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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 Research & Tools

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.

9.4/10


Overall Impact

$89,236


Average $ Saved

26


Average Days Saved

Client

Experience

Impact

$ Saved

Days Saved

Great Lakes Water Authority

Workshop

10/10

$30,999

50

Laramie County School District #1

Guided Implementation

10/10

$1,735

2

Michigan State Court Administrative Office (SCAO)

Guided Implementation

9/10

$619K

50

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 d/b/a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana

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.


Master Organizational Change Management Practices

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

Analyst Perspective

Don’t leave change up to chance.

"Organizational change management has been a huge weakness for IT departments and business units, putting projects and programs at risk – especially large, complex, transformational projects.

During workshops with clients, I find that the root of this problem is twofold: project planning tends to fixate on technology and neglects the behavioral and cultural factors that inhibit user adoption; further, accountabilities for managing change and helping to realize the intended business outcomes post-project are not properly defined.

It makes sense for the PMO to be the org-change leader. In project ecosystems where no one seems willing to seize this opportunity, the PMO can take action and realize the benefits and accolades that will come from coordinating and consistently driving successful project outcomes."

Matt Burton,

Senior Manager, Project Portfolio Management

Info-Tech Research Group

Our understanding of the problem

This Research is Designed For:

  • PMO Directors who need to improve user adoption rates and maximize benefits on project and program activity.
  • CIOs who are accountable for IT’s project spend and need to ensure an appropriate ROI on project investments.

This Research Will Help You:

  • Define change management roles and accountabilities among project stakeholders.
  • Prepare end users for change impacts in order to improve adoption rates.
  • Ensure that the intended business outcomes of projects are more effectively realized.
  • Develop an organizational change management toolkit and best practices playbook.

This Research Will Also Assist:

  • Project managers and change managers who need to plan and execute changes affecting people and processes.
  • Project sponsors who want to improve benefits attainment.
  • Business analysts who need to analyze the impact of change.

This Research Will Help Them:

  • Develop communications and training plans tailored to specific audiences.
    • Identify strategies to manage cultural and behavioral change.
  • Maximize project benefits by ensuring changes are adopted.
  • Capitalize upon opportunities and mitigate risks.

Drive organizational change from the PMO

Situation

  • As project management office (PMO) leader, you oversee a portfolio of projects that depend heavily on users and stakeholders adopting new tools, complying with new policies, following new processes, and learning new skills.
  • You need to facilitate the organizational change resulting from these projects, ensuring that the intended business outcomes are realized.

Complication

  • While IT takes accountability to deliver the change, accountability for the business outcomes is opaque with little or no allocated resourcing.
  • Project management practices focus more on the timely implementation of projects than on the achievement of the desired outcomes thereafter or on the behavioral and cultural factors that inhibit change from taking hold in the long term.

Resolution

  • 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 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 a hub for change, helping business units and project teams to consistently achieve project and post-project success.
Info-Tech Insight

Make your PMO the change leader it’s already expected to be. Unless accountabilities for organizational change management (OCM) have been otherwise explicitly defined, you should accept that, to the rest of the organization – including its chief officers – the PMO is already assumed to be the change leader.

Don’t shy away from or neglect this role. It’s not just the business outcomes of the organization’s projects that will benefit; the long-term sustainability of the PMO itself will be significantly strengthened by making OCM a core competency.

Completed projects aren’t necessarily successful projects

The constraints that drive project management (time, scope, and budget) are insufficient for driving the overall success of project efforts.

For instance, a project may come in on time, on budget, and in scope, but

  • …if users and stakeholders fail to adopt…
  • …and the intended benefits are not achieved…

…then that “successful project” represents a massive waste of the organization’s time and resources.

A supplement to project management is needed to ensure that the intended value is realized.

Mission (Not) Accomplished

50% Fifty percent of respondents in a KPMG survey indicated that projects fail to achieve what they originally intended. (Source: NZ Project management survey)

56% Only fifty-six percent of strategic projects meet their original business goals. (Source: PMI)

70% Lack of user adoption is the main cause for seventy percent of failed projects. (Source: Collins, 2013)

Improve project outcomes with organizational change management

Make “completed” synonymous with “successfully completed” by implementing an organizational change management strategy through the PMO.

Organizational change management is the practice through which the PMO can improve user adoption rates and maximize project benefits.

Why OCM effectiveness correlates to project success:

  • IT projects are justified because they will make money, save money, or make people happier.
  • Project benefits can only be realized when changes are successfully adopted or accommodated by the organization.

Without OCM, IT might finish the project but fail to realize the intended outcomes.

In the long term, a lack of OCM could erode IT’s ability to work with the business.

The image shows a bar graph, titled Effective change management correlates with project success, with the X-axis labelled Project Success (Percent of respondents that met or exceeded project objectives), and the Y-axis labelled OCM-Effectiveness, with an arrow pointing upwards. The graph shows that with higher OCM-Effectiveness, Project Success is also higher. The source is given as Prosci’s 2014 Best Practices in Change Management benchmarking report.

What is organizational change management?

OCM is a framework for managing the introduction of new business processes and technologies to ensure stakeholder adoption.

OCM involves tools, templates, and processes that are intended to help project leaders analyze the impacts of a change during the planning phase, engage stakeholders throughout the project lifecycle, as well as train and transition users towards the new technologies and processes being implemented.

OCM is a separate body of knowledge, but as a practice it is inseparable from both project management or business analysis.

WHEN IS OCM NEEDED?

Anytime you are starting a project or program that will depend on users and stakeholders to give up their old way of doing things, change will force people to become novices again, leading to lost productivity and added stress.

CM can help improve project outcomes on any project where you need people to adopt new tools and procedures, comply with new policies, learn new skills and behaviors, or understand and support new processes.

"What is the goal of change management? Getting people to adopt a new way of doing business." – BA, Natural Resources Company

The benefits of OCM range from more effective project execution to improved benefits attainment

82% of CEOs identify organizational change management as a priority. (D&B Consulting) But Only 18% of organizations characterize themselves as “Highly Effective” at OCM. (PMI)

On average, 95% percent of projects with excellent OCM meet or exceed their objectives. (Prosci) VS For projects with poor OCM, the number of projects that meet objectives drops to 15%. (Prosci)

82% of projects with excellent OCM practices are completed on budget. (Prosci) VS For projects with poor OCM, the number of projects that stay on budget drops to 51%. (Prosci)

71% of projects with excellent OCM practices stay on schedule. (Prosci) VS For projects with poor OCM practices, only 16% stay on schedule. (Prosci)

While critical to project success, OCM remains one of IT’s biggest weaknesses and process improvement gaps

IT Processes Ranked by Effectiveness:

  1. Risk Management
  2. Knowledge Management
  3. Release Management
  4. Innovation
  5. IT Governance
  6. Enterprise Architecture
  7. Quality Management
  8. Data Architecture
  9. Application Development Quality
  10. Data Quality
  11. Portfolio Management
  12. Configuration Management
  13. Application Portfolio Management
  14. Business Process Controls Internal Audit
  15. Organizational Change Management
  16. Application Development Throughput
  17. Business Intelligence Reporting
  18. Performance Measurement
  19. Manage Service Catalog

IT Processes Ranked by Importance:

  1. Enterprise Application Selection & Implementation
  2. Organizational Change Management
  3. Data Architecture
  4. Quality Management
  5. Enterprise Architecture
  6. Business Intelligence Reporting
  7. Release Management
  8. Portfolio Management
  9. Application Maintenance
  10. Asset Management
  11. Vendor Management
  12. Application Portfolio Management
  13. Innovation
  14. Business Process Controls Internal Audit
  15. Configuration Management
  16. Performance Measurement
  17. Application Development Quality
  18. Application Development Throughput
  19. Manage Service Catalog

Based on 3,884 responses to Info-Tech’s Management and Governance Diagnostic, June 2016

There’s no getting around it: change is hard

While the importance of change management is widely recognized across organizations, the statistics around change remain dismal.

Indeed, it’s an understatement to say that change is difficult.

People are generally – in the near-term at least – resistant to change, especially large, transformational changes that will impact the day-to-day way of doing things, or that involve changing personal values, social norms, and other deep-seated assumptions.

"There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things." – Niccolo Machiavelli

70% - Change failure rates are extremely high. It is estimated that up to seventy percent of all change initiatives fail – a figure that has held steady since the 1990s. (McKinsey & Company)

25% - In a recent survey of 276 large and midsize organizations, only twenty-five percent of respondents felt that the gains from projects were sustained over time. (Towers Watson)

22% - While eighty-seven percent of survey respondents trained their managers to “manage change,” only 22% felt the training was truly effective. (Towers Watson)

While change is inherently difficult, the biggest obstacle to OCM success is a lack of accountability

Who is accountable for change success? …anyone?...

To its peril, OCM commonly falls into a grey area, somewhere in between project management and portfolio management, and somewhere in between being a concern of IT and a concern of the business.

While OCM is a separate discipline from project management, it is commonly thought that OCM is something that project managers and project teams do. While in some cases this might be true, it is far from a universal truth.

The end result: without a centralized approach, accountabilities for key OCM tasks are opaque at best – and the ball for these tasks is, more often than not, dropped altogether.

29% - Twenty-nine percent of change initiatives are launched without any formal OCM plan whatsoever.

"That’s 29 percent of leaders with blind faith in the power of prayer to Saint Jude, the patron saint of desperate cases and lost causes." – Torben Rick

Bring accountability to org-change by facilitating the winds of change through the PMO

Lasting organizational change requires a leader. Make it the PMO.

#1 Organizational resistance to change is cited as the #1 challenge to project success that PMOs face. (Source: PM Solutions)

90% Companies with mature PMOs that effectively manage change meet expectations 90% of the time. (Source: Jacobs-Long)

Why the PMO?

A centralized approach to OCM is most effective, and the PMO is already a centralized project office and is already accountable for project outcomes.

What’s more, in organizations where accountabilities for OCM are not explicitly defined, the PMO will likely already be assumed to be the default change leader by the wider organization.

It makes sense for the PMO to accept this accountability – in the short term at least – and claim the benefits that will come from coordinating and consistently driving successful project outcomes.

In the long term, OCM leadership will help the PMO to become a strategic partner with the executive layer and the business side.

Short-term gains made by the PMO can be used to spark dialogues with those who authorize project spending and have the implicit fiduciary obligation to drive project benefits.

Ultimately, it’s their job to explicitly transfer that obligation, along with the commensurate resourcing and authority for OCM activities.

More than a value-added service, OCM competencies will soon determine the success of the PMO itself

Given the increasingly dynamic nature of market conditions, the need for PMOs to provide change leadership on projects large and small is becoming a necessity.

"With organizations demanding increasing value, PMOs will need to focus more and more on strategy, innovation, agility, and stakeholder engagement. And, in particular, developing expertise in organizational change management will be essential to their success." – PM Solutions, 2014

28% PMOs that are highly agile and able to respond quickly to changing conditions are 28% more likely to successfully complete strategic initiatives (69% vs. 41%). (PMI)

In other words, without heightened competencies around org-change, the PMO of tomorrow will surely sink like a stone in the face of increasingly unstable external factors and accelerated project demands.

Use Info-Tech’s road-tested OCM toolkit to transform your PMO into a hub of change management leadership

With the advice and tools in Info-Tech’s Drive Organizational Change from the PMO blueprint, the PMO can provide the right OCM expertise at each phase of a project.

The graphic has an image of a windmill at centre, with PMO written directly below it. Several areas of expertise are listed in boxes emerging out of the PMO, which line up with project phases as follows (project phase listed first, then area of expertise): Initiation - Impact Assessment; Planning - Stakeholder Engagement; Execution - Transition Planning; Monitoring & Controlling - Communications Execution; Closing - Evaluation & Monitoring.

Info-Tech’s approach to OCM is a practical/tactical adaptation of several successful models

Business strategy-oriented OCM models such as John Kotter’s 8-Step model assume the change agent is in a position of senior leadership, able to shape corporate vision, culture, and values.

  • PMO leaders can work with business leaders, but ultimately can’t decide where to take the organization.
  • Work with business leaders to ensure IT-enabled change helps reinforce the organization’s target vision and culture.

General-purpose OCM frameworks such as ACMP’s Standard for Change Management, CMI’s CMBoK, and Prosci’s ADKAR model are very comprehensive and need to be configured to PMO-specific initiatives.

  • Tailoring a comprehensive, general-purpose framework to PMO-enabled change requires familiarity and experience.

References and Further Reading

Info-Tech’s organizational change management model adapts the best practices from a wide range of proven models and distills it into a step-by-step process that can be applied to any IT-enabled project.

Info-Tech’s OCM research is COBIT aligned and a cornerstone in our IT Management & Governance Framework

COBIT Section COBIT Management Practice Related Blueprint Steps
BAI05.01 Establish the desire to change. 1.1 / 2.1 / 2.2
BAI05.02 Form an effective implementation team. 1.2
BAI05.03 Communicate the desired vision. 2.1 / 3.2
BAI05.03 Empower role players and identify short-term wins. 3.2 / 3.3
BAI05.05 Enable operation and use. 3.1
BAI05.06 Embed new approaches. 4.1 / 5.1
BAI05.07 Sustain changes. 5.1

COBIT 5 is the leading framework for the governance and management of enterprise IT.

