Top 5 Organizational Change Activities Needed for a Successful Project
What are the key organizational change strategies to champion on your projects?
As a certified Prosci Change Specialist delivering change management solutions, I offer the following “Top 5 Organizational Change Strategies” that anyone can own and apply to their projects. Ideally, a consultant will begin the following activities at the onset of the project, however, all activities can happen regardless of when a consultant joins a project.
Visible and Active Sponsorship
Take time to get to know your project’s leadership team; this will include your IT Manager, Senior Manager, Director and VPs. Ask them how they prefer to hear about the project and how often, and establish a cadence and status template for regular check-ins.
Reference sample leadership engagement documentation so that you understand the best ways leadership can support the project. Prepare appropriate communication when needed to explain risks, issues, and decisions – as well as expectations – that leadership can cascade to their reports.
Work with your Project Manager to identify the various project and business stakeholders. Start with those assigned to the project first – your leadership, business SMEs, and their managers. Then, consider who else will be impacted by the project and create a table in Excel with names, departments, and managers.
Your stakeholder list will need to be revisited, ideally quarterly or after each phase. In addition to being a repository of all involved in the project, the list is an input to a matrix that guides the WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) messaging
Analysis of Current State
Your analysis will be a summary that is informed from a few inputs:
- Organizational change readiness interviews
- Pulse surveys
- Project/change/leadership teams’ strengths and weaknesses
- Risk assessments
- Past lessons and learnings
Ask your PM and your leadership to share any and all lessons and learnings with you. If the project spans across several businesses, ask if another business or department went through something similar (deployment, implementation). Ask if the business has been through a project with the vendor in the past and has documented lessons – these may come by way of conversations and artifacts. Review and consider themes and lessons and how they can be applied to your project.
Communication and Training Plan Templates
A communication plan will help immensely in planning out the various communications and include what they will be, the frequency and consistency, who will send what and to whom, and when. A follow up to the plan is a working calendar for scheduling – this can be supported by Microsoft Outlook or Teams.
Depending on the scope of the project, a Training Analysis and plan will guide knowledge efforts. It will include the purpose for the project, the approach, high-level content, timeline, and expectations. An analysis will be a working document that you keep for the duration of the project. As you move through various phases and efforts, you will hear from SMEs that they need training on processes changes as well as the technicalities. You’ll log the requests and the groups, and plan for the said training.
If a vendor is creating the content and delivering the training, this document is still helpful for your project SMEs. Create a client branded document, weave in the vendor’s documentation, and present it to the SMEs as an informational document.
Applying these 5 strategies will set your team up for change management success on your project, and please feel free to reach out to us for advice about your project’s specific needs!