Change processes are meant to successfully drive key developments as a business merger or the launch of new technology or digitalization efforts, for example. The most important goals are to ensure that technology works, processes are realigned, disruptions are minimalized and people understand, accept and work (together) within the context of new technology and behaviors to stay competitive by maximizing productivity, reduce downtimes and field decline rates while continuously improving efficiency and reduce costs. At the same time becoming more compliant with security, privacy or environmental regulations. 

Studies show that a majority of these efforts fail to deliver – part of – these results and technology and innovation by itself are seldom the reason. It’s always leadership and how it translates in ways of working (culture, organization, HR policies…) that become the bottleneck. It’s, therefore, necessary to develop change models that can address the problems in an integrated holistic way.   

Triple Seven® Framework for digital change

The Triple Seven® Model for behavioral change is an attempt to address the whole scope of areas affected by any change. It was initially developed in 2012 by André Baken for the Oil & Gas Industry. Its aim was to build a more holistic framework of seven key change drivers to support the standard existing technology projects around Oilfield Digitalization and Real-Time Operations Centres, which were not delivering desired results.

The Triple Seven® Model for technology and behavioral change is used as a thinking framework or, very practical, as a guideline to work with. The Framework provides an integrated view of project design, organizational consequences, leadership, people capabilities, culture, continuous improvement needs and learning and information structures. Its aim is to reduce the negative impacts of implementation while improving and speeding up the deployment process and its outcomes.

 The 7 Key Drivers of successful change

The Model identifies 7 key disciplines or drivers that need to interact as a coherent whole to make organisational and technological change efforts successful.

-1) (re) Organisation

-2) Leadership and Sponsoring

-3) People Capabilities

-4) Technologies

-5) Continuous Improvement Programmes

-6) Culture and

-7) Communications

Ad 1) Organisation

What are the organisation’s Mission and Vision and how are they translated into operational goals and a solid business case? How does the change process relate to that? Does the planned change project affect the existing organisation? If yes, how are we going to re-organise?

Ad 2) Leadership

What role does the existing formal organization play? Who supports this change? How is the leadership structure going to evolve as a result of change and what will it look like in the future? Is there enough muscle and executive sponsorship to give us a good chance of success?

Ad 3) People Capabilities

What is the HR cycle going to look like? How is the process going to affect the rest of the organization? How are we going to make sure that we find and train the best people for the changed working environment? How are we going to organize compensation and benefits? How are we going to carry out workforce planning?

Ad 4) Technologies

What innovations and upgrades are needed? How are we going to organize the activities and decisions needed to produce the required outputs? How are we going to structure cross-departmental decision-making and execution? What is the project planning going to look like? Who will be the best possible vendor? What will commercial and contractual structures deliver the best results? From in-house deployment to outsource to multi-vendor to Cloud?

Ad 5) Continuous Improvement

How are we going to organize truly effective continuous improvement programmes around the new technology being introduced? How are we going to structure the learning and training? On what levels? Can we identify all stakeholders and training needs?

Ad 6) Culture

The shared beliefs and assumptions that determine specific behavior. New technology deployment needs specific new collaborative behavior. The transition from existing behavior to new behavior needs detailed definition, mindset, and learning.

Ad 7) Communications and Information

Communications are placed at the very center of the hexagon and connect to all other disciplines. How stakeholder groups to be informed are, motivated and engaged, and how can we ensure their commitment? It is essential to design and deploy strong personal connections and collaborative working methods throughout all areas and in all process phases. This requires a consistent, long-term communication effort. 

The 7 Processes

Each key discipline is subject to 7 processes to ensure that the model is truly focused and coherent. This ensures that all knowledge, experience, and information are identified and placed on the table.

-1) Diagnose phase

-2) Concept Building phase

-3) Psychosocial Phase

-4) Learning process

-5) Information process

-6) Implementation process and

-7) Management

Each key driver has to go through each single process, which generates 7 * 7 = 49 specific planning areas. For example: There is a learning process for leaders, or an implementation process for people capabilities, or a management process for (re)organisation. Key to success is that all 49 areas are developed and looked at as one single integrated and planned effort. This embeds technology changes in a now integrated framework of the needed wider change to make it become successful.

Ad 1) Diagnose

The diagnose phase involves as many key stakeholders as possible. This is to ensure that all possible answers to key questions are identified, while also promoting fast decision-making, based on organizing, conducting and integrating interventions that deploy specific diagnostic tools.

Ad 2) Concept Building

The concept building phase helps stakeholders to define the “W”s: what, when, where, why and whom. Early involvement of stakeholders is key to success, although there may be some potentially controversial questions, such as: Do we trust the skills of people who are not in the top organization enough to involve them at this early stage? Do we trust people’s intentions enough to give them a say in matters that affect them directly? Do we trust that diverse groups of internal stakeholders can come up with exceptional recommendations? Do we trust our managers to become leaders?

Ad 3) Psychosocial process

People have a natural resistance against any kind of change. Psychosocial tools need to be put in place and deployed in several disciplines to help people understand their own attitudes in greater depth and overcome negative feelings, substituting them for more positive and productive ones, creating a new mindset. This may also lead to the change of people in key positions if their mindset is immovable.

Ad 4) Learning processes

Changing ways of working and behaving, using new technology, working collaboratively in new orders: these need to be understood, accepted and learned. But learning does not limit itself to the subjects of the process but also includes the objects, covering such issues as leadership, managerial skills, empathy, and communications.