Screenshot of Info-Tech’s IT Management & Governance Framework.

The image is a screenshot of Info-Tech's IT Management & Governance Framework (linked above). There is an arrow emerging from the screenshot, which offers a zoomed-in view of one of the sections of the framework, which reads BAI05 Organizational Change Management.

Consider Info-Tech’s additional key observations

Human behavior is largely a blind spot during the planning phase.

In IT especially, project planning tends to fixate on technology and underestimate the behavioral and cultural factors that inhibit user adoption. Whether change is project-specific or continuous, it’s more important to instill the desire to change than to apply specific tools and techniques. Accountability for instilling this desire should start with the project sponsor, with direct support from the PMO.

Don’t mistake change management for a “soft” skill.

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. If a change initiative is going to be successful (especially a large, transformational change), this tough work needs to be done – and the more impactful the change, the earlier it is done, the better.

In “continuous change” environments, change still needs to be managed.

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. People will perceive change to be volatile and undesirable if their expectations aren’t managed through communications and engagement planning.

Info-Tech’s centralized approach to OCM is cost effective, with a palpable impact on project ROI

Info-Tech’s Drive Organizational Change from the PMO blueprint can be implemented quickly and can usually be done with the PMO’s own authority, without the need for additional or dedicated change resources.

Implementation Timeline

  • Info-Tech’s easy-to-navigate OCM tools can be employed right away, when your project is already in progress.
  • A full-scale implementation of a PMO-driven OCM program can be accomplished in 3–4 weeks.

Implementation Personnel

  • Primary: the PMO director (should budget 10%–15% of her/his project capacity for OCM activities).
  • Secondary: other PMO staff (e.g. project managers, business analysts, etc.).

OCM Implementation Costs

15% - The average costs for effective OCM are 10%–15% of the overall project budget. (AMR Research)

Average OCM Return-on-Investment

200% - Small projects with excellent OCM practices report a 200% return-on-investment. (Change First)

650% - Large projects with excellent OCM practices report a 650% return-on-investment. (Change First)

Company saves 2–4 weeks of time and $10,000 in ERP implementation through responsible OCM

CASE STUDY

Industry Manufacturing

Source Info-Tech Client

Situation

A medium-sized manufacturing company with offices all over the world was going through a consolidation of processes and data by implementing a corporate-wide ERP system to replace the fragmented systems that were previously in place. The goal was to have consistency in process, expectations, and quality, as well as improve efficiency in interdepartmental processes.

Up to this point, every subsidiary was using their own system to track data and sharing information was complicated and slow. It was causing key business opportunities to be compromised or even lost.

Complication

The organization was not very good in closing out projects. Initiatives went on for too long, and the original business benefits were usually not realized.

The primary culprit was recognized as mismanaged organizational change. People weren’t aware early enough, and were often left out of the feedback process.

Employees often felt like changes were being dictated to them, and they didn’t understand the wider benefits of the changes. This led to an unnecessary number of resistors, adding to the complexity of successfully completing a project.

Resolution

Implementing an ERP worldwide was something that the company couldn’t gamble on, so proper organizational change management was a focus.

A thorough stakeholder analysis was done, and champions were identified for each stakeholder group throughout the organization.

Involving these champions early gave them the time to work within their groups and to manage expectations. The result was savings of 2–4 weeks of implementation time and $10,000.

Follow Info-Tech’s blueprint to transform your PMO into a hub for organizational change management

Prepare the PMO for Change Leadership

  • Assess the organization’s readiness for change.
    • Perform an OCM capabilities assessment.
    • Chart an OCM roadmap for the PMO.
    • Undergo a change management SWOT analysis.
    • Define success criteria.
    • Org. Change Capabilities Assessment
  • Define the structure and scope of the PMO’s pilot OCM initiative.
    • Determine pilot OCM project.
    • Estimate OCM effort.
    • Document high-level project details.
    • Establish a timeline for org-change activities.
    • Assess available resources to support the PMO’s OCM initiative.
    • Project Level Assessment

Plant the Seeds for Change During Project Planning and Initiation

  • Foster OCM considerations during the ideation phase.
    • Assess leadership support for change
    • Highlight the goals and benefits of the change
    • Refine your change story
    • Define success criteria
    • Develop a sponsorship action plan
    • Transition Team Communications Template
  • Perform an organizational change impact assessment.
    • Perform change impact survey.
    • Assess the depth of impact for the stakeholder group.
    • Determine overall adoptability of the OCM effort.
    • Review risks and opportunities.
    • Org. Change Management Impact Analysis Tool

Facilitate Change Adoption Throughout the Organization

  • Ensure stakeholders are engaged and ready for change.
    • Involve the right people in change and define roles.
    • Define methods for obtaining stakeholder input.
    • Perform a stakeholder analysis.
    • Stakeholder Engagement Workbook
  • Develop and execute the transition plan.
    • Establish a communications strategy for stakeholder groups.
    • Define the feedback and evaluation process.
    • Assess the full range of support and resistance to change.
    • Develop an objections handling process.
    • Transition Plan Template
  • Establish HR and training plans.
    • Assess training needs. Develop training plan.
    • Training Plan

Establish a Post-Project Benefits Attainment Process

  • Determine accountabilities for benefits attainment.
    • Conduct a post-implementation review of the pilot OCM project.
    • Assign ownership for realizing benefits after the project is closed.
    • Define a post-project benefits tracking process.
    • Implement a tool to help monitor and track benefits over the long term.
    • Project Benefits Tracking Tool

Solidify the PMO’s Role as Change Leader

  • Institute an OCM playbook.
    • Review lessons learned to improve OCM as a core discipline of the PMO.
    • Monitor organizational capacity for change.
    • Define roles and responsibilities for OCM oversight.
    • Formalize the Organizational Change Management Playbook.
    • Assess the value and success of your practices relative to OCM effort and project outcomes.
    • Organizational Change Management Playbook

Info-Tech offers various levels of support to best suit your needs

DIY Toolkit

“Our team has already made this critical project a priority, and we have the time and capability, but some guidance along the way would be helpful.”

Guided Implementation

“Our team knows that we need to fix a process, but we need assistance to determine where to focus. Some check-ins along the way would help keep us on track.”

Workshop

“We need to hit the ground running and get this project kicked off immediately. Our team has the ability to take this over once we get a framework and strategy in place.”

Consulting

“Our team does not have the time or the knowledge to take this project on. We need assistance through the entirety of this project.”

Diagnostics and consistent frameworks used throughout all four options

Drive Organizational Change from the PMO

Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3 Phase 4 Phase 5
Best-Practice Toolkit

1.1 Assess the organization’s readiness for change.

1.2 Define the structure and scope of the PMO’s pilot OCM initiative.

2.1 Foster OCM considerations during the ideation phase.

2.2 Perform an organizational change impact assessment.

3.1 Ensure stakeholders are engaged and ready for change.

3.2 Develop and execute the transition plan.

3.3 Establish HR and training plans.

4.1 Determine accountabilities for benefits attainment. 5.1 Institute an OCM playbook.
Guided Implementations
  • Scoping Call.
  • Review the PMO’s and the organization’s change capabilities.
  • Determine an OCM pilot initiative.
  • Define a sponsorship action plan for change initiatives.
  • Undergo a change impact assessment.
  • Perform a stakeholder analysis.
  • Prepare a communications strategy based on stakeholder types.
  • Develop training plans.
  • Establish a post-project benefits tracking process.
  • Implement a tracking tool.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of OCM practices.
  • Formalize an OCM playbook for the organization’s projects.
Onsite Workshop

Module 1:

Prepare the PMO for change leadership.

Module 2:

Plant the seeds for change during planning and initiation.

Module 3:

Facilitate change adoption throughout the organization.

Module 4:

Establish a post-project benefits attainment process.

Module 5:

Solidify the PMO’s role as change leader.

Phase 1 Results:

OCM Capabilities Assessment

Phase 2 Results:

Change Impact Analysis

Phase 3 Results:

Communications and Transition Plans

Phase 4 Results:

A benefits tracking process for sponsors

Phase 5 Results:

OCM Playbook

Workshop overview

Contact your account representative or email Workshops@InfoTech.com for more information.

Preparation Workshop Day 1 Workshop Day 2 Workshop Day 3 Workshop Day 4
Activities

Organize and Plan Workshop

  • Finalize workshop itinerary and scope.
  • Identify workshop participants.
  • Gather strategic documentation.
  • Engage necessary stakeholders.
  • Book interviews.

Assess OCM Capabilities

  • Assess current organizational change management capabilities.
  • Conduct change management SWOT analysis.
  • Define change management success metrics.
  • Define core pilot OCM project.

Analyze Impact of the Change

  • Analyse the impact of the change across multiple dimensions and stakeholder groups.
  • Create an impact management plan.
  • Analyze impacts to product with risk and opportunity assessments.

Develop Engagement & Transition Plans

  • Perform stakeholder analysis to identify change champions and blockers.
  • Document comm./training requirements and delivery plan.
  • Define plans to deal with resistance.
  • Validate and test the transition plan.

Institute an OCM Playbook

  • Define feedback and evaluation process.
  • Finalize communications, transition, and training plans.
  • Establish benefits tracking timeline and commitment plans.
  • Define roles and responsibilities for ongoing organizational change management.
Deliverables
  • Workshop Itinerary
  • Workshop Participant List
  • Defined Org Change Mandate
  • Organizational Change Capabilities Assessment
  • SWOT Assessment
  • Value Metrics
  • Project Level Assessment/Project Definition
  • Project Sponsor Action Plan
  • Organizational Change Impact Analysis Tool
  • Risk Assessment
  • Opportunity Assessment
  • Stakeholder Engagement Workbook
  • Communications Plan
  • Training Plan
  • Resistance Plan
  • Transition Team
  • Communications Template
  • Evaluation Plan
  • Post-Project Benefits Tracking Timelines and Accountabilities
  • OCM Playbook

Phase 1

Prepare the PMO for Change Leadership

Phase 1 outline

Call 1-888-670-8889 or email GuidedImplementations@InfoTech.com for more information.

Complete these steps on your own, or call us to complete a guided implementation. A guided implementation is a series of 2-3 advisory calls that help you execute each phase of a project. They are included in most advisory memberships.

Guided Implementation 1: Prepare the PMO for Change Leadership

Proposed Time to Completion (in weeks): 1 week

Step 1.1: Assess the organization’s readiness for change

Start with an analyst kick off call:

  • Scoping call to discuss organizational change challenges and the PMO’s role in managing change.

Then complete these activities…

  • Perform an assessment survey to define capability levels and chart an OCM roadmap.

With these tools & templates:

  • Organizational Change Management Capabilities Assessment
Step 1.2: Define the structure and scope of the PMO’s pilot OCM initiative

Work with an analyst to:

  • Determine the appropriate OCM initiative to pilot over this series of Guided Implementations from the PMO’s project list.

Then complete these activities…

  • Rightsize your OCM planning efforts based on project size, timeline, and resource availability.

With these tools & templates:

  • Project Level Assessment Tool

Step 1.1: Assess the organization’s readiness for change

Phase 1 - 1.1

This step will walk you through the following activities:
  • Perform an OCM capabilities assessment.
  • Chart an OCM roadmap for the PMO.
  • Undergo a change management SWOT analysis.
  • Define success criteria.
This step involves the following participants:
  • Required: PMO Director
  • Recommended: PMO staff, project management staff, and other project stakeholders
Outcomes of this step
  • An OCM roadmap for the PMO with specific recommendations.
  • An assessment of strengths, weakness, challenges, and threats in terms of the PMO’s role as organizational change leader.
  • Success metrics for the PMO’s OCM implementation.

Project leaders who successfully facilitate change are strategic assets in a world of increasing agility and uncertainty

As transformation and change become the new normal, it’s up to PMOs to provide stability and direction during times of transition and turbulence.

Continuous change and transition are increasingly common in organizations in 2016.

A state of constant change can make managing change more difficult in some ways, but easier in others.

  • Inundation with communications and diversity of channels means the traditional “broadcast” approach to communicating change doesn’t work (i.e. you can’t expect every email to get everyone’s attention).
  • People might be more open to change in general, but specific changes still need to be properly planned, communicated, and managed.

By managing organizational change more effectively, the PMO can build credibility to manage both business and IT projects.

"The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence; it is to act with yesterday’s logic." – Peter Drucker

In this phase, we will gauge your PMO’s abilities to effectively facilitate change based upon your change management capability levels and your wider organization’s responsiveness to change.

Evaluate your current capabilities for managing organizational change

Start off by ensuring that the PMO is sensitive to the particularities of the organization and that it manages change accordingly.

There are many moving parts involved in successfully realizing an organizational change.

For instance, even with an effective change toolkit and strong leadership support, you may still fail to achieve project benefits due to such factors as a staff environment resistant to change or poor process discipline.

Use Info-Tech’s Organizational Change Management Capabilities Assessment to assess your readiness for change across 7 categories:

  • Cultural Readiness
  • Leadership & Sponsorship
  • Organizational Knowledge
  • Change Management Skills
  • Toolkit & Templates
  • Process Discipline
  • KPIs & Metrics

Download Info-Tech’s Organizational Change Management Capabilities Assessment.

