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Master Organizational Change Management Practices

PMOs, if you don't know who is responsible for org change, it's you.

  • Organizational change management (OCM) is often an Achilles’ heel for IT departments and business units, putting projects and programs at risk – especially large, complex, transformational projects.
  • When projects that depend heavily on users and stakeholders adopting new tools, or learning new processes or skills, get executed without an effective OCM plan, the likelihood that they will fail to achieve their intended outcomes increases exponentially.
  • The root of the problem often comes down to a question of accountability: who in the organization is accountable for change management success? In the absence of any other clearly identifiable OCM leader, the PMO – as the organizational entity that is responsible for facilitating successful project outcomes – needs to step up and embrace this accountability.
  • As PMO leader, you need to hone an OCM strategy and toolkit that will help ensure not only that projects are completed but also that benefits are realized.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • The root of poor stakeholder adoption on change initiatives is twofold:
    • Project planning tends to fixate on technology and neglects the behavioral and cultural factors that inhibit user adoption;
    • Accountabilities for managing change and helping to realize the intended business outcomes post-project are not properly defined in advance.
  • Persuading people to change requires a “soft,” empathetic approach to keep them motivated and engaged. But don’t mistake “soft” for easy. Managing the people part of change is amongst the toughest work there is, and it requires a comfort and competency with uncertainty, ambiguity, and conflict.
  • Transformation and change are increasingly becoming the new normal. While this normality may help make people more open to change in general, specific changes still need to be planned, communicated, and managed. Agility and continuous improvement are good, but can degenerate into volatility if change isn’t managed properly.

Impact and Result

  • Plan for human nature. To ensure project success and maximize benefits, plan and facilitate the non-technical aspects of organizational change by addressing the emotional, behavioral, and cultural factors that foster stakeholder resistance and inhibit user adoption.
  • Make change management as ubiquitous as change itself. Foster a project culture that is proactive about OCM. Create a process where OCM considerations are factored in as early as project ideation and where change is actively managed throughout the project lifecycle, including after the project has closed.
  • Equip project leaders with the right tools to foster adoption. Effective OCM requires an actionable toolkit that will help plant the seeds for organizational change. With the right tools and templates, the PMO can function as the hub for change, helping the business units and project teams to consistently achieve project and post-project success.

Master Organizational Change Management Practices

Start here – read the Executive Brief

Read our concise Executive Brief to find out how implementing an OCM strategy through the PMO can improve project outcomes and increase benefits realization.

1. Prepare the PMO for change leadership

Assess the organization’s readiness for change and evaluate the PMO’s OCM capabilities.

2. Plant the seeds for change during project planning and initiation

Build an organic desire for change throughout the organization by developing a sponsorship action plan through the PMO and taking a proactive approach to change impacts.

3. Facilitate change adoption throughout the organization

Ensure stakeholders are engaged and ready for change by developing effective communication, transition, and training plans.

4. Establish a post-project benefits attainment process

Determine accountabilities and establish a process for tracking business outcomes after the project team has packed up and moved onto the next project.

5. Solidify the PMO’s role as change leader

Institute an Organizational Change Management Playbook through the PMO that covers tools, processes, and tactics that will scale all of the organization’s project efforts.


Member Testimonials

After each Info-Tech experience, we ask our members to quantify the real-time savings, monetary impact, and project improvements our research helped them achieve. See our top member experiences for this blueprint and what our clients have to say.

9.3/10


Overall Impact

$25,054


Average $ Saved

20


Average Days Saved

Client

Experience

Impact

$ Saved

Days Saved

W&W/AFCO Steel

Guided Implementation

10/10

$29,139

10

Trimble Transportation

Guided Implementation

7/10

$61,999

9

Noble Foods

Guided Implementation

9/10

$17,100

5

Louisiana Health Service & Indemnity Company

Workshop

10/10

$30,999

100

Minter Ellison Rudd Watts

Guided Implementation

10/10

$8,679

5

Baylor College of Medicine

Guided Implementation

10/10

$2,479

5

City of Fayetteville

Guided Implementation

10/10

$30,999

10

Nations Lending Corporation

Guided Implementation

10/10

$34,099

35

Raymond James Ltd.

