Shifting Change: Insider Tips from Project Leaders

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Today's world is influenced by change. Project managers and their organizations need to embrace and sometimes drive changes to keep up with the pace in highly competitive environments. In this blog, experienced professionals share their experiences, tips and tools to manage and exploit changes and take advantage of them. The blog is complimentary to the webinar series of the Change Management Community Team and is managed by the same individuals.

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Luisa Cristini
Nic Jain
Ruth Pearce
Abílio Neto
Vitaly Geyman
Walter Vandervelde
Steve Salisbury
John ORourke
Ronald Sharpe
Angela Montgomery
Tony Saldanha
Ryan Gottfredson
Joseph Pusz
Kavitha Gunasekaran
Ross Wirth
Carole Osterweil

Recent Posts

Personal Resilience - Capacity to Take on Next

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'Under Water'

Viewing Posts by Ronald Sharpe

Personal Resilience - Capacity to Take on Next

Life is busy.  It constantly seems like there is more to do than hours in the day.  In an always on world, it is easy to run right past the signals telling us to recharge, until we are running on nothing but fumes.  Once we’ve reached the last of our energy reserves, we quickly understand that it will take quite a while to refill the tank. 

Consider these three things to maintain your energy reserves:

  • Reflect on your daily and weekly schedule
    • Is everything you are doing adding value?
    • If it isn’t adding value, would it have a harmful impact if you stopped doing it?
  • Participate in self-care activities regularly
    • If you participate regularly, good job, keep doing what you are doing.
    • If not, it’s important to remember that you are important.  If you aren’t functioning properly how can you care for others effectively?
  • Build and maintain a strong support network
    • To build your support network, start small. Reach out to a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while, join a group, or volunteer. 
    • To maintain a support network, keep investing in your relationships.

Building and maintaining personal resilience can be challenging.  Meeting this challenge will allow you to have the capacity to take on whatever life throws your way. 

Life is busy.  It constantly seems like there is more to do than hours in the day.  This has a negative impact on your energy level.  Doing these three things can help you maintain the energy you need to take on next.

 

Posted by Ronald Sharpe on: December 10, 2019 11:16 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)

'Under Water'

‘Under Water’

Do you ever feel like you and/or your team are ‘under water’ and don’t know why?  You may be experiencing change saturation.  Change saturation occurs when the threshold between capacity for change and the demands of implementing change is crossed. When this happens, people can experience a range of symptoms from confusion and frustration to physical impact.  It can also manifest as morale issues, scattered buy-in, wasted resources, or only superficial change.  Want to know if you’re dealing with change saturation?  Answer the following statements using a rating of low, medium, or high to get a high-level assessment of risk for change saturation.     

  • The right amount of time has been allowed from the time the change was first discussed to when it was implemented.
  • The change is being implemented in an organized way.
  • The amount of change in addition to normal jobs duties is creating work overload.
  • Impacted individuals are highly interdependent and rarely experience conflict.
  • The change has significantly increased stress-related health issues.

After completing the survey questions, integrate your scores to determine the level of risk.  If the initial findings show a high risk, a more in-depth survey can be used to further refine areas of concern.  In closing, change saturation is a key people-related risk factor, should be included in the project plan, and action plans managed for risk mitigation.   

Posted by Ronald Sharpe on: October 29, 2019 07:59 AM | Permalink | Comments (5)

Ready…set…wait…who is going to do that?

Have you ever been in this situation?  You’re in a meeting, and the colleague on your left starts talking about the next big idea.  The benefits are discussed and excitement builds to get started.  So you ask, how are you going to do that?  The colleague looks puzzled and says, “That’s not my job, my role is to come up with big ideas”.  Nervously, you glance at the colleague to your right.  Who responds, “That’s not my job, my role is to keep things running smoothly and the customers happy”.  So, the question remains, who is going to turn the idea into action?

The answer, a project team.  Great, one problem solved.  But, the follow up question is always, who should be on a project team?  The project team should be comprised of strategic thinkers, ‘operators’, and individuals with specific skill sets such as project management, process improvement, change management, and learning and development. 

The organization is placing a significant amount of trust and responsibility in this team.  Which means the members need to be carefully selected.   When selecting the team from the possible candidates, how can you tell the difference between the individuals that have been there done that and those that just talk a good game?  By asking questions about their past performance and, based on their answers, using the following model to determine their competency level. 

Novice

  • No discretionary judgment
  • Little situational awareness
  • Rigid adherence to rules / plans

Advanced Beginner

  • All attributes and aspects are treated separately and given equal importance
  • Limited situational awareness
  • Uses the same guidelines for all attributes or aspects

Competent

  • Sees actions partly in terms of longer-range planning
  • Conscious, deliberate planning
  • Uses standard procedures

Proficient

  • Sees situations holistically
  • Sees priorities; decision-making is less difficult
  • Uses situationally relevant principles for guidance

Expert

  • Analytics used to solve problems with novel approaches
  • Deep understanding of skill set, and has an intuitive grasp of situation
  • Others seek them out as mentor

In a perfect world, you could fill a project team with experts.  However, it isn’t feasible for everyone on the team to be an expert (which could present its own challenges).  It is important to understand which roles are key to the success of the project, and fill those roles with qualified people.  The remaining roles are prime opportunities for high performing talent that need experience. 

Posted by Ronald Sharpe on: September 11, 2019 10:08 AM | Permalink | Comments (3)
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