  • The survey can be completed quickly in 5 to 10 minutes; or, if being done as a group activity, it can take up to 60 minutes or more.
  • Based upon your answers, you will get a report of your current change capabilities to help you prioritize your next steps.
  • The tool also provides a customized list of Info-Tech recommendations across the seven categories.

Perform Info-Tech’s OCM capabilities questionnaire

1.1.1 Anywhere from 10 to 60 minutes (depending on number of participants)

  • The questionnaire on Tab 2 of the Assessment consists of 21 questions across 7 categories.
  • The survey can be completed individually, by the PMO director or manager, or – even more ideally – by a group of project and business stakeholders.
  • While the questionnaire only takes a few minutes to complete, you may wish to survey a wider swath of business units, especially on such categories as “Cultural Readiness” and “Leadership Support.”

The image is a screen capture of tab 2 of the Organizational Change Management Capabilities Assessment.

Use the drop downs to indicate the degree to which you agree or disagree with each of the statements in the survey.

Info-Tech Insight

Every organization has some change management capability.

Even if you find yourself in a fledgling or nascent PMO, with no formal change management tools or processes, you can still leverage other categories of change management effectiveness.

If you can, build upon people-related assets like “Organizational Knowledge” and “Cultural Readiness” as you start to hone your OCM toolkit and process.

Review your capability levels and chart an OCM roadmap for your PMO

Tab 3 of the Assessment tool shows your capabilities graph.

  • The chart visualizes your capability levels across the seven categories of organization change covered in the questionnaire in order to show the areas that your organization is already strong in and the areas where you need to focus your efforts.

The image is a screen capture of tab 3 of the Organizational Change Management Capabilities Assessment.

Focus on improving the first capability dimension (from left/front to right/back) that rates below 10.

Tab 4 of the Assessment tool reveals Info-Tech’s recommendations based upon your survey responses.

  • Use these recommendations to structure your roadmap and bring concrete definitions to your next steps.

The image is a screen capture of tab 4 of the Organizational Change Management Capabilities Assessment.

Use the red/yellow/green boxes to focus your efforts.

The content in the recommendations boxes is based around these categories and the advice therein is designed to help you to, in the near term, bring your capabilities up to the next level.

Use the steps in this blueprint to help build your capabilities

Each of Info-Tech’s seven OCM capabilities match up with different steps and phases in this blueprint.

We recommend that you consume this blueprint in a linear fashion, as each phase matches up to a different set of OCM activities to be executed at each phase of a project. However, you can use the legend below to locate how and where this blueprint will address each capability.

Cultural Readiness 2.1 / 2.2 / 3.1 / 3.2 / 3.3
Leadership Support 2.1 / 4.1 / 5.1
Organizational Knowledge 2.1 / 3.1 / 3.2
Change Management Skills 2.1 / 2.2 / 3.1 / 3.2 / 3.3
Toolkit & Templates 2.1 / 2.2 / 3.1 / 3.2 / 3.3 / 4.1 / 5.1
Process Discipline 2.1 / 2.2 / 3.1 / 3.2 / 3.3 / 4.1 / 5.1
KPIs & Metrics 3.2 / 5.1

Info-Tech Insight

Organizational change must be planned in advance and managed through all phases of a project.

Organizational change management must be embedded as a key aspect throughout the project, not merely a set of tactics added to execution phases.

Perform a change management SWOT exercise

1.1.2 30 to 60 minutes

Now that you have a sense of your change management strengths and weaknesses, you can begin to formalize the organizational specifics of these.

Gather PMO and IT staff, as well as other key project and business stakeholders, and perform a SWOT analysis based on your Capabilities Assessment.

Follow these steps to complete the SWOT analysis:

  1. Have participants discuss and identify Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.
  2. Spend roughly 60 minutes on this. Use a whiteboard, flip chart, or PowerPoint slide to document results of the discussion as points are made.
  3. Make sure results are recorded and saved either using the template provided on the next slide or by taking a picture of the whiteboard or flip chart.

Use the SWOT Analysis Template on the next slide to document results.

Use the examples provided in the SWOT analysis to kick-start the discussion.

The purpose of the SWOT is to begin to define the goals of this implementation by assessing your change management capabilities and cultivating executive level, business unit, PMO, and IT alignment around the most critical opportunities and challenges.

Sample SWOT Analysis

Strengths

  • Knowledge, skills, and talent of project staff.
  • Good working relationship between IT and business units.
  • Other PMO processes are strong and well adhered to by project staff.
  • Motivation to get things done when priorities, goals, and action plans are clear.

Weaknesses

  • Project leads lack formal training in change management.
  • IT tried to introduce org change processes in the past, but we failed. Staff were unsure of which templates to use and how/when/why to use them.
  • We can’t designate individuals as change agents. We lack sufficient resources.
  • We’ve had some fairly significant change failures in the past and some skepticism and pessimism has taken root in the business units.

Opportunities

  • The PMO is strong and well established in the organization, with a history of facilitating successful process discipline.
  • The new incoming CEO has already paid lip service to change and transformation. We should be able to leverage their support as we formalize these processes.
  • We have good lines of project communication already in place via our bi-weekly project reporting meetings. We can add change management matters to the agenda of these meetings.

Threats

  • Additional processes and documentation around change management could be viewed as burdensome overhead. Adoption is uncertain.
  • OCM success depends on multiple stakeholders and business units coming together; with so many moving parts, we can’t be assured that an OCM program will survive long term.

Define the “how” and the “what” of change management success for your PMO

1.1.3 30 to 60 minutes

Before you move on to develop and implement your OCM processes, spend some time documenting how change management success will be defined for your organization and what conditions will be necessary for success to be achieved.

With the same group of individuals who participated in the SWOT exercise, discuss the below criteria. You can make this a sticky note or a whiteboard activity to help document discussion points.

OCM Measured Value Metrics Include:
  • Estimate % of expected business benefits realized on the past 3–5 significant projects/programs.
    • Track business benefits (costs reduced, productivity increased, etc.).
  • Estimate costs avoided/reduced (extensions, cancellations, delays, roll-backs, etc.).
    • Establish baseline by estimating average costs of projects extended to deal with change-related issues.
What conditions are necessary for OCM to succeed? How will success be defined?
  • e.g. The PMO will need the support of senior leaders and business units.
  • e.g. 20% improvement in benefits realization numbers within the next 12 months.
  • e.g. The PMO will need to establish a portal to help with organization-wide communications.
  • e.g. 30% increase in adoption rates on new software and technology projects within the next 12 months.

Document additional items that could impact an OCM implementation for your PMO

1.1.4 15 to 45 minutes

Use the table below to document any additional factors or uncertainties that could impact implementation success.

These could be external factors that may impact the PMO, or they could be logistical considerations pertaining to staffing or infrastructure that may be required to support additional change management processes and procedures.

"[A]ll bets are off when it comes to change. People scatter in all directions. Your past experiences may help in some way, but what you do today and how you do it are the new measures people will use to evaluate you." – Tres Roeder

Consideration Description of Need Potential Resource Implications Potential Next Steps Timeline
e.g. The PMO will need to train PMs concerning new processes. We will not only need to train PM staff in the new processes and documentation requirements, but we will also have to provide ongoing training, be it monthly, quarterly, or yearly. Members of PMO staff will be required to support this training. Analyze impact of redeploying existing resources vs. outsourcing. Q3 2016
e.g. We will need to communicate new OCM requirements to the business and wider organization. The PMO will be taking on added communication requirements, needing to advertise to a wider audience than it has before. None Work with business side to expand the PMO’s communications network and look into leveraging existing communication portals. Next month

Step 1.2: Define the structure and scope of the PMO’s pilot OCM initiative

Phase 1 - 1.2

This step will walk you through the following activities:
  • Determine pilot OCM project.
  • Estimate OCM effort.
  • Document high-level project details.
  • Establish a timeline for org change activities.
  • Assess available resources to support the PMO’s OCM initiative.
This step involves the following participants:
  • Required: PMO Director
  • Recommended: PMO staff, project management staff, and other project stakeholders
Outcomes of this step
  • Project definition for the PMO’s pilot OCM initiative.
  • A timeline that aligns the project schedule for key OCM activities.
  • Definition of resource availability to support OCM activities through the PMO.

Organizational change discipline should align with project structure

Change management success is contingent on doing the right things at the right time.

In subsequent phases of this blueprint, we will help the PMO develop an OCM strategy that aligns with your organization’s project timelines.

In this step (1.2), we will do some pre-work for you by determining a change initiative to pilot during this process and defining some of the roles and responsibilities for the OCM activities that we’ll develop in this blueprint.

The image shows a sample project timeline with corresponding OCM requirements.

Get ready to develop and pilot your OCM competencies on a specific project

In keeping with the need to align organizational change management activities with the actual timeline of the project, the next three phases of this blueprint will move from discussing OCM in general to applying OCM considerations to a single project.

As you narrow your focus to the organizational change stemming from a specific initiative, review the below considerations to help inform the decisions that you make during the activities in this step.

Choose a pilot project that:

  • Has an identifiable sponsor who will be willing and able to participate in the bulk of the activities during the workshop.
  • Has an appropriate level of change associated with it in order to adequately develop a range of OCM capabilities.
  • Has a reasonably well-defined scope and timeline – you don’t want the pilot initiative being dragged out unexpectedly.
  • Has PMO/IT staff who will be assisting with OCM efforts and will be relatively familiar and comfortable with them in terms of technical requirements.

Select a specific project that involves significant organizational change

1.2.1 5 to 15 minutes

The need for OCM rigor will vary depending on project size and complexity.

While we recommend that every project has some aspect of change management to it, you can adjust OCM requirements accordingly, depending on the type of change being introduced.

Incremental Change Transformational Change

Organizational change management is highly recommended and beneficial for projects that require people to:

  • Adopt new tools and workflows.
  • Learn new skills.
  • Comply with new policies and procedures.
  • Stop using old tools and workflows.

Organizational change management is required for projects that require people to:

  • Move into different roles, reporting structures, and career paths.
  • Embrace new responsibilities, goals, reward systems, and values
  • Grow out of old habits, ideas, and behaviors.
  • Lose stature in the organization.

Phases 2, 3, and 4 of this blueprint will guide you through the process of managing organizational change around a specific project. Select one now that is currently in your request or planning stages to pilot through the activities in this blueprint. We recommend choosing one that involves a large, transformational change.

Estimate the overall difficulty and effort required to manage organizational change

1.2.2 5 minutes

Use Info-Tech’s project levels to define the complexity of the project that you’ve chosen to pilot.

Defining your project level will help determine how much effort and detail is required to complete steps in this blueprint – and, beyond this, these levels can help you determine how much OCM rigor to apply across each of the projects in your portfolio.

Incremental Change Transformational Change
Level 1 Level 2 Level 3
  • Low risk and complexity.
  • Routine projects with limited exposure to the business and low risk of negative impact.
  • Examples: infrastructure upgrades, application refreshes, etc.
  • Medium risk and complexity.
  • Projects with broader exposure that present a moderate level of risk to business operations.
  • Examples: Move or renovate locations, cloud migration, BYOD strategy, etc.
  • High risk and complexity.
  • Projects that affect multiple lines of business and have significant costs and/or risks.
  • Examples: ERP implementation, corporate merger, business model innovation, etc.

For a more comprehensive assessment of project levels and degrees of risk, see Info-Tech’s Create Project Management Success blueprint – and in particular, our Project Level Assessment Tool.

Record the goals and scope of the pilot OCM initiative

1.2.3 15 to 30 minutes

Description

What is the project changing?

How will it work?

What are the implications of doing nothing?

What are the phases in execution?

Expected Benefits

What is the desired outcome?

What can be measured? How?

When should it be measured?

Goals

List the goals.

Align with business and IT goals.

Expected Costs

List the costs:

Software costs

Hardware costs

Implementation costs

Expected Risks

List the risks:

Business risks

Technology risks

Implementation risks

Planned Project Activities & Milestones Timeline Owner(s) Status
1. Example: Vendor Evaluation Finish by Q4-17 Jessie Villar In progress
2. Example: Define Administrative Policies Finish by Q4-17 Gerry Anantha Starting Q2

Know the “what” and “when” of org change activities

The key to change management success is ensuring that the right OCM activities are carried out at the right time. The below graphic serves as a quick view of what OCM activities entail and when they should be done.

The image is the sample project timeline previously shown, but with additional notes for each segment of the Gantt chart. The notes are as follows: Impact Assessment - Start assessing the impact of change during planning and requirements gathering stages; Stakeholder Engagement - Use requirements gathering and design activities as opportunities to engage stakeholders and users; Transition Planning - The development period provides time for the change manager to develop and refine the transition plan (including communications and training). Change managers need to collaborate with development teams to ensure scope and schedule stay aligned, especially in Agile environments); Communications Execution - Communications should occur early and often, beginning well before change affects people and continuing long enough to reinforce change by celebrating success; Training - Training needs to be well timed to coincide with implementation; Quick Wins - Celebrate early successes to show that change is working; Evaluation & Monitoring - Adoption of change is a key to benefits realization. Don’t declare the project over until adoption of change is proven.

