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The Optimist's Checklist for Success in Transformation and Change Projects

The Optimist's Checklist for Success in Transformation and Change Projects is one of the results of our research which shows Optimism Underpins Successful Transformation and Change Projects.

This research study commenced in September 2021 led by our Advisory Board Member Jeff Kerr-Bell and continues.  The team leading the study are well-experienced in transformation and change projects globally and includes Jeff, Robert Masters, Kay Clancy and Amanda Noz.

The Centre for Optimism asks people and organisations, “What makes you Optimistic?” Why? The science says realistic optimism is the underpinning of good mental and physical health, leadership, strategy, innovation and resilience.

The study commenced with a survey Transformation, the Future of Work and Optimism 2021.  This was followed by a discussion paper - How does leadership mindset influence transformation project success or failure?  Next week we have a gathering The Optimist’s Guide to Successful 2022 Transformation Projects.

The Checklist below is a useful guide for anyone commencing a change or transformation project.  Please let us know if you would add or change anything.  You can touch base with the research leaders Jeff Kerr-Bell and Victor Perton

The Optimist's Checklist for Success in Transformation and Change Projects

Vision:  Develop an inspiring Vision.  

Think change that embraces an enhanced culture in the organisation to improve the lives of the team, leaders and stakeholders.


Leadership: Appoint Realistic and Infectiously Optimistic leaders.

Think about how Leadership can create the desire, knowledge and reinforcement for successful change.


Stakeholders: Define and Understand the stakeholders. 

Analyse stakeholders with the focus on developing a change-ready culture. What is their culture? 


Scope: Determine the scope to everyone is on the same page

What are the parameters to implementing and achieving the Vision?


Strategy and ProcessesMap the strategy and processes to move from the current state to the desired state. How are we influence the stakeholders towards the desired state?


Resources: Ensure the program is resourced with ‘enabling’ people with supporting budgets. Define resourcing needs – people and technology - to achieve success.


Engagement: Build and influence people to embrace the change.

Map out the engagement processes to influence, educate, communicate and lead to achieve the Vision via demonstration, championing, education, communication and reinforcement.


Governance: Govern with an optimistic and positive outlook. Establish a framework that inspires success and overcomes fear, where risk is assessed as an enabler, not a preventer.

How should the project be monitored; how should it be measured and evaluated (re KPIs) to ensure it remains on track or adjusted to achieve the Vision?

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