It’s a VUCA world (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous). The pace and structure of our lives and the business world today is fast and continually moving. A change practitioner faced with bigger, faster and more complex change is challenged by the volume, and it becomes very easy to either forget, ignore or get lazy about managing change down to that individual level where it happens.
Leading organizations are working to build Enterprise Change Management capabilities to support their organizational agility and increase overall project success rate. One of the steps taken to build this capability is the creation of a structure to support change management in the organization, usually in the form of a Change Management Office (CMO), Center of Excellence (CoE), Community of Practice (CoP) or some other entity dedicated to change management.
Organizations are continuously introducing changes in response to internal and external stimuli. Some of these changes focus on processes, others on technologies, and others on the structure of the organization. Regardless of the type, each of these changes requires the organization to move from the current state through a transition state to a new, future state. However, organizations are made up of many individuals who all need to move from their own current to future states. Change management seeks to help the organization change effectively, which means change management must also ensure that individuals embrace and adopt change.
The discipline of project management has a set of recognized tools that support its execution: project charter, statement of work, work breakdown structure, schedule, etc. Similarly, change management has a set of tools that support the people side of change.
Organizations are facing larger and more frequent changes in the current economic climate. A changing marketplace, empowered workforce and technological advancements have created an environment where change is now a part of everyday business. In this environment, organizations are beginning to recognize the importance of building the competency to rapidly and successfully change.
Executives and senior leaders play an essential role in times of change. An organization looks to its leaders to be visible sponsors of change and to demonstrate why change is necessary. Senior leaders provide the authority and credibility necessary for successful change.
To face today’s increasing velocity of change (bigger, faster, more important, more complex), organizations are working to build change capabilities – “muscle” in specific disciplines that support change execution. A few examples include project management, continuous improvement, Agile, Organization Development and change management. Leading organizations have taken the next step and moved these capabilities under an umbrella focused on change implementation – what we will call a “change-enabling system” here.
One of the most common pitfalls regarding the project of institutionalizing Enterprise Change Management (ECM) is failing to treat and manage the effort as a project and a change. To do that, an important mindset shift must occur. You have to move out of the mindset of simply doing more change management (whether that means more application or more training) to a mindset of deploying change management and building organizational capabilities. There are countless organizations that continue to do more and more change management, and their projects and initiatives are more successful because of it. But they never hit the seminal moment of deciding to take the next step toward institutionalizing change management.
Most change management models in use today are processes—step-by-step instructions. But do you know why these processes work? Have the underlying principles and concepts gotten lost in translation, leaving just a list of how-tos?
The disciplines of change management and project management understandably cross paths throughout the execution of a project or initiative. Each brings necessary and critical structure for effectively implementing change and realizing results. Below are four tactical dimensions along which integration can occur. A fifth dimension is also mentioned regarding a common objective and how integration around results and outcomes drives more effective integration in action.
Change management is the discipline that guides how we prepare, equip and support individuals to successfully adopt change in order to drive organizational results and outcomes. Change management provides a structured approach to support the transition from the current state to the future state in the context of each unique change.
The disciplines of change management and project management cross paths throughout the execution of an initiative. Each brings necessary and critical structure for effectively implementing change and realizing results. Getting the project team on board and engaged in change management can make or break an initiative. This article shares the top five obstacles practitioners face regarding integration—along with the key success factors for overcoming them—to help you be more successful in bringing together these disciplines.
The logic is sound: projects and initiatives ultimately require individuals to do their jobs differently. The correlation data is clear (from Prosci and other sources): the likelihood of success increases with effective change management. However, organizations still seem to encounter some reluctance to fully invest and commit to change management. Many practitioners still face the situation where the decision to invest time, resources and budget in change management is not occurring. Below is a cost-benefit analysis for investing in change management, including five perspectives on the benefits of applying change management on projects in your organization. Given the importance of change in today’s environment, these approaches to making the case for change management can ensure that change management is viewed as a “must have” and not a “nice to have” on the projects you support.
Resistance to change is normal and expected, but what if we could eliminate at least half of the resistance encountered on a change initiative? At the formulation of the methodology in 2002, Prosci identified seven change concepts that make up the reality of change. These foundational concepts introduce the theories and perspectives of change and are central to the ultimate application of change management practices. One of them, “Resistance and Comfort,” recognizes that resistance is the natural reaction to change.
Are the changes you lead positioned to succeed? It’s a simple question to ask, but it is more complex to answer. A unique web of interwoven factors determines your likelihood of seeing change through to long term sustained results. To find simplicity and clarity, we’ve asked participants in our benchmarking research studies the same simple question every two years since 1998: “What has been the single greatest contributor to the success of your change management program?”
With the velocity of change and the demand to deliver expected outcomes and results increasing, leaders are recognizing that organizational change maturity is no longer a luxury but is in fact a necessity. Prosci began its research and development on embedding organizational change capability back in 2004 with the development and release of the Prosci Change Management Maturity ModelTM. The Prosci Maturity Model has enabled countless organizations to document their current level of maturity and develop actionable plans to increase their maturity.
Over the past quarter of a century, change management has emerged, evolved and grown from foundational understandings, to conceptual underpinnings and on to a recognized discipline. Prosci’s research and experience suggests that in the coming years the focus will shift toward advancement along three fronts: • Increased collaboration of change disciplines • Enhanced organizational maturity development • Individual professional development