Change Is Cool

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By Cyndee Miller

Who’s a cool kid?

If organizations really want their tech transformations to take hold, the answer should be everyone.

That’s especially true in an era of digital disruption. Whether the source of change is a new cybersecurity threat or opportunities arising from nascent 5G networks, engaging all internal stakeholders and not just a select cadre will vastly increase enthusiasm and the likelihood of project success, said Tony Scott, CEO, TonyScottGroup LLC. He was the lead-off keynoter at PMO Symposium this week.

This fellow knows a thing or two about transformations, having served as CIO in transitional periods for major organizations including Microsoft, Disney and the U.S. federal government. “One of the most important functions of project managers and PMOs is to get people aligned and get people moving in the same direction,” he says. If a new direction is afloat, “make change a priority — and communicate it.”

Take his time in the White House. A massive data breach necessitated that teams across government departments update their security practices. But engagement with the government’s previous efforts to increase digital security was tepid at best. Whatever. That was before his time. His call? Make the transformation a contest and take the results public — which meant department leaders faced the prospect of a public reprimand.

“In 30 days, we made as much progress as they did in 10 years,” Mr. Scott said.

With change happening at such a head-spinning, mind-boggling pace, those people adept at handling such rapid shifts — i.e., project, program and portfolio professionals — are in a prime spot to reap some serious rewards. Anyone tasked with recruiting those people should get ready for a true battle royal for talent.

“Project management skills are more in demand today — and that need will only intensify,” Mr. Scott said.

How does your organization handle tech changes? Does it get the word out across the company — or does it just let a very special group of cool kids engage? 

Posted by Cyndee Miller on: November 08, 2017 12:14 AM | Permalink

Comments (8)

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I would say it depends on the industry. But there is always a window of opportunity realized or lost in a very short space of time before new technology comes along. Sharing knowledge across the whole organization ensures the best people utilize it for the benefit of the company, but also those talented individuals yet to shine or perhaps hiding in the wings, to come out at some stage in the future.

It has to start with a need related to business justification/value.

In my experience, it may not always be possible to engage "everyone" in the decision making process, but we do make it a point to ensure that that all impacted users are aware of the upcoming/ proposed changes and some kind of mechanism exists for users to provide feedback

I always prefer team participation. But it is really difficult to engage everyone in the decision making process.

I sometimes wish they would ask for those who want to be part of the 'cool kids'. I know they usually pick on those who have some availability.

What most organizations don't realize is that the busy people are the ones who can and want to do more.

Thanks for sharing.

In my experience, changes occur due to a subject matter expert passing along knowledge to the rest of the team and then the team in turn passes that along to the rest of the organization as needed.

It can be hard to engage the entire team, but making communication and feedback from the team a priority will make them more likely to get involved.

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