Viewing Posts by April Birchmeier
Engaging Leaders, Engaging Change
Categories: PMI Training
By April Callis Birchmeier CSP, CCMP™, PMP®
Project management professionals are a unique breed. Organized, focused and process driven, project professionals have tremendous impact on organizations and their people. Project management professionals create order and accountability to move organizations forward. Yet, project professionals often overlook the need for organizational change management to ensure successful stakeholder adoption. Enhancing the capabilities of project managers by adding an organizational change management framework to their skillset provides a more comprehensive and human-centric approach to projects and change initiatives.
The goal of organizational change management is to identify, plan, and execute stakeholder activities to achieve the benefit of the change through stakeholder adoption. In other words, if people accept and use the change being implemented, the benefit expected from change is realized. Organizational change management used to be considered a “nice-to-have” addition to a project. In our current unending and compounding change environment organizational change management is a “must-have” for success. Stakeholders, Sponsors and End-users are people who need information and emotional support while adopting new physical spaces, behaviors, and processes.
My experience as a PMP and certified change management professional (CCMP) involved with change initiatives involving technology and programs was enlightening. I wore both the PMP and CCMP hats while implementing projects and discovered a disconnect when discussing change activities with my project management colleagues. Technical milestones seemed to be considered more important people focused milestones. Test cases and outcomes were considered more critical results of metrics measuring what people knew about and felt about the change. Organizational change management was often viewed with suspicion and seemed unclear.
In response, I developed a 5-step framework, the READY, Set, Change! framework, which aligns Project Plan phases and Change Management Plan stages in a way to simplify integration and accelerate change.
The second step of this 5-step framework is to Engage Leaders while creating change strategy. Leaders must share the vision, provide direction, and reassure people when times are tough. If leaders are not engaged, they cannot lead change effectively. If leaders do not engage because they lack the ability to prioritize and communicate essential action, they lose the leverage and loyalty of those around them. In our current state of unexpected, unorganized, and unpredictable change we need engaged leaders to lead through the unknown. As each news cycle seems to cascade despair it’s imperative for leaders of projects, changes, and people to step forward, engage and lead.
Project management professionals and change management professionals can assist organizations as they adapt to new circumstances and adopt new technology, structure, or programs. Aligning and integrating plans, norms, and status by using this 5-step framework will provide a clear and simpler path for individuals and organizations to navigate adoption in the midst of unending change.
Find out more during my two-day PMI Training course Ready, Set, Change!
For more on my other PMI Training course, please visit: Creating and Sustaining a Positive Work Team: Breaking the 7 Habits of Negativity and Other Secrets of Getting Along!
I look forward to seeing you at an upcoming PMI Training!