Rough out a timeline for the org change activities associated with your pilot project’s timeline

1.2.4 20-30 minutes

With reference to the graphic on the previous slide, map out a high-level timeline for your pilot project’s milestones and the corresponding OCM activities.
  • This is essentially a first draft of a timeline and will be refined as we develop your OCM discipline in the next phase of this blueprint.
  • The purpose of roughing something out at this time is to help determine the scope of the implementation, the effort involved, and to help with resource planning.
Project Phase or Milestone Estimated Start Date Estimated End Date Associated OCM Requirement(s)
e.g. Planning e.g. Already in progress e.g. July e.g. Impact Assessment
e.g. Requirements & Design e.g. August e.g. October e.g. Stakeholder Engagement & Transition Planning

Info-Tech Insight

Proactive change management is easier to execute and infinitely more effective than managing change reactively. A reactive approach to OCM is bound to fail. The better equipped the PMO is to plan OCM activities in advance of projects, the more effective those OCM efforts will be.

Assess the roles and resources that might be needed to help support these OCM efforts

1.2.5 30 minutes

The PMO leader will need to delegate responsibility for many to all of these OCM activities throughout the project lifecycle.

Compile a list of PMO staff, project workers, and other stakeholders who will likely be required to support these processes at each step, keeping in mind that we will be doing a more thorough consideration of the resources required to support an OCM program in Phase 3.

OCM Activity Resources Available to Support
Impact Assessment
Stakeholder Engagement
Transition Planning
Training
Communications
Evaluation and Monitoring

Info-Tech Insight

OCM processes require a diverse network to support them.

While we advocate an approach to org change that is centralized through the PMO, this doesn’t change the fact that the PMO’s OCM processes will need to engage the entirety of the project eco-system.

In addition to IT/PMO directors, org change processes will engage a group as varied as project sponsors, project managers, business analysts, communications leads, and HR/training leads.

Ensure that you are considering resources and infrastructure beyond IT as you plan your OCM processes – and engage these stakeholders early in this planning process.

Establish core transition team roles and a reporting structure

1.2.6 30 minutes

Once you’ve identified OCM resources and assessed their availability, start to sketch the structure of the core transition team.

In many cases, the core team only has one or two people responsible for impact analysis and plan development in addition to you, the sponsor, who is accountable for leadership and benefits realization.

For larger initiatives, the core team might include several co-sponsors or advisors from different departments or lines of business, along with a handful of staff working together on analysis and planning.

Some team structure templates/examples:

Small (e.g. Office 365)

  • Sponsor
  • PM/BA

Medium-Large (e.g. business process initiative)

  • Sponsor
  • PM
  • BA
  • OCM Consultant

Complex Transformational (e.g. business model initiative, company reorg)

  • Exec. Sponsor (CxO)
  • Steering Committee
  • Project Lead/Champion (VP)
  • Business Lead(s)
  • IT Lead
  • HR/Training Lead
  • OCM Consultant

Ultimately, organizational change is a collaborative effort

Effective organizational change involves overlapping responsibilities.

In keeping with the eclectic network of stakeholders that is required to support OCM processes, Phase 2 is broken up into sections that will, by turn, engage project sponsors, project managers, business analysts, communications leads, and HR/training leads.

At each step, our intention is to arm the PMO with a toolkit and a set of processes that will help foster a project culture that is proactive about change.

"It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." – Harry Truman

Project Step PMO Sponsor Project Manager Business Analyst Blueprint Reference
Make a high-level case for change.

A

R R/C C 1.1
Initiate project/change planning. A C R C 1.2
Analyze full breadth and depth of impact. A C R R 1.3
Assess communications and training requirements. A C R R 2.1
Develop communications, training, and other transition plans. A R C R 2.2-3
Approve and communicate transition plans. A C R C 2.4
Analyze impact and progress. A C R R 3.1
Revise project/change planning. A C R C 3.2
Highlight and leverage successes. A R C C 3.3

Update the Transition Team Communications Template

1.2.7 10 minutes

Participants
  • PMO leader
  • PMO staff
Input
  • The outcomes of various activities in this step
Output
  • Key sections of the Transition Team Communications Template completed

Use Info-Tech’s Transition Team Communications Template to help communicate the outcomes of this step.

  • Use the template to document the goals, benefits, and milestones established in 1.2.3, to record the project timeline and schedule for OCM activities from 1.2.4, to document resources available for OCM activities (1.2.5), and to record the membership and reporting structure of the core transition team (1.2.6).

Download Info-Tech’s Transition Team Communications Template.

"Managers and user communities need to feel like they are a part of a project instead of feeling like the project is happening to them. It isn't just a matter of sending a few emails or putting up a page on a project website." Ross Latham

Build organizational change management capabilities by bringing in required skills

Case Study

Industry Natural Resources

Source Interview

Challenge
  • Like many organizations, the company is undergoing increasing IT-enabled change.
  • Project managers tended to react to effects of change rather than proactively planning for change.

"The hard systems – they’re easy. It’s the soft systems that are challenging... Be hard on the process. Be easy on the people." – Business Analyst, natural resources company

Solution
  • Change management was especially challenging when projects were led by the business.
  • IT was often brought in late in business-led projects.
  • As a result, the organization incurred avoidable costs to deal with integration, retraining, etc.
  • The cost of managing change grows later in the project as more effort needs to be spent undoing (or “unfreezing”) the old state or remediating poorly executed change.
Results
  • The company hired a business analyst with a background in organizational change to bring in the necessary skills.
  • The business analyst brought knowledge, experience, and templates based on best practices and is sharing these with the rest of the project management team.
  • As a result, organizational change management is starting earlier in projects when its effectiveness and value are maximized.

If you want additional support, have our analysts guide you through this phase as part of an Info-Tech workshop

Book a workshop with our Info-Tech analysts:

  • To accelerate this project, engage your IT team in an Info-Tech workshop with an Info-Tech analyst team.
  • Info-Tech analysts will join you and your team onsite at your location or welcome you to Info-Tech’s historic Toronto office to participate in an innovative onsite workshop.
  • Contact your account manager (www.infotech.com/account), or email Workshops@InfoTech.com for more information.

The following are sample activities that will be conducted by Info-Tech analysts with your team:

1.1.1 Evaluate your current capabilities for managing organizational change

Take Info-Tech’s OCM capabilities questionnaire and receive custom analyst recommendations concerning next steps.

1.1.2 Perform a change management SWOT exercise

Work with a seasoned analyst to assess your PMO’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to becoming an org change leader.

If you want additional support, have our analysts guide you through this phase as part of an Info-Tech workshop

Book a workshop with our Info-Tech analysts:

1.1.3 Define success metrics for your PMO’s efforts to become an org change leader

Work with an analyst to clarify how the success of this initiative will be measured and what conditions are necessary for success.

1.2.2 Determine the appropriate OCM initiative to pilot at your organization

Receive custom analyst insights on rightsizing your OCM planning efforts based on project size, timeline, and resource availability.

1.2.4 Develop an OCM timeline that aligns with key project milestones

Harness analyst experience to develop a project-specific timeline for the PMO’s change management activities to better plan your efforts and resources.

Phase 2

Plant the Seeds for Change During Project Planning and Initiation

Phase 2 outline

Call 1-888-670-8889 or email GuidedImplementations@InfoTech.com for more information.

Complete these steps on your own, or call us to complete a guided implementation. A guided implementation is a series of 2-3 advisory calls that help you execute each phase of a project. They are included in most advisory memberships.

Guided Implementation 2: Plant the seeds for change during project planning and initiation

Proposed Time to Completion (in weeks): 1 week

Step 2.1: Foster OCM considerations during the ideation phase

Discuss these issues with an analyst:

  • Disengaged or absent sponsors on change initiatives.
  • Lack of organizational desire for change.
  • How to customize an OCM strategy to suit the personality of the organization.

Then complete these activities…

  • Develop a sponsorship action plan to help facilitate more engaged change sponsorship.
  • Build a process for making the case for change throughout the organization.

With these tools & templates:

  • Activity 2.1.3: “Refine your change story”
  • Activity 2.1.4: “Develop a sponsorship action plan”
  • Transition Team Communications Template
Step 2.2: Perform an organizational change impact analysis

Work with an analyst to:

  • Perform an impact analysis to make your change planning more complete.
  • Assess the depth of change impacts across various stakeholder groups.

Then complete these activities…

  • Assign accountability for managing change impacts.
  • Update the business case with risks and opportunities identified during the impact analysis.

With these tools & templates:

  • Organizational Change Management Impact Analysis Tool

Step 2.1: Foster OCM considerations during the ideation phase

Phase 2 - 2.1

This step will walk you through the following activities:
  • Assess leadership support for change.
  • Highlight the goals and benefits of the change.
  • Refine your change story.
  • Define success criteria.
  • Develop a sponsorship action plan.
This step involves the following participants:
  • PMO Director
  • Project sponsor for the pilot OCM project
  • Additional project staff: project managers, business analysts, etc.
Outcomes of this step
  • Strategy to shore up executive alignment around the need for change.
  • Increased definition around the need for change.
  • Increased engagement from project sponsors around change management and project outcomes.

Accountability for change management begins in advance of the project itself

As early as the request phase, project sponsors and requestors have a responsibility to communicate the need for the changes that they are proposing.

Org Change Step #1: Make the case for change during the request phase

Initiation→Planning→Execution→Monitoring & Controlling→Closing

Even before project planning and initiation begin, sponsors and requestors have org change responsibilities around communicating the need for a change and demonstrating their commitment to that change.

In this step, we will look at the OCM considerations that need to be factored in during project ideation.

The slides ahead will cover what the PMO can do to help foster these considerations among project sponsors and requestors.

While this project may already be in the planning phase, the activities in the slides ahead will help lay a solid OCM foundation as you move ahead into the impact assessment and stakeholder engagement steps in this phase.

Strongly recommended: include the sponsor for your pilot OCM project in many of the following activities (see individual activity slides for direction).

Info-Tech Insight

Make active sponsorship a criteria when scoring new requests.

Projects with active sponsors are far more likely to succeed than those where the sponsor cannot be identified or where she/he is unable or unwilling to champion the initiative throughout the organization.

Consider the engagement level of sponsors when prioritizing new requests. Without this support, the likelihood of a change initiative succeeding is far diminished.

What does effective sponsorship look like?

Somewhere along the way a stereotype arose of the project sponsor as a disengaged executive who dreams up a project idea and – regardless of that idea’s feasibility or merit – secures funding, pats themselves on the back, and does not materialize again until the project is over to pat themselves on the back again.

Indeed, it’s exaggerated, based partly on the fact that sponsors are almost always extremely busy individuals, with very demanding day jobs on top of their responsibilities as sponsors. The stereotype doesn’t capture the very real day-to-day project-level responsibilities of project sponsors.

Leading change management institute, Prosci, has developed a checklist of 10 identifiable traits and responsibilities that PMO leaders and project managers should help to foster among project sponsors. As Prosci states, the checklist “can be used as an audit tool to see if you are utilizing best practices in how you engage senior leaders on your change initiatives.”

Prosci’s Change Management Sponsor Checklist:

Are your sponsors:

  • Aware of the importance they play in making changes successful?
  • Aware of their roles in supporting org change?
  • Active and visible throughout the project?
  • Building necessary coalitions for change success?
  • Communicating directly and effectively with employees?
  • Aware that the biggest mistake is failing to personally engage as the sponsor?
  • Prepared to help manage resistance?
  • Prepared to celebrate successes?
  • Setting clear priorities to help employees manage project and day-to-day work?
  • Avoiding trends and backing change that will be meaningful for the long term?

(Source: Prosci’s Change Management Sponsor Checklist)

Assess leadership support for change

2.1.1 30 minutes

Participants
  • PMO leader
  • Other PMO/PM staff
Output
  • Leadership support strategy

Many change initiatives require significant investments of political capital to garner approval, funding, and involvement from key executives. This process can take months or even years before the project is staffed and implementation begins.

  • In cases where leadership opposition or ambivalence to change is a critical success inhibitor, project sponsors or change leaders need a deliberate strategy for engaging and converting potential supporters.
  • You might need to recruit someone with more influence or authority to become sponsor or co-sponsor to convert supporters you otherwise could not.
  • Use the table below as an example to begin developing your executive engagement strategy (but keep it private).
Executive/Stakeholder Degree of Support Ability to Influence Potential Contribution/Engagement Strategy
Board of Directors Med High
CEO
CFO
CIO
CxO

“The stakes of having poorly engaged executive sponsors are high, as are the consequences and costs. PMI research into executive sponsorship shows that one in three unsuccessful projects fail to meet goals due to poorly engaged executive sponsors.”

PMI, 2014

Highlight the goals and benefits of the change

2.1.2 30-60 minutes

Participants
  • PMO leader
  • PMO staff
  • Project sponsor

Build desire for change.

The project sponsor is accountable for defining the high-level scope and benefits of the project. The PMO needs to work with the sponsor during the ideation phase to help establish the need for the proposed change.

Use the table below to begin developing a compelling vision and story of change. If you have not already defined high-level goals and deliverables for your project, download Info-Tech’s Light Project Request Form (a Detailed Project Request Form is also available).

