by Ian Saunders, Antony Aitken, Ray Charlton and David Flatman

What are the change drivers?

Change for change’s sake is a recipe for disaster, so before anything starts to change, you need to be very clear as to why the change is needed, what needs to change and what the desired result is.

Change begets change. Nothing propagates so fast.

Charles Dickens

Also take heed of Charles Dickens’ words and think about all the consequences of the proposed change.

Think about the change in which you are involved or are planning, and use the following questions to clarify the situation in your own mind – writing things down if necessary.

  • Is it a change to a process or system?
  • Is it a change in the way people work together?
  • Is it a re-structuring?
  • Is it something else?
  • Is it all of the above?

The drivers for your change

Write down what you think the factors are that are driving this change.

Then ask other people, lots of them. What do they say?

From this point, you can create a strong sense of the purpose for the change.

When planning change, the clearer you are about the drivers, and hence the purpose, the more successful you are likely to be.


During a change programme or project, you will need to keep revisiting the question of drivers as you seek more clarity about the purpose and more engagement of those involved.

It is not a one-off task.

Some examples of purpose:

  1. To improve our responsiveness to customers
  2. To simplify our manufacturing process
  3. To reduce the number of suppliers
  4. To respond to changes in the market place.

The purpose and the business case

Here are some important questions. Think about them carefully and write down the answers. Take your time and write down everything you can think of. It will be time well spent.

  • How does the envisaged change relate to your business strategy?
  • How does it contribute to adding value for your customers?
  • How will you know when you have got there?
  • What measures will you agree and use?

If you cannot answer these questions fully, you need to go back and find out exactly what this change is and what is driving the need?


It’s important to be able to relate this change to the business strategy.

Your aim is to build a really sound business case for change that clarifies and defines overall outcomes and links these to local outcomes.

Above all else, it is vital that you are clear in your own mind before you seek to communicate the purpose and business case to others.