Guided Implementation

10/10

N/A

N/A

Toronto District School Board

Guided Implementation

8/10

N/A

N/A

New York Property Insurance Underwriting Association

Guided Implementation

10/10

N/A

20

Commonwealth of VA, State Corporation Commission

Guided Implementation

10/10

N/A

N/A

Southwest Gas Corporation

Guided Implementation

10/10

$1.27M

60

Digital Armour Corporation

Guided Implementation

9/10

$24,193

7

American Textile

Guided Implementation

8/10

$6,366

5

Commonwealth of VA, State Corporation Commission

Guided Implementation

10/10

$29,923

5

California Department Of Technology

Guided Implementation

10/10

$31,833

20

Saskatchewan Blue Cross

Workshop

9/10

$50,000

85

Sirius America Insurance Company

Guided Implementation

6/10

N/A

N/A

Public Utility District 2 Grant County

Guided Implementation

8/10

N/A

N/A

Meridian Health Plan

Guided Implementation

7/10

N/A

N/A

Administrative Tribunals Support Service of Canada

Workshop

10/10

$25,000

50


Organizational Change Management

Embrace (the accountability for) change.
This course makes up part of the PPM & Projects Certificate.

Now Playing: Academy: Organizational Change Management | Executive Brief

An active membership is required to access Info-Tech Academy
  • Course Modules: 6
  • Estimated Completion Time: 2-2.5 hours
  • Featured Analysts:
  • Barry Cousins, Sr. Research Director, Applications Practice
  • Gord Harrison, SVP of Research and Advisory

Onsite Workshop: Master Organizational Change Management Practices

Onsite workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Assess OCM Capabilities

The Purpose

  • Assess the organization’s readiness for change and evaluate the PMO’s OCM capabilities.
  • Estimate the relative difficulty and effort required for managing organizational change through a specific project.
  • Create a rough but concrete timeline that aligns organizational change management activities with project scope.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • A better understanding of the cultural appetite for change and of where the PMO needs to focus its efforts to improve OCM capabilities.
  • A project plan that includes disciplined organizational change management from start to finish.

Activities

Outputs

1.1

Assess the organization’s current readiness for change.

  • Organizational Change Management Capabilities Assessment
1.2

Perform a change management SWOT analysis to assess the PMO’s capabilities.

  • A diagnosis of the PMO’s strengths and weaknesses around change management, as well as the opportunities and threats associated with driving an OCM strategy through the PMO
1.3

Define OCM success metrics.

  • Criteria for implementation success
1.4

Establish and map out a core OCM project to pilot through the workshop.

  • Project Level Assessment

Module 2: Analyze Change Impacts

The Purpose

  • Analyze the impact of the change across various dimensions of the business.
  • Develop a strategy to manage change impacts to best ensure stakeholder adoption.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Improved planning for both your project management and organizational change management efforts.
  • A more empathetic understanding of how the change will be received in order to rightsize the PMO’s OCM effort and maximize adoption.

Activities

Outputs

2.1

Develop a sponsorship action plan through the PMO.

  • Sponsorship Action Plan
2.2

Determine the relevant considerations for analyzing the change impacts of a project.

2.3

Analyze the depth of each impact for each stakeholder group.

  • Organizational Change Management Capabilities Assessment
2.4

Establish a game plan to manage individual change impacts.

2.5

Document the risk assumptions and opportunities stemming from the impact analysis.

  • Risk and Opportunity Assessment

Module 3: Establish Collaborative Roles and Develop an Engagement Plan

The Purpose

  • Define a clear and compelling vision for change.
  • Define roles and responsibilities of the core project team for OCM.
  • Identify potential types and sources of resistance and enthusiasm.
  • Create a stakeholder map that visualizes relative influence and interest of stakeholders.
  • Develop an engagement plan for cultivating support for change while eliciting requirements.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Begin to communicate a compelling vision for change.
  • Delegate and divide work on elements of the transition plan among the project team and support staff.
  • Begin developing a communications plan that appeals to unique needs and attitudes of different stakeholders.
  • Cultivate support for change while eliciting requirements.

Activities

Outputs

3.1

Involve the right people to drive and facilitate change.

  • RACI table
3.2

Solidify the vision of change to reinforce and sustain leadership and commitment.

3.3

Proactively identify potential skeptics in order to engage them early and address their concerns.

  • Stakeholder Analysis
3.4

Stay one step ahead of potential saboteurs to prevent them from spreading dissent.

3.5

Find opportunities to empower enthusiasts to stay motivated and promote change by encouraging others.

3.6

Formalize the stakeholder analysis to identify change champions and blockers.

  • Engagement Plan
3.7

Formalize the engagement plan to begin cultivating support while eliciting requirements.