Why is there a need to change?
How will change benefit the organization?
How did we determine this is the right change?
What would happen if we didn’t change?
How will we measure success?

See Info-Tech’s Optimize Project Intake, Approval, and Prioritization blueprint for more detailed advice on working with requestors to define requirements and business value of new requests.

Stories are more compelling than logic and facts alone

Crucial facts, data, and figures are made more digestible, memorable, and actionable when they are conveyed through a compelling storyline.

While you certainly need high-level scope elements and a rigorous cost-benefit analysis in your business case, projects that require organizational change also need a compelling story or vision to influence groups of stakeholders.

As the PMO works with sponsors to identify and document the goals and benefits of change, begin to sketch a narrative that will be compelling to the organization’s varied audiences.

Structuring an effective project narrative:

Research shows (Research and impacts cited in Torben Rick’s “Change Management Require[s] a Compelling Story,” 2014) that when managers and employees are asked about what most inspires them in their work, their responses are evenly split across five forms of impact:

  1. Impact on society – e.g. the organization’s role in the community.
  2. Impact on the customer – e.g. providing effective service.
  3. Impact on the company – e.g. contributing positively to the growth of the organization.
  4. Impact on the working team – e.g. creating an inclusive work environment.
  5. Impact on the individual – e.g. personal development and compensation.

"Storytelling enables the individuals in an organization to see themselves and the organization in a different light, and accordingly take decisions and change their behavior in accordance with these new perceptions, insights, and identities." – Steve Denning

Info-Tech Insight

A micro-to-macro change narrative. A compelling org change story needs to address all five of these impacts in order to optimally engage employees in change. In crafting a narrative that covers both the micro and macro levels, you will be laying a solid foundation for adoption throughout the organization.

Refine your change story

2.1.3 45 to 60 minutes

Participants
  • PMO leader
  • PMO staff
  • Project sponsor
Input
  • 5 levels of change impact
  • Stakeholder groups
Output
  • Improved change justification to help inform the request phase and the development of the business case.
Materials
  • Whiteboard and markers

Using a whiteboard to capture the discussion, address the 5 levels of change impact covered on the previous slide.

  1. Develop a list of the stakeholder groups impacted by this project.
    • The impacts will be felt differently by different groups, so develop a high-level list of those stakeholder groups that will be directly affected by the change.
    • Keep in mind, this activity is not an impact assessment. This activity is meant to elicit how the change will be perceived by the different stakeholder groups, not how it will actually impact them – i.e. this activity is about making the case for change, not actually managing the change.
  2. Brainstorm how the five impact levels will be perceived from the point of view of each stakeholder group.
    • Spend about 5 to 10 minutes per impact per stakeholder group.
    • The goal here isn’t to create a detailed plotline; your change story may evolve as the project evolves. A point or two per impact per group will suffice.
  3. As a group, prioritize the most prescient points and capture the results of your whiteboarding to help inform future artifacts.
    • The points developed during this activity should inform both the ad hoc conversations that PMO staff and the sponsor have with stakeholders, as well as formal project artifacts, such as the request, business case, charter, etc.

When it comes to communicating the narrative, project sponsors make the most compelling storytellers

Whatever story you develop to communicate the goals and the benefits of the change, ultimately it should be the sponsor who communicates this message to the organization at large.

Given the competing demands that senior leaders face, the PMO still has a pivotal role to play in helping to plan and facilitate these communications.

The PMO should help sponsors by providing insights to shape change messaging (refer to the characteristics outlined in the table below for assistance) and by developing a sponsorship action plan (Activity 2.1.4).

Tips for communicating a change story effectively:
Identify and appeal to the audience’s unique frames of reference. e.g. “Most of you remember when we…”
Include concrete, vivid details to help visualize change. e.g. “In the future, when a sales rep visits a customer in Wisconsin, they’ll be able to process a $100,000 order in seconds instead of hours.”
Connect the past, present, and future with at least one continuous theme. e.g. “These new capabilities reaffirm our long-standing commitment to customers, as well as our philosophy of continuously finding ways to be more responsive to their needs.”

“[T]he sponsor is the preferred sender of messages related to the business reasons and organizational implications for a particular initiative; therefore, effective sponsorship is crucial in building an awareness of the need for change.

Sponsorship is also critical in building the desire to participate and support the change with each employee and in reinforcing the change.”

Prosci

Base the style of your communications on the organization’s receptiveness to change

Not all organizations embrace or resist change in the same ways. Base your change communications on your organization’s cultural appetite for change in general.

Use the below dimensions to gauge your organization’s appetite for change. Analyzing this will help determine the form and force of communications.

In the next slide, we will base aspects of your sponsorship action plan on whether an organization’s indicator is “high” or “low” across these three dimensions.

  • Organizations with low appetite for change will require more direct, assertive communications.
  • Organizations with a high appetite for change are more suited to more open, participatory approaches.

Three key dimensions determine the appetite for cultural change (Dimensions taken from Joanna Malgorzata Michalak’s “Cultural Catalysts and Barriers of Organizational Change Management: a Preliminary Overview,” 2010):

Power Distance Refers to the acceptance that power is distributed unequally throughout the organization. Organizations with a high power distance indicator show that the unequal power distribution is accepted by the less powerful employees.
Individualism Organizations that score high in individualism have employees who are more independent; those who score low in individualism fall into the collectivism side where employees are strongly tied to one another or their groups.
Uncertainty Avoidance Describes the level of acceptance that an organization has towards uncertainty. Those who score high in this area find that their employees do not favor “uncertain” situations, while those that score low in this area find that their employees are comfortable with change and uncertainty.

"Societies with a high indicator of power distance, individualism, and uncertainty avoidance create vital inertial forces against transformation." – Michalak

Develop a sponsorship action plan

2.1.4 45 to 60 minutes

Participants
  • PMO leader
  • PMO staff
  • Project sponsor
Use the table below to define key tasks and responsibilities for the project sponsor.
  1. Populate the first column with the stakeholder groups from Activity 2.1.3.
  2. With reference to the Sponsor Checklist, brainstorm key sponsorship responsibilities for this project across each of the groups.
  3. When gauging the frequency of each activity and the “Estimated Weekly Effort” required by the sponsor to complete them, consider the organization’s appetite for change.
    • Where indicators across the three dimensions are low, the sponsor’s involvement can be less hands-on and more collaborative in nature.
    • Where indicators across the three dimensions are high, the sponsor’s involvement should be hands-on and direct in her/his communications.
Group Activity Est. Weekly Effort Comments/Frequency
Project Team Ad hoc check-in on progress 30 mins Try to be visible at least once a week
Attend status meetings 30 mins Every second Tuesday, 9 am
Senior Managers Touch base informally 45 mins Aim for bi-weekly, one-on-one touchpoints
Lead steering committee meetings 60 mins First Thursday of the month, 3 pm
End Users Organization-wide emails Ad hoc, 20 mins As required, with PMO assistance

"To manage change is to tell people what to do... but to lead change is to show people how to be." – Weick & Quinn

Update the Transition Team Communications Template

2.1.5 10 minutes

Participants
  • PMO leader
  • PMO staff
Input
  • The outcomes of various activities in this step
Output
  • Key sections of the Transition Team Communications Template completed

Use Info-Tech’s Transition Team Communications Template to help communicate the outcomes of this step.

The following activities should be recorded in the template:

Activity 2.1.2

In addition, the outcome of Activity 2.1.4, the “Sponsorship Action Plan,” should be converted to a format such as Word and provided to the project sponsor.

Download Info-Tech’s Transition Team Communications Template.

"In most work situations, the meaning of a change is likely to be as important, if not more so, than the change itself."

– Roethlisberger (cited in Burke)

Step 2.2: Perform an organizational change impact assessment

Phase 2 - 2.2

This step will walk you through the following activities:
  • Perform change impact survey.
  • Assess the depth of impacts for different stakeholders and stakeholder groups.
  • Determine overall adoptability of the OCM effort.
  • Establish a game plan for managing individual impacts.
  • Review risks and opportunities.
  • Determine how the value of the change will be measured.
This step involves the following participants:
  • PMO Director
  • Project sponsor for the pilot OCM project
  • Additional project staff: project managers, business analysts, members of the transition team, etc.
Outcomes of this step:
  • A change impact analysis.
  • An adoptability rating for the change initiative to help the PMO plan its OCM efforts.
  • A better understanding of the risks and opportunities associated with the change to inform the business case.

Analyze change impacts across multiple dimensions to ensure that nothing is overlooked

Ensure that no stone is left unturned as you prepare for a comprehensive transition plan.

In the previous step, we established a process and some accountabilities to help the PMO and project sponsors make the case for change during the ideation and initiation phase of a project.

In this step, we will help with the project planning phase by establishing a process for analyzing how the change will impact various dimensions of the business and how to manage these impacts to best ensure stakeholder adoption.

Brace for Impact…

A thorough analysis of change impacts will help the PMO:

  • Bypass avoidable problems.
  • Remove non-fixed barriers to success.
  • Acknowledge and minimize the impact of unavoidable barriers.
  • Identify and leverage potential benefits.
  • Measure the success of the change.

Assign the appropriate accountabilities for impact analysis

In the absence of an assigned change manager, organizational change impact assessments are typically performed by a business analyst or the project manager assigned to the change initiative.

  • Indeed, as with all change management activities, making an individual accountable for performing this activity and communicating its outcomes is key to the success of your org change initiative.
  • At this stage, the PMO needs to assign or facilitate accountability for the impact analysis on the pilot OCM initiative or it needs to take this accountability on itself.

Sample RACI for this activity. Define these accountabilities for your organization before proceeding with this step.

Project Sponsor PMO PM or BA
Survey impact dimensions I A R
Analyze impacts across multiple stakeholder groups I A R
Assess required OCM rigor I A/R C
Manage individual impacts I A R

Info-Tech Insight

Bring perspective to an imperfect view.

No individual has a comprehensive view of the potential impact of change.

Impact assessment and analysis is most effective when multiple viewpoints are coordinated using a well-defined list of considerations that cover a wide breadth of dimensions.

Revisit and refine the impact analysis throughout planning and execution, as challenges to adoption become more clear.

Perform a change impact analysis to make your planning more complete

Use Info-Tech’s Organizational Change Management Impact Analysis Tool to weigh all of the factors involved in a change and to formalize discipline around impact analysis.

Info-Tech’s Organizational Change Management Impact Analysis Tool helps to document the change impact across multiple dimensions, enabling the PMO to review the analysis with others to ensure that the most important impacts are captured. The tool also helps to effectively monitor each impact throughout project execution.

  • Change impact considerations can include: products, services, states, provinces, cultures, time zones, legal jurisdictions, languages, colors, brands, subsidiaries, competitors, departments, jobs, stores, locations, etc.
  • Each of these dimensions is an MECE (Mutually Exclusive, Collectively Exhaustive) list of considerations that could be impacted by the change. For example, a North American retail chain might consider “Time Zones” as a key dimension, which could break down as Newfoundland, Atlantic, Eastern, Central, Mountain, and Pacific.

Download Info-Tech’s Organizational Change Impact Analysis Tool.

  • Required Participants for this Step: PMO Leader; project manager or business analyst
  • Recommended Participants for this Step: Project Sponsor; IT/PMO staff

Info-Tech Insight

Anticipate the unexpected. Impact analysis is the cornerstone of any OCM strategy. By shining a light on considerations that might have otherwise escaped project planners and decision makers, an impact analysis is an essential component to change management and project success.

Enter high-level project information on the “Set Up” tab

2.2.1 15 minutes

The “2. Set Up” tab of the Impact Tool is where you enter project-specific data pertaining to the change initiative.

The inputs on this tab are used to auto-populate fields and drop-downs on subsequent tabs of the analysis.

Document the stakeholders (by individual or group) associated with the project who will be subject to the impacts.

You are allowed up to 15 entries. Try to make this list comprehensive. Missing any key stakeholders will threaten the value of this activity as a whole.

If you find that you have more than 15 individual stakeholders, you can group individuals into stakeholder groups.

Keep in mind...

An impact analysis is not a stakeholder management exercise.

Impact assessments cover:

  • How the change will affect the organization.
  • How individual impacts might influence the likelihood of adoption.

Stakeholder management covers:

  • Resistance/objections handling.
  • Engagement strategies to promote adoption.

We will cover the latter in the next step.

“As a general principle, project teams should always treat every stakeholder initially as a recipient of change. Every stakeholder management plan should have, as an end goal, to change recipients’ habits or behaviors.”

PMI, 2015

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

2.2.2 15 to 30 minutes

Use the survey on tab 3 of the Impact Analysis Tool to determine the dimensions of change that are relevant.

The impact analysis is fueled by the thirteen-question survey on tab 3 of the tool.

This survey addresses a comprehensive assortment of change dimensions, ranging from customer-facing considerations, to employee concerns, to resourcing, logistical, and technological questions.

Once you have determined the dimensions that are impacted by the change, you can go on to assess how individual stakeholders and stakeholder groups are affected by the change.

This image is a screenshot of tab 3, Impact Survey, of the Impact Analysis Tool.

Screenshot of tab “3. Impact Survey,” showing the 13-question survey that drives the impact analysis.