Ad 5) Information process

Communications need to be both generic (newsletters, websites, campaigns) and specifically designed for change projects, using such tools as collective assessments, group-based sessions, brainstorm sessions, middle management meetings, concerned group encounters,  dialogue sessions and collective reflections. These need to be used throughout every discipline and in most stages of the deployment process.

Ad 6) Implementation process

The design of the implementation process can, itself, include some potential pitfalls. As with the concept building phase, some key questions need to be asked to ensure that we can design the best possible process and align it with the technology piece. It is essential that everyone involved in the future execution of project implementation has a shared understanding about the need to stay aligned, moving ahead together, at the same pace.

Ad 7) Management process

The management process is subject to standard project management tools.

The 7 Decision Gates  

Each process of each key driver (all 49) needs to move in an orchestrated way through the seven usual decision gates. Below I highlight the minimum viable activities that need to take place before moving on.

Decision Gates (high level formulated):                                                                                                              

1:            Get started: (Organisation)                                                        

– Establish the business case for the change

– Establish the vision

– Establish the goals and translate into actionable targets

– Involve and Communicate

  1. Get muscle: (Leadership)

– Get capacity to lead the change

– Build infrastructure to drive the change

– Involve and communicate

  1. Design the Technology business                                

– Design new processes and systems

– Involve and communicate

          4. Design the people business capability and organizational (re) design                

– Define related behaviours, skills, resources and action plans

– Design and build new structure for the organisation

– Involve and communicate

  1. Change the business: Make the wheel spin                

– Execute the project implementation plans

– Programme management

– Evaluate and adjust regularly

– Involve and communicate

  1. Manage the transition: Culture                           

– Create the right mindset for change

– Adopt the newly designed processes and systems

– Learn the new collaborative behaviours (both behavioural and technological)

– Involve and communicate

  1. Consolidate the business:                                

– Anchor the key elements of the new organization and collaborative behaviours

– Continuously improve the new organization

– Learn from the experience

– Involve and communicate

– Celebrate success.

The three stakeholder dimensions of the Triple Seven® Framework

There are three dimensions to this change management framework to consider:

  • “Me” dimension
  • Team dimension
  • System dimension



Any change process involves individual stakeholders, working in a range of collective environments, who also belong to the wider system or organization or even the outer world. Walking through the process phases and decision gates, all three dimensions are relevant: identifying all relevant stakeholders, how they relate to themselves, with each other, their system and the project before, during and after consolidation.

Ad 1) “Me” dimension

People have a natural resistance against any form of change. Even if you are the initiator of the change you will feel it! Therefore it’s necessary to help people set their minds to what needs to be done and help them understand how their brains work and can play tricks on them. They need to learn how specific emotions drive certain motivations, which in turn trigger a range of perhaps unexpected actions. Understanding those mechanisms helps people to turn resistance and denial into curiosity and creativity. Mindset programmes, together with personal assessment and coaching techniques for all stakeholders throughout the deployment process are key.

Ad 2) Team dimension

The team dimension needs to be taken into account as most new technologies are disruptive, making it necessary for people to work in different ways and with individuals from other teams or units. Existing social (and organizational) structures, therefore, will be affected, potentially leading to resistance and roadblocks to change, if no remedies are put in place.

Ad 3) System dimension

Even small or local innovations tend to have much wider implications than might originally be thought of. It’s like throwing a stone in a pond. The waves are not high but they go on and on. Many more people than expected may be or may feel touched by it. Analysing the system dimension throughout all processes is therefore essential for success.


Open to change- and other tools

Triple Seven® functions as a thought framework or can be used as a practical guideline to help adapt, plan, structure, improve or support the processes. Many change processes are (too) much single tool oriented (do a team building activity, deliver a management training…). There are at least 60 Change Management tools or instruments for working with individuals, teams and the whole organization, together with dozens of other tools to help plan, structure and improve CIP, Communications, People Capabilities, Leadership or Culture. These are in addition to the project tools used in the industry to plan and execute projects. Altogether, there are probably more than 150 tools available today, used by the widest possible spectrum of consultancies and consultants.  Their (moment of)  usage is (or should be) defined by the project- and process needs and goals, not the other way around.

Using the Triple7 framework will avoid excessive focusing on the tools (or technology), directing efforts towards desired outcomes. The diagnosis and planning processes will define the most suitable tool options for any moment and integrated use, based upon the specific needs of the project.


Triple Seven framework doesn’t give a planning option. It must be clearly understood that people (Leaders and Employees) constitute the largest risk of any innovation activity. The process of connecting them, creating commitment, ownership, and empowerment to lead them into the exploring, learning and educational phases, requires different timelines, depending on the existing culture, organization and available leaders, as a baseline. The snail figure symbolizes this. A snail is slow, very slow to the eye of a human being. But you find him the next morning sitting on his new branch. Trying to speed up a snail is useless. Squeezing these slower timelines into a standard technology project management framework is a no-go. This is especially the case in most industrialized organizations and I have seen it go wrong many times as leadership didn’t understand (see here an example of how these things relay to each other!).

Different stakeholders and groups also have different levels of self-awareness and preparation (leaders and employees) and some will need more support than others, while others will not be able to adjust at all, which can further influence the timing and planning of the project. If such time isn’t available, there are ways of speeding up the processes, but they are always disruptive and need very strong and direct leadership. But that’s another story.

André Baken