  • Communications plan requirements

Module 4: Develop and Execute the Transition Plan

The Purpose

  • Develop a realistic, effective, and adaptable transition plan, including:
    • Clarity around leadership and vision.
    • Well-defined plans for targeting unique groups with specific messages.
    • Resistance and contingency plans.
    • Templates for gathering feedback and evaluating success.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Execute the transition in coordination with the timeline and structure of the core project.
  • Communicate the action plan and vision for change.
  • Target specific stakeholder and user groups with unique messages.
  • Deal with risks, resistance, and contingencies.
  • Evaluate success through feedback and metrics.

Activities

Outputs

4.1

Sustain changes by adapting people, processes, and technologies to accept the transition.

4.2

Decide which action to take on enablers and blockers.

4.3

Start developing the training plan early to ensure training is properly timed and communicated.

  • Training Plan
4.4

Sketch a communications timeline based on a classic change curve to accommodate natural resistance.

4.5

Define plans to deal with resistance to change, objections, and fatigue.

  • Resistance Plan
4.6

Consolidate and refine communication plan requirements for each stakeholder and group.

4.7

Build the communications delivery plan.

  • Communications Plan
4.8

Define the feedback and evaluation process to ensure the project achieves its objectives.

4.9

Formalize the transition plan.

  • Transition Plan

Module 5: Institute an OCM Playbook through the PMO

The Purpose

  • Establish post-project benefits tracking timeline and commitment plans.
  • Institute a playbook for managing organizational change, including:
    • Clarity around roles and responsibilities.
    • Formalized methodology.
    • Reusable tools and templates.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • A process for ensuring the intended business outcomes are tracked and monitored after the project is completed.
  • Repeat and scale best practices around organizational change to future PMO projects.
  • Continue to build your capabilities around managing organizational change.
  • Increase the effectiveness and value of organizational change management.

Activities

Outputs

5.1

Review lessons learned to improve organizational change management as a core PM discipline.

  • Lessons learned
5.2

Monitor capacity for change.

  • Organizational Change Capability Assessment
5.3

Define roles and responsibilities.

5.4

Formalize and communicate the organizational change management playbook.

  • Organizational Change Management Playbook
5.5

Regularly reassess the value and success of organizational change management.

About Info-Tech

Info-Tech Research Group is the world’s fastest-growing information technology research and advisory company, proudly serving over 30,000 IT professionals.

We produce unbiased and highly relevant research to help CIOs and IT leaders make strategic, timely, and well-informed decisions. We partner closely with IT teams to provide everything they need, from actionable tools to analyst guidance, ensuring they deliver measurable results for their organizations.

Member Rating

9.3/10
Overall Impact

$25,054
Average $ Saved

20
Average Days Saved

After each Info-Tech experience, we ask our members to quantify the real-time savings, monetary impact, and project improvements our research helped them achieve.

Read what our members are saying

What Is a Blueprint?

A blueprint is designed to be a roadmap, containing a methodology and the tools and templates you need to solve your IT problems.

Each blueprint can be accompanied by a Guided Implementation that provides you access to our world-class analysts to help you get through the project.

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Try Our Guided Implementations

Get the help you need in this 5-phase advisory process. You'll receive 12 touchpoints with our researchers, all included in your membership.

Guided Implementation #1 - Prepare the PMO for change leadership
  • Call #1 - Scoping Call.
  • Call #2 - Review the PMO’s and the organization’s change capabilities.
  • Call #3 - Determine an OCM pilot initiative.

Guided Implementation #2 - Plant the seeds for change during project planning and initiation
  • Call #1 - Define a sponsorship action plan for change initiatives.
  • Call #2 - Undergo a change impact assessment.

Guided Implementation #3 - Facilitate change adoption throughout the organization
  • Call #1 - Perform a stakeholder analysis.
  • Call #2 - Prepare a communications strategy based on stakeholder types.
  • Call #3 - Develop training plans.

Guided Implementation #4 - Establish a post-project benefits attainment process
  • Call #1 - Establish a post-project benefits tracking process.
  • Call #2 - Implement a tracking tool.

Guided Implementation #5 - Solidify the PMO’s role as change leader
  • Call #1 - Evaluate the effectiveness of OCM practices.
  • Call #2 - Formalize an OCM playbook for the organization’s projects.

Author(s)

Travis Duncan

Contributors

  • 12 anonymous company contributors
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