Ideally, the survey should be performed by a group of project stakeholders together. Use the drop-downs in column K to record your responses.

"A new system will impact roles, responsibilities, and how business is conducted within an organization. A clear understanding of the impact of change allows the business to design a plan and address the different levels of changes accordingly. This approach creates user acceptance and buy-in."

– January Paulk, Panorama Consulting

Impacts will be felt differently by different stakeholders and stakeholder groups

As you assess change impacts, keep in mind that no impact will be felt the same across the organization. Depth of impact can vary depending on the frequency (will the impact be felt daily, weekly, monthly?), the actions necessitated by it (e.g. will it change the way the job is done or is it simply a minor process tweak?), and the anticipated response of the stakeholder (support, resistance, indifference?).

Use the Organizational Change Depth Scale below to help visualize various depths of impact. The deeper the impact, the tougher the job of managing change will be.

Procedural Behavioral Interpersonal Vocational Cultural
Procedural change involves changes to explicit procedures, rules, policies, processes, etc. Behavioral change is similar to procedural change, but goes deeper to involve the changing tacit or unconscious habits. Interpersonal change goes beyond behavioral change to involve changing relationships, teams, locations, reporting structures, and other social interactions. Vocational change requires acquiring new knowledge and skills, and accepting the loss or decline in the value or relevance of previously acquired knowledge and skills. Cultural change goes beyond interpersonal and vocational change to involve changing personal values, social norms, and assumptions about the meaning of good vs. bad or right vs. wrong.
Example: providing sales reps with mobile access to the CRM application to let them update records from the field. Example: requiring sales reps to use tablets equipped with a custom mobile application for placing orders from the field. Example: migrating sales reps to work 100% remotely. Example: migrating technical support staff to field service and sales support roles. Example: changing the operating model to a more service-based value proposition or focus.

Determine the depth of each impact for each stakeholder group

2.2.3 1 to 3 hours

Tab “4. Impact Analysis” of the Analysis Tool contains the meat of the impact analysis activity.
  1. The “Impact Analysis” tab is made up of thirteen change impact tables (see next slide for a screenshot of one of these tables).
    • You may not need to use all thirteen tables. The number of tables you use coincides with the number of “yes” responses you gave in the previous tab.
    • If you no not need all thirteen impact tables (i.e. if you do not answer “yes” to all thirteen questions in tab 2, the unused/unnecessary tables will not auto-populate.)
  2. Use one table per change impact. Each of your “yes” responses from tab 3 will auto-populate at the top of each change impact table. You should go through each of your “yes” responses in turn.
  3. Analyze how each impact will affect each stakeholder or stakeholder group touched by the project.
    • Column B in each table will auto-populate with the stakeholder groups from the Set Up tab.
  4. Use the drop-downs in columns C, D, and E to rate the frequency of each impact, the actions necessitated by each impact, and the anticipated response of each stakeholder group.
    • Each of the options in these drop-downs is tied to a ranking table that informs the ratings on the two subsequent tabs.
  5. If warranted, you can use the “Comments” cells in column F to note the specifics of each impact for each stakeholder/group.

See the next slide for an accompanying screenshot of a change impact table from tab 4 of the Analysis Tool.

Screenshot of “Impact Analysis” tab

The image is a screenshot of the Impact Analysis tab.

The stakeholder groups entered on the Set Up will auto-populate in column B of each table.

Your “yes” responses from the survey tab will auto-populate in the cells to the right of the “Change Impact” cells.

Use the drop-downs in this column to select how often the impact will be felt for each group (e.g. daily, weekly, periodically, one time, or never).

“Actions” include “change to core job duties,” “change to how time is spent,” “confirm awareness of change,” etc.

Use the drop-downs to hypothesize what the stakeholder response might be. For now, for the purpose of the impact analysis, a guess is fine. We will come back to build a communications plan based on actual responses in Phase 3 of this blueprint.

Review your overall impact rating to help assess the likelihood of change adoption

Use the “Overall Impact Rating” on tab 5 to help right-size your OCM efforts.

Based upon your assessment of each individual impact, the Analysis Tool will provide you with an “Overall Impact Rating” in tab 5.

  • This rating is an aggregate of each of the individual change impact tables used during the analysis, and the rankings assigned to each stakeholder group across the frequency, required actions, and anticipated response columns.

The image is a screenshot of tab 5, the Overall Process Adoption Rating. The image shows a semi-circle, where the left-most section is red, the centre yellow, and the right-most section green, with a dial positioned at the right edge of the yellow section.

Projects in the red should have maximum change governance, applying a full suite of OCM tools and templates, as well as revisiting the impact analysis exercise regularly to help monitor progress.

Increased communication and training efforts, as well as cross-functional partnerships, will also be key for success.

Projects in the yellow also require a high level of change governance. Follow the steps and activities in this blueprint closely, paying close attention to the stakeholder engagement activities in the next step to help sway resistors and leverage change champions.

In order to free up resources for those OCM initiatives that require more discipline, projects in green can ease up in their OCM efforts somewhat. With a high likelihood of adoption as is, stakeholder engagement and communication efforts can be minimized somewhat for these projects, so long as the PMO is in regular contact with key stakeholders.

"All change is personal. Each person typically asks: 'What’s in it for me?'" – William T. Craddock

Use the other outputs on tab 5 to help structure your OCM efforts

In addition to the overall impact rating, tab 5 has other outputs that will help you assess specific impacts and how the overall change will be received by stakeholders.

The image is a screenshot of tab 5.

Top-Five Highest Risk Impacts table: This table displays the highest risk impacts based on frequency and action inputs on Tab 4.

Top-Five Most Impacted Stakeholders table: Here you’ll find the stakeholders, ranked again based on frequency and action, who will be most impacted by the proposed changes.

Top Five Supporters table: These are the 5 stakeholders most likely to support changes, based on the Anticipated Response column on Tab 4.

The stakeholder groups entered on the Set Up Tab will auto-populate in column B of each table.

In addition to these outputs, this tab also lists top five change resistors, and has an impact register and list of potential impacts to watch out for (i.e. your “maybe” responses from tab 3).

Establish a game plan to manage individual change impacts

2.2.4 60 to 90 minutes

The final tab of the Analysis Tool can be used to help track and monitor individual change impacts.
  • Use the “Communications Plan” on tab 7 to come up with a high-level game plan for tracking communications about each change with the corresponding stakeholders.
  • Update and manage this tab as the communication events occur to help keep your implementation on track.

The image is a screenshot of the Communications Plan, located on tab 7 of the Analysis Tool. There are notes emerging from each of the table headings, as follows: Communication Topic - Select from a list of topics identified on Tab 6 that are central to successful change, then answer the following; Audience/Format/Delivery - Which stakeholders need to be involved in this change? How are we going to meet with them?; Creator - Who is responsible for creating the change?; Communicator - Who is responsible for communicating the change to the stakeholder?; Intended Outcome - Why do you need to communicate with this stakeholder?; Level of Risk - What is the likelihood that you can achieve your attended outcome? And what happens if you don’t?

Document the risk assumptions stemming from your impact analysis

2.2.5 30 to 60 minutes

Use the Analysis Tool to produce a set of key risks that need to be identified, communicated, mitigated, and tracked.

A proper risk analysis often reveals risks and mitigations that are more important to other people in the organization than those managing the change. Failure to do a risk analysis on other people’s behalf can be viewed as negligence.

In the table below, document the risks related to the assumptions being made about the upcoming change. What are the risks that your assumptions are wrong? Can steps be taken to avoid these risks?

Risk Assumption Magnitude if Assumption Wrong Likelihood That Assumption Is Wrong Mitigation Strategy Assessment
e.g. Customers will accept shipping fees for overweight items > 10 pounds Low High It's a percentage of our business, and usually accompanies a sharply discounted product. We need to extend discretionary discounting on shipping to supervisory staff to mitigate the risk of lost business. Re-assess after each quarter.

"One strategy to minimize the impact is to determine the right implementation pace, which will vary depending on the size of the company and the complexity of the project" – Chirantan Basu

Record any opportunities pertaining to the upcoming change

2.2.6 30 to 60 minutes

Use the change impacts to identify opportunities to improve the outcome of the change.

Use the table below to brainstorm the business opportunities arising from your change initiative. Consider if the PMO can take steps to help improve the outcomes either through supporting the project execution or through providing support to the business.

Opportunity Assumption Potential Value Likelihood That Assumption Is Wrong Leverage Strategy Assessment
e.g. Customer satisfaction can increase as delivery time frames for the remaining custom products radically shrink and services extend greatly. High Medium Reset the expectations of this market segment so that they go from being surprised by good service to expecting it. Our competitors will not be able to react to this.

Info-Tech Insight

The bigger the change, the bigger the opportunity. Project and change management has traditionally focused on a defensive posture because organizations so often fail to mitigate risk. Good change managers also watch for opportunities to improve and exploit the outcomes of the change.

Determine how to measure the value of the change

2.2.7 15 to 30 minutes

Describe the metrics that will be used to assess the management of this change.

Now that you’ve assessed the impacts of the change, and the accompanying risks and opportunities, use the table below to document metrics that can be used to help assess the management of the change.

  • Don’t rely on the underlying project to determine the value of the change itself: It’s important to recognize the difference between change management and project management, and the establishment of value metrics is an obvious source of this differentiation.
  • For example, consider a project that is introducing a new method of remitting travel expenses for reimbursement.
    • The project itself would be justified on the efficiency of the new process.
    • The value of the change itself could be measured by the number of help desk calls looking for the new form, documentation, etc.
Metric Calculation How to Collect Who to Report to Frequency
Price overrides for new shipping costs It is entered as a line item on invoices, so it can be calculated as % of shipping fees discounted. Custom report from CRM (already developed). Project Steering Committee Project Steering Committee

Document risks and other impact analysis considerations in the business case

2.2.8 10 minutes

Participants
  • PMO leader
  • Project Manager
Input
  • The risks and issues identified through the impact analysis.
Output
  • Comprehensive list of risks documented in the business case.
Use the outcomes of the activities in this step to help inform your business case as well as any other risk management artifacts that your project managers may use.
  • Because long-term project success depends upon stakeholder adoption, high-risk impacts should be documented as considerations in the risk section of your business case.
  • In addition, the “Overall Impact Rating” graph and the “Impact Management Worksheet” could be used to help improve business cases as well as charters on some projects.

If your organization doesn’t have a standard business case document, use one of Info-Tech’s templates. We have two templates to choose from, depending on the size of the project and the amount of rigor required:

Download Info-Tech’s Comprehensive Business Case Template for large, complex projects or our Fast Track Business Case Template for smaller ones.

If you want additional support, have our analysts guide you through this phase as part of an Info-Tech workshop

Book a workshop with our Info-Tech analysts:

  • To accelerate this project, engage your IT team in an Info-Tech workshop with an Info-Tech analyst team.
  • Info-Tech analysts will join you and your team onsite at your location or welcome you to Info-Tech’s historic Toronto office to participate in an innovative onsite workshop.
  • Contact your account manager (www.infotech.com/account), or email Workshops@InfoTech.com for more information.

The following are sample activities that will be conducted by Info-Tech analysts with your team:

2.1.3 Create a convincing sponsor-driven story to help build the case for change

Work with an analyst to exercise your storytelling muscles, building out a process to help make the case for change throughout the organization.

2.1.4 Develop a sponsorship action plan

Utilize analyst experience to help develop a sponsorship action plan to help facilitate more engaged change project sponsors.

If you want additional support, have our analysts guide you through this phase as part of an Info-Tech workshop

Book a workshop with our Info-Tech analysts:

2.2.3 Assess different change impacts across various stakeholder groups

Get an analyst perspective on how each impact may affect different stakeholders in order to assist with the project and OCM planning process.

2.2.4 Develop a proactive change impact management plan

Rightsize your response to change impacts by developing a game plan to mitigate each one according to adoption likelihood.

2.2.5 Use the results of the impact analysis to inform and improve the business case for the project

Work with the analyst to translate the risks and opportunities identified during the impact analysis into points of consideration to help inform and improve the business case for the project.

Phase 3

Facilitate Change Adoption Throughout the Organization

Phase 3 outline

Call 1-888-670-8889 or email GuidedImplementations@InfoTech.com for more information.

Complete these steps on your own, or call us to complete a guided implementation. A guided implementation is a series of 2-3 advisory calls that help you execute each phase of a project. They are included in most advisory memberships.

Guided Implementation 3: Facilitate Change Adoption Throughout the Organization

Proposed Time to Completion (in weeks): 4 to 6 weeks

Step 3.1: Ensure stakeholders are engaged and ready for change

Discuss these issues with analyst:

  • Lack of alignment between IT and the business.
  • Organizational resistance to a command-and-control approach to change.

Then complete these activities…

  • Develop a stakeholder engagement plan.

With these tools & templates:

  • Stakeholder Engagement Workbook
Step 3.2: Develop and execute the transition plan

Discuss these issues with analyst:

  • Org change initiatives often fail due to the influence of resistors.
  • Failure to elicit feedback contributes to the feeling of a change being imposed.

Then complete these activities…

  • Develop a communications strategy to address a variety of stakeholder reactions to change.

