plans benefit from a neutral perspective, which you can’t find within your own organisation. For example, a travel-focused consulting firm can take a fresh look at your processes, infrastructure, and tech stack, and then give you an honest assessment. From there, holistic solutions can be designed, and change management objectives can be defined.

While your friends in finance might see a consulting firm as just another extra expense, consultants actually add a critical layer to the change process. They are fully dedicated to diving headfirst into your programme, its operations, its costs, and its data. Consultants are also extremely skilled at creating unity throughout a project by bringing together stakeholders, buyers, and travellers.

Get the DL on solution design

If your interest is piqued, we have more for you to discover around solution design with corporate travel change management. Check out our Change Management Hub today – it’s packed full of resources such as case studies, bite-sized blogs, and our full-length (and free) change management eBook.

We'll lend a helping hand in managing your next big change. Reach out to us today.