10 Tips for Sustainable Change Management

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Categories: Change Management


In my experience, project managers must accept change management disciplines as part of their project management plans in order to reduce the risk of an initiative failing. And in recent posts, I've discussed how:

In this post, I'll discuss how project managers have an opportunity to make a long-lasting impact on an organization by indicating where change disciplines integrate with project management. That's because the keys to successful change management lie in the project management process groups. By leveraging the project management processes and activities across the project life cycle, we can build in and ultimately sustain change. Here are 10 ways to address change in your project management plan: 

  1. Gather requirements during the initiating phase to articulate a change management plan as part of the project charter.
  2. Design a plan that integrates the work activities and drives performance by using a specific approach, such as John Kotter's 8-Step model.
  3. Engage stakeholders early to gather their expectations and gain their commitment.
  4. Integrate change needs into risk, scope, budget, communication and human resources plans during the planning phase.
  5. Identify change leaders as part of the project team, or hire subject matter experts to engage and coach staff and leaders to drive change. 
  6. Execute an integrated communication and change management plan that assesses the culture for change readiness, and communicate new expectations and ways of working in the future to become accustomed to new behaviors.
  7. Generate quick wins to display the new ways of working as examples of change outcomes. I create a quick list of wins by gathering insights from stakeholder interviews and a review of performance measures. This allows the team to build momentum and credibility for the new work approaches.
  8. Gather feedback during your monitoring phase to modify approaches and thus continue to drive desired change outcomes. This allows you to evaluate what techniques work well and which ones need to be stopped or tweaked to support the adoption of new behaviors.
  9. Sustain the change by developing a transition plan to operations that includes trained teams. Make sure a sustainability assessment is conducted at predefined periods, beginning with quarterly reviews, to continue governance.
  10. Celebrate the team's accomplishment on the internal change that will drive the future of the organization. These celebrations should acknowledge individuals and teams who have adopted the new behaviors--and thus help create successful role models for others to learn from and emulate during adoption.
As a management consultant, I used this checklist of tips to help me move from strategic planning to tactical implementation to sustainable operations. For example, I once had a client organization that deployed a new service management provider to improve its delivery and cost of IT operations. As the client introduced the new provider, the service delivery measures were not improving and were starting to miss the ROI expectations of the business case.  

I was hired to review the business processes that underpinned IT service delivery, and develop an improvement plan to restore the service delivery organization and meet the business case expectations. I started by conducting a prime value chain analysis and conducted stakeholder reviews to gather requirements. Based on my evaluation of best practices and the activities that hurt service delivery, I developed an initial management improvement plan. This plan was based on process reengineering, redeploying resources and reorganizing governance. 

During the implementation planning, I used every one of the steps above to ensure I was leading through the change, engaging stakeholders and staff while ensuring the organization would be able to sustain the new ways of working after my assignment ended.

Which of the above steps do you find most valuable in ensuring sustained change? 

For more on change management, purchase PMI's Managing Change in Organizations: A Practice Guide

Posted by Peter Tarhanidis on: December 04, 2013 12:14 PM | Permalink

Comments

Larry Brian
Change management provides an easy way for companies to survive with globalization which may be in form of threat or opportunity. So some tips should be followed for proper change management in company

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