With these tools & templates:

  • Transition Plan Template
  • Activity 3.2.7: “Objections Handling Template”
Step 3.3: Establish HR and training plans

Discuss these issues with analyst:

  • Training is often viewed as ineffective, contributing to change resistance rather than fostering adoption.

Then complete these activities…

  • Rightsize training content based on project requirements and stakeholder sentiment.

With these tools & templates:

  • “Training Requirements” tab in the Stakeholder Engagement Workbook
  • “Training Plan” section of the Transition Plan Template

Step 3.1: Ensure stakeholders are engaged and ready for change

Phase 3 - 3.1

This step will walk you through the following activities:
  • Involve the right stakeholders in the change.
  • Define project roles and responsibilities.
  • Define elicitation methods for obtaining stakeholder input.
  • Perform a stakeholder analysis to assess influence, interest, and potential contribution.
  • Assess communications plan requirements.
This step involves the following participants:
  • Required: PMO Director; project manager or business analyst
  • Recommended: Project Sponsor; the Transition Team; other IT/PMO staff
Outcomes of this step
  • A stakeholder analysis.
  • Requirements for the communications plan.

The nature of change is changing

The challenge of managing change is complicated by forces that are changing change.

Empowerment: Increased worker mobility, effect of millennials in the workforce, and lower average tenure means that people are less tolerant of a hierarchical, command-and-control approach to change.

  • Additionally, lower average tenure means you can’t assume everyone has the same context or background for change (e.g. they might not have been with the organization for earlier phases when project justification/rationale was established).

Noise: Inundation with communications and diversity of channels means the traditional “broadcast” approach to communicating change doesn’t work (i.e. you can’t expect every email to get everyone’s attention).

As a result, disciplines around organizational change tend to be less linear and deliberate than they were in the past.

"People don’t resist change. They resist being changed."

Peter Senge

How to manage change in organizations of today and the future:

  • New realities require a more collaborative, engaging, open, and agile approach to change.
  • Communication is increasingly more of a two-way, ongoing, iterative engagement process.
  • Project leaders on change initiatives need to engage diverse audiences early and often.
  • Information about change needs to reach people and be easily findable where and when stakeholders need it.
Info-Tech Insight

Accountabilities for change management are still required. While change management needs to adopt more collaborative and organic approaches, org change success still depends on assigning appropriate accountabilities. What’s changed in the move to matrix structure is that accountabilities need to be facilitated more collaboratively.

Leading change requires collaboration to ensure people, process, and technology factors are aligned

In the absence of otherwise defined change leadership, the PMO needs to help navigate every technology-enabled change, even if it isn’t in the “driver’s seat.”

PMO leaders and IT experts often find themselves asked to help implement or troubleshoot technology-related business projects that are already in flight.

The PMO will end up with perceived or de facto responsibility for inadequate planning, communications, and training around technology-enabled change.

IT-Led Projects

Projects led by the IT PMO tend to be more vulnerable to underestimating the impact on people and processes on the business side.

Make sure you engage stakeholders and representatives (e.g. “power users”) from user populations early enough to refine and validate your impact assessments.

Business-Led Projects

Projects led by people on the business side tend to be more vulnerable to underestimating the implications of technology changes.

Make sure IT is involved early enough to identify and prepare for challenges and opportunities involving integration, user training, etc.

"A major impediment to more successful software development projects is a corporate culture that results in a lack of collaboration because business executives view the IT departments as "order takers," a view disputed by IT leaders."

– David Ramel (cited by Ben Linders)

Foster change collaboration by initiating a stakeholder engagement plan through the PMO

If project stakeholders aren’t on board, the organization’s change initiatives will be in serious trouble.

Stakeholders will not only be highly involved in the process improvement initiative, but they also may be participants, so it’s essential that you get their buy-in for the initiative upfront.

Use Info-Tech’s Stakeholder Engagement Workbook to help plan how stakeholders rate in terms of engagement with the project.

Once you have identified where different stakeholders fall in terms of interests, influence, and support for/engagement with the change initiative, you can structure your communication plan (to be developed in step 3.2) based on where individuals and stakeholder groups fall.

  • Required participants for the activities in this step: PMO Leader; project manager or business analyst
  • Recommended participants for the activities in this step: Project Sponsor; IT/PMO staff

Download Info-Tech’s Stakeholder Engagement Workbook.

The engagement plan is a structured and documented approach for:

  • Gathering requirements by eliciting input and validating plans for change.
  • Cultivating sponsorship and support from key stakeholders early in the project lifecycle.

Download Info-Tech’s Stakeholder Engagement Workbook.

Involve the right people to drive and facilitate change

Refer to your project level assessment from 1.2.2:

  • Level 1 projects tend to only require involvement from the project team, sponsors, and people affected.
  • Level 2 projects often benefit from broad support and capabilities in order to take advantage of opportunities.
  • Level 3 projects require broad support and capabilities in order to deal with risks and barriers.

Info-Tech Insight

The more transformational the change, the more it will affect the org chart – not just after the implementation, but also through the transition.

Take time early in the project to define the reporting structure for the project/transition team, as well as any teams and roles supporting the transition.

  • Project manager: Has primary accountability for project success.
  • Senior executive project sponsor: Needed to “open doors” and signal organization’s commitment to the change.
  • Technology SMEs and architects: Responsible for determining and communicating requirements and risks of the technology being implemented or changed.
  • Business unit leads: Responsible for identifying and communicating impact on business functions, approving changes, and helping champion change.
  • Product/process owners: Responsible for identifying and communicating impact on business functions, approving changes, and helping champion change.
  • HR specialists: Most valuable when roles and organizational design are affected, i.e. change requires staff redeployment, substantial training (not just using a new system or tool but acquiring new skills and responsibilities), or termination.
  • Training specialists: If you have full-time training staff in the organization, you will eventually need them to develop training courses and material. Consulting them early will help with scoping, scheduling, and identifying the best resources and channels to deliver the training.
  • Communications specialists (internal): Valuable in crafting communications plan; required if communications function owns internal communications.

Use the RACI table on the next slide to clarify who will be accountable, responsible, consulted, and informed for key tasks and activities around this change initiative.

Define roles and responsibilities for facilitating change on your pilot OCM initiative

3.1.1 60 minutes

Perform a RACI exercise pertaining to your pilot change initiative to clarify who to include in the stakeholder engagement activity.

Don’t reinvent the wheel: revisit the list of stakeholders and stakeholder groups from your impact assessment. The purpose of the RACI is to bring some clarity to project-specific responsibilities.

Tasks PMO Project Manager Sr. Executives Technology SME Business Lead Process Owner HR Trainers Communications
Meeting project objectives A R A R R
Identifying risks and opportunities A R A C C C C I I
Building the action plan A R C R R R R R R
Planning and delivering communications A R C C C C C R A
Planning and delivering training A R C C C C R A C
Gathering and analyzing feedback and KPIs A R C C C C C R R

Copy the results of this RACI exercise into tab 1 of the Stakeholder Engagement Workbook. In addition, it can be used to inform the designated RACI section in the Transition Plan Template. Revise the RACI Table there as needed.

Formalize the stakeholder analysis to identify change champions and blockers

Define key stakeholders (or stakeholder groups) who are affected by the project or are in positions to enable or block change.

  • Remember to consider customers, partners, and other external stakeholders.
  • People best positioned to provide insight and influence change positively are also best positioned to create resistance.
  • These people should be engaged early and often in the transition process – not just to make them feel included or part of the change, but because their insight could very likely identify risks, barriers, and opportunities that need to be addressed.

The image is a screenshot of tab 3 of the Stakeholder Engagement Workbook.

In tab three of the Stakeholder Engagement Workbook, compile the list of stakeholders who are touched by the change and whose adoption of the change will be key to project success.

To save time, you can copy and paste your stakeholder list from the Set Up tab of the Organizational Change Management Impact Analysis Tool into the table below and edit the list as needed.

Formal stakeholder analysis should be:

  • Required for Level 3 projects
  • Recommended for Level 2 projects
  • Optional for Level 1 projects

Info-Tech Insight

Resistance is, in many cases, avoidable. Resistance is commonly provided by people who are upset about not being involved in the communication. Missed opportunities are the same: they usually could have been avoided easily had somebody known in time. Use the steps ahead as an opportunity to ensure no one has been missed.

Perform a stakeholder analysis to begin cultivating support while eliciting requirements

3.1.2 60 minutes

Use tab 4 of the Stakeholder Engagement Workbook to systematically assess each stakeholder's influence, interest, and potential contribution to the project as well as to develop plans for engaging each stakeholder or stakeholder group.

The image is a screencapture of tab 4 of the Stakeholder Engagement Workbook.

Use the drop-downs to select stakeholders and stakeholder groups. These will automatically populate based on your inputs in tab 3.

Rate each stakeholder on a scale of 1 to 10 in terms of her/his influence in the organization. Not only do these rankings feed the stakeholder map that gets generated on the next slide, but they will help you identify change champions and resistors with influence.

Similar to the ranking under “Influence,” rate the “Interest” and “Potential Contribution” to help identify stakeholder engagement.

Document how you will engage each stakeholder and stakeholder group and document how soon you should communicate with them concerning the change. See the following slides for advice on eliciting change input.

Use the elicitation methods on the following slides to engage stakeholders and gather change requirements.

Elicitation methods – Observation

Method Description Assessment and Best Practices Stakeholder Effort BA/PMO Effort
Casual Observation The process of observing stakeholders performing tasks where the stakeholders are unaware they are being observed. Capture true behavior through observation of stakeholders performing tasks without informing them that they are being observed. This information can be valuable for mapping business process; however, it is difficult to isolate the core business activities from unnecessary actions. Low Medium
Formal Observation The process of observing stakeholders performing tasks where the stakeholders are aware they are being observed. Formal observation allows business analysts to isolate and study the core activities in a business process because the stakeholder is aware they are being observed. Stakeholders may become distrusting of the business analyst and modify their behavior if they feel their job responsibilities or job security are at risk. Low Medium

Info-Tech Insight

Observing stakeholders does not uncover any information about the target state. Be sure to use contextual observation in conjunction with other techniques to discover the target state.

Elicitation methods – Surveys

Method Description Assessment and Best Practices Stakeholder Effort BA/PMO Effort
Closed-Response Survey A survey that has fixed responses for each answer. A Likert-scale (or similar measures) can be used to have respondents evaluate and prioritize possible requirements. Closed-response surveys can be sent to large groups and used to quickly gauge user interest in different functional areas. They are easy for users to fill out and don’t require a high investment of time. However, their main deficit is that they are likely to miss novel requirements that are not listed. As such, closed-response surveys are best used after initial elicitation or brainstorming to validate feature groups. Low Medium
Open-Response Survey A survey that has open-ended response fields. Questions are fixed, but respondents are free to populate the field in their own words. Open-response surveys take longer to fill out than closed, but can garner deeper insights. Open-response surveys are a useful supplement (and occasionally a replacement) for group elicitation techniques, like focus groups, when you need to receive an initial list of requirements from a broad cross-section of stakeholders. Their primary shortcoming is the analyst can’t immediately follow up on interesting points. However, they are particularly useful for reaching stakeholders who are unavailable for individual one-on-ones or group meetings. Medium Medium

Info-Tech Insight

Surveys can be useful mechanisms for initial drafting of raw requirements (open response) and gauging user interest in proposed requirements or feature sets (closed response). However, they should not be the sole focus of your elicitation program due to lack of interactivity and two-way dialogue with the business analyst.

Elicitation methods – Interviews

Method Description Assessment and Best Practices Stakeholder Effort BA/PMO Effort

Structured One-on-One Interview

In a structured one-on-one interview, the business analyst has a fixed list of questions to ask the stakeholder and follows up where necessary. Structured interviews provide the opportunity to quickly hone in on areas of concern that were identified during process mapping or group elicitation techniques. They should be employed with purpose – to receive specific stakeholder feedback on proposed requirements or help identify systemic constraints. Generally speaking, they should take 30 minutes or less to complete. Low Medium

Unstructured One-on-One Interview

In an unstructured one-on-one interview, the business analyst allows the conversation to flow freely. The BA may have broad themes to touch on, but does not run down a specific question list. Unstructured interviews are most useful for initial elicitation when brainstorming a draft list of potential requirements is paramount. Unstructured interviews work best with senior stakeholders (sponsors or power users), since they can be time consuming if they’re applied to a large sample size. It’s important for BAs not to stifle open dialogue and allow the participants to speak openly. They should take 60 minutes or less to complete. Medium Low

Info-Tech Insight

Interviews should be used with “high-value targets.” Those who receive one-on-one face time can help generate good requirements, as well as allow effective communication around requirements at a later point (i.e. during the analysis and validation phases).

Elicitation methods – Focus Groups

Method Description Assessment and Best Practices Stakeholder Effort BA/PMO Effort
Focus Group Focus groups are sessions held between a small group (typically ten individuals or less) and an experienced facilitator who leads the conversation in a productive direction. Focus groups are highly effective for initial requirements brainstorming. The best practice is to structure them in a cross-functional manner to ensure multiple viewpoints are represented and the conversation doesn’t become dominated by one particular individual. Facilitators must be wary of “groupthink” in these meetings (the tendency to converge on a single POV). Medium Medium

Info-Tech Insight

Group elicitation techniques are most useful for gathering a wide spectrum of requirements from a broad group of stakeholders. Individual or observational techniques are typically needed for further follow-up and in-depth analysis with critical power users or sponsors.

