February 2010


The Change Manager is responsible for the success of the change management strategy and implementation for the project.  The main responsibilities of the role are: 

  • Scope and prepare the change management plan

  • Identify the project’s change management issues, objectives and action plan

  • Manage the change management plan (incorporating training, stakeholder management, communication)

  • Provide status reports and updates to key stakeholders

  • Identify and manage risks associated with the change

  • Manage the change management budget, schedule and resources

  • Execute the tasks in the change management schedule

  • Assist in transitioning the change to “business as usual”

  • Evaluate the effectiveness of the change approach

Highly experienced change managers usually have a mix of skills in business analysis, training, communication, project management and facilitation. Their core competencies include: 

  • Building partnerships

  • Interpersonal communication

  • Written communication

  • Consulting skills

  • Managing change

  • Problem solving

  • Project management

..and of course, energy, patience and a good sense of humour! 

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speed-bumps.jpg  The road to change is seldom straightforward…you can bet there will be twists, turns and a few bumps. So how can we inspire others to learn, communicate and know more ?

Organisational change is a constant. The ability to successfully facilitate it is a core skill for any manager. Last week  I worked with a team of project managers who are implementing significant organisational change. We discussed some of the keys to help master the change process.  Here’s a summary of the “8 Keys” we identified that might also help in your teams.

 1. Organisations don’t change. People do or they don’t If your people don’t trust their leaders, don’t share the organisation’s vision, and don’t agree with the reason for change – it will fail – regardless of how well planned your strategy is.Focus on the people and make sure they understand and can buy into your change program. 

2. Accept that people react to change in different ways 

Everyone in an organisation has a different reaction to change. Some people are naturally more “change-adept” and comfortable with moving to a new way of doing things. Get them on-side as ‘change champions’ to support their colleagues. 

3. Never underestimate the emotional component of change 

 Over 70% of our decisions are based on emotion. The other 30% are a mixture of emotional and rational. You can show people all the facts and figures, but if it doesn’t ‘feel right’, they’ll resist what you’re trying to do.

 4. Set the scene 

Change is sometimes announced with little reason or rationale for what the organisation is trying to accomplish.  Set the scene and show how change (and staff involvement) is an integral part of where the organisation is heading.  

5. Forget the spin! 

If change is going to be painful with jobs lost and working conditions significantly different, then say so. Communicate honestly, without the management double speak.  

6. Staff commitment is vital 

To achieve and earn staff commitment, the organisation needs to demonstrate “what’s in it for the employee” following the change. If people are losing something, they need to see what they are gaining in the new way of doing things.

 7. Change communication comes from the leaders 

Lasting change communication comes from leaders – at all levels in an organisation. The way leaders role model behaviour and articulate change when working with staff is more important than what they’ll ever say in a formal meeting. Posters, newsletters, videos and intranet sites are only support tools. 

 8. Never underestimate human potential 

Once you’ve set the scene, communicated the change vision, started the training and achieved employee commitment, then comes the key moment. It’s when you have to trust the capability of your people to get things done according to the plan.