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Enterprise change vs Project change

From the Change Whisperer on ProjectManagement.com Blog
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This is a blog about Strategy Execution, about implementing change and driving ROI to the bottom line. It is intended for: Leaders and for Program, Project and Change Management practitioners trying to manage the weather systems of change raining inside the organization.

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Enterprise change vs Project change

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Categories: Change Management


Do you see Enterprise and Project change differently? Do you deal with them differently?

The reality of most organizations is that there are multiple strategies run by multiple divisions / leaders (most independent of each other) and these are broken into multiple Portfolios, Programs and Projects (also often run independent of each other).

The effect is that change “rains” into the organization from all of these separate initiatives.

The unit of change

Much of the literature and training speaks of change as a single unit – as a strategy or project – and the approaches are designed around deploying “a unit of change”.  This has utility as a concept but does it run out of usefulness in application?

It is not an academic exercise to identify the main sources of change and to draw the picture of how it hits employees.  Further, given that it is generally accepted that organizations must transform often to remain competitive these days, this is actually a perennial issue.

Many organizations do communications that explain the Enterprise strategy (the case for change) where the Enterprise Strategy is treated as “the unit of change” at the macro level – and often employees understand and even support the “why” .

Feedback from employees

When we hear feedback from employees (even in organizations with some good change management in multiple projects and good Organization Development across the board), we hear comments like:

  • I get so many communications that I cannot remember them or find the info when I need it
  • Could you give some thought to when you are deploying change – and refrain from downloading a lot on us at the same time
  • I am falling behind on the change the organization is asking me to make / I cannot keep up

IMHO we should not jump to the conclusion that this is classic resistance.  Employees are not saying ‘this is a bad idea’ or ‘I don’t want to do this’.

Roll up or Roll down?

What do you do (does your organization do) to bring context to this experience for employees? To optimize change management / organization development at the Enterprise level?

Do you work against “a unit of change”?  Do you roll up project “units” into “strategy” units? Does rolling it up from the bottom work for you (eg Stakeholder Impact Analysis)?

Do you concurrently come at it from the top down, as in from the perspective of creating organizational agility?

I have opened a discussion in the Organizational Change Practitioners Group on LinkedIn and hope you will join the dialogue there.  Those who know me know that I have many thoughts on this topic AND that I hope for a rich debate and dialogue so that we can compare notes and learn from each other.

Stay tuned for more posts on this topic. 

Posted on: April 18, 2015 08:39 PM | Permalink

Comments (6)

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It is all about knowing the purpose. If vision is explained well, it leads to better understanding of Enterprise change. If enterprise change is well articulated, then it becomes easier to.manage project change. I see this all interlocked

Thanks Gail.

Thanks for sharing!

Found this when doing research - thanks

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