"Each person has a learning curve. Take the time to assess staff individually as some don’t adjust to change as well as others. Some never will." – CEO, Manufacturing Firm

Refine your stakeholder analysis through the input elicitation process

3.1.3 30 minutes

Review all of these elicitation methods as you go through the workbook as a group. Be sure to document and discuss any other elicitation methods that might be specific to your organization.

  1. Schedule dates and a specific agenda for performing stakeholder elicitation activities.
    • If scheduling more formal methods such as a structured interview or survey, take the time to develop some talking points and questions (see the questionnaire and survey templates in the next step for examples).
  2. Assign accountabilities for performing the elicitation exercises and set dates for updating the PMO on the results of these stakeholder elicitations.
  3. As curator of the workbook, the PMO will need to refine the stakeholder data in tab 4 of the tool to get a more accurate stakeholder map on the next tab of the workbook.
Elicitation method Target stakeholder group(s) PMO staff responsible for eliciting input Next update to PMO
One-on-one structured interview HR and Sales Karla Molina August 1

Info-Tech Insight

Engagement paves the way for smoother communications. The “engagement” approach (rather than simply “communication”) turns stakeholders and users into advocates who help boost your message, sustain change, and realize benefits without constant, direct intervention.

Develop a stakeholder engagement strategy based on the output of your analysis

Use the stakeholder map on tab 5 of the Workbook to inform your communications strategy and transition plan.

Tab 5 of the Workbook provides an output – a stakeholder map – based on your inputs in the previous tab. Use the stakeholder map to inform your communications requirements considerations in the next tab of the workbook as well as your transition plan in the next step.

The image is a screencapture of tab 5 of the Stakeholder Engagement Workbook.

This is a screenshot of the “Stakeholder Analysis” from tab 5 of the Workbook. The four quadrants of the map are:

  • Engage (High Interest/High Influence)
  • Communicate – High Level (High Interest/Low Influence)
  • Passive (Low Interest/Low Influence)
  • Communicate – Low Level (Low Interest/High Influence)
How to interpret each quadrant on the map:

Top Quadrants: Supporters

  1. Engage: Capitalize on champions to drive the project/change.
  2. Communicate (high level): Leverage this group where possible to help socialize the program and to help encourage dissenters to support.

Bottom Quadrant: Blockers

  1. Passive: Focus on increasing these stakeholders’ level of support.
  2. Communicate (low level): Pick your battles – focus on your noise makers first and then move on to your blockers.

Document communications plan requirements based on results of engagement and elicitation

3.1.4 60 minutes

The image is a screencapture of the Communications Requirements tab in the Stakeholder Engagement Workbook

Use the Communications Requirements tab in the Stakeholder Engagement Workbook.

Do this as a 1–2 hour project team planning session.

The table will automatically generate a list of stakeholders based on your stakeholder analysis.

Update the assumptions that you made about the impact of the change in the Impact Analysis with results of stakeholder engagement and elicitation activities.

Use the table on this tab to refine these assumptions as needed before solidifying your communications plan.

Define the action required from each stakeholder or stakeholder group (if any) for change to be successful.

Continually refine messages and methods for communicating with each stakeholder and stakeholder group.

Note words that work well and words that don’t. For example, some buzzwords might have negative connotations from previous failed initiatives.

Designate who is responsible for developing and honing the communications plan (see details in the following section on developing the transition plan).

Step 3.2: Develop and execute the transition plan

Phase 3 - 3.2

This step will walk you through the following activities:
  • Create a communications timeline.
  • Establish communications strategy for stakeholder groups.
  • Determine communication delivery methods.
  • Define the feedback and evaluation process.
  • Assess the full range of support and resistance to change.
  • Prepare objections handling process.
This step involves the following participants:
  • PMO Director
  • Transition Team
  • Project managers
  • Business analyst
  • Project Sponsor
  • Additional IT/PMO staff
Outcomes of this step
  • A communications strategy
  • A stakeholder feedback process
  • An objections handling strategy
  • A transition plan

Effective change requires strategic communications and rightsized training plans

Develop and execute a transition plan through the PMO to ensure long-term adoption.

In this step we will develop and introduce a plan to manage change around your project.

After completing this section you will have a realistic, effective, and adaptable transition plan that includes:

  • 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.

These activities will enable you to:

  • 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.

"Everyone loves change: take what you know and replace it with a promise. Then overlay that promise with the memory of accumulated missed efforts, half-baked attempts, and roads of abandoned promises."

Toby Elwin

Assemble the core transition team to help execute this step

Once the stakeholder engagement step has been completed, the PMO needs to facilitate the involvement of the transition team to help carry out transition planning and communications strategies.

You should have already sketched out a core transition team in step 1.2.6 of this blueprint. As with all org change activities, ensuring that individuals are made accountable for the execution of the following activities will be key for the long-term success of your change initiative.

  • At this stage, the PMO needs to ensure the involvement of the transition team to participate in the following activities – or the PMO will need to take on the transition planning and communication responsibilities itself.

Refer to the team structure examples from Activity 1.2.6 of this blueprint if you are still finalizing your transition team.

Download Info-Tech’s Transition Plan Template to help capture and record the outcomes of the activities in this step.

Create a high-level communications timeline

3.2.1 30 minutes

By now the project sponsor, project manager, and business analysts (or equivalent) should have defined project timelines, requirements, and other key details. Use these to start your communications planning process.

If your members of the transition team are also part of the core project team, meet with them to elicit the project timeline and requirements.

Project Milestone Milestone Time Frame Communications Activities Activity Timing Notes
Business Case Approval
  • Key stakeholder communications
Pilot Go-Live
  • Pilot launch activity communications
  • Org-wide status communications
Full Rollout Approval
  • Key stakeholder communications
Full Rollout
  • Full rollout activity communications
  • Org-wide status communications
Benefits Assessment
  • Key stakeholder communications
  • Org-wide status communications

Info-Tech Insight

Communicate, communicate, communicate.

Staff are 34% more likely to adapt to change quickly during the implementation and adoption phases when they are provided with a timeline of impending changes specific to their department. (Source: McLean & Company)

Schedule time to climb out of the “Valley of Despair”

Many change initiatives fail when leaders give up at the first sign of resistance.

OCM experts use terms like “Valley of Despair” to describe temporary drops in support and morale that inevitably occur with any significant change. Don’t let these temporary drops derail your change efforts.

Anticipate setbacks and make sure the project plan accommodates the time and energy required to sustain and reinforce the initiative as people move through stages of resistance.

The image is a line graph. Segments of the line are labelled with numbers. The beginning of the line is labelled with 1; the descending segment of the line labelled 2; the lowest point is labelled 3; the ascending section is labelled 4; and the end of the graph is labelled 5.

Based on Don Kelley and Daryl Conner’s Emotional Cycle of Change.

Identify critical points in the change curve:

  1. Honeymoon of “Uninformed Optimism”: There is usually tentative support and even enthusiasm for change before people have really felt or understood what it involves.
  2. Backlash of “Informed Pessimism” (leading to “Valley of Despair”): As change approaches or begins, people realize they’ve overestimated the benefits (or the speed at which benefits will be achieved) and underestimated the difficulty of change.
  3. Valley of Despair and beginning of “Hopeful Realism”: Eventually, sentiment bottoms out and people begin to accept the difficulty (or inevitability) of change.
  4. Bounce of “Informed Optimism”: People become more optimistic and supportive when they begin to see bright spots and early successes.
  5. Contentment of “Completion”: Change has been successfully adopted and benefits are being realized.

Tailor a communications strategy for each stakeholder group

Leveraging the stakeholder analyses you’ve already performed in steps 2.2 and 3.1, customize your communications strategy for the individual stakeholder groups.

Think about where each of the groups falls within the Organizational Change Depth Scale (below) to determine the type of communications approach required. Don’t forget: the deeper the change, the tougher the job of managing change will be.

Procedural Behavioral Interpersonal Vocational Cultural

Position

  • Changing procedures requires clear explanation of what has changed and what people must do differently.
  • Avoid making people think wherever possible. Provide procedural instructions when and where people need them to ensure they remember.

Incentivize

  • Changing behaviors requires breaking old habits and establishing new ones by adjusting the contexts in which people work.
  • Consider a range of both formal and informal incentives and disincentives, including objective rewards, contextual nudges, cues, and informal recognition

Empathize

  • Changing people’s relationships (without damaging morale) requires showing empathy for disrupting what is often a significant source of their well-being.
  • Show that efforts have been made to mitigate disruption, and sacrifice is shared by leadership.

Educate

  • Changing people’s roles requires providing ways to acquire knowledge and skills they need to learn and succeed.
  • Consider a range of learning options that includes both formal training (external or internal) and ongoing self-directed learning.

Inspire

  • Changing values and norms in the organization (i.e. what type of things are seen as “good” or “normal”) requires deep disruption and persistence.
  • Think beyond incentives; change the vocabularies in which incentives are presented.

Base your communications approaches on our Organizational Change Depth Scale

Use the below “change chakras” as a quick guide for structuring your change messages.

The image is a human, with specific areas of the body highlighted, with notes emerging from them. Above the head is a cloud, labelled Cultural Change/Inspire-Shape ideas and aspirations. The head is the next highlighted element, with notes reading Vocational Change/Educate-Develop their knowledge and skills. The heart is the next area, labelled with Interpersonal Change/Empathize-Appeal to their hearts. The stomach is pictured, with the notes Behavioral Change/Incentivize-Appeal to their appetites and instincts. The final section are the legs, with notes reading Procedural Change/Position-Provide clear direction and let people know where and when they’re needed.

Categorize stakeholder groups in terms of communications requirements

3.2.2 30 minutes

Use the table below to document where your various stakeholder groups fall within the depth scale.
Depth Levels Stakeholder Groups Tactics
Procedural Position: Provide explanation of what exactly has changed and specific procedural instructions of what exactly people must do differently to ensure they remember to make adjustments as effortlessly as possible.
Behavioral Incentivize: Break old habits and establish new ones by adjusting the context of formal and informal incentives (including objective rewards, contextual nudges, cues, and informal recognition).
Interpersonal Empathize: Offer genuine recognition and support for disruptions of personal networks (a significant source of personal well-being) that may result from changing work relationships. Show how leadership shares the burden of such sacrifices.
Vocational Educate: Provide a range of learning options (formal and self-directed) to provide the knowledge and skills people need to learn and succeed in changed roles.
Cultural Inspire: Frame incentives in a vocabulary that reflects any shift in what types of things are seen as “good” or “normal” in the organization.

The deeper the impact, the more complex the communication strategy

Interposal, vocational, and cultural changes each require more nuanced approaches when communicating with stakeholders.

Straightforward → Complex

When managing interpersonal, vocational, or cultural changes, you will be required to incorporate more inspirational messaging and gestures of empathy than you typically might in a business communication.

Communications that require an appeal to people’s emotions can be, of course, very powerful, but they are difficult to craft. As a result, oftentimes messages that are meant to inspire do the exact opposite, coming across as farfetched or meaningless platitudes, rather than evocative and actionable calls to change.

Refer to the tactics below for assistance when crafting more complex change communications that require an appeal to people’s emotions and imaginations.

  • Tell a story. Describe a journey with a beginning (who we are and how we got here) and a destination (our goals and expected success in the future).
  • Convey an intuitive sense of direction. This helps people act appropriately without being explicitly told what to do.
  • Appeal to both emotion and reason. Make people want to be part of the change.
  • Balance abstract ideas with concrete facts. Writers call this “moving up and down the ladder of abstraction.” Without concrete images and facts, the vision will be meaninglessly vague. Without abstract ideas and principles, the vision will lack power to unite people and inspire broad support.
  • Be concise. Make your messages easy to communicate and remember in any situation.

"Instead of resisting any emotion, the best way to dispel it is to enter it fully, embrace it and see through your resistance."

Deepak Chopra

Fine-tune change communications for each stakeholder or audience

3.2.3 60 to 90 minutes

Use Info-Tech’s “Message Canvas” (see next slide) to help rationalize and elaborate the change vision for each group.

Build upon the more high-level change story that you developed in step 1.1 by giving more specificity to the change for specific stakeholder groups.

Questions to address in your communication strategy include: How will the change benefit the organization and its people? How have we confirmed there is a need for change? What would happen if we didn’t change? How will the change leverage existing strengths – what will stay the same? How will we know when we get to the desired state?

Remember these guidelines to help your messages resonate:

  • People are busy and easily distracted. Tell people what they really need to know first, before you lose their attention.
  • Repetition is good. Remember the Aristotelian triptych: “Tell them what you’re going to tell them, then tell them, then tell them what you told them.”
  • Don’t use technical terms, jargon, or acronyms. Different groups in organizations tend to develop specialized vocabularies. Everybody grows so accustomed to using acronyms and jargon every day that it becomes difficult to notice how strange it sounds to outsiders. This is especially important when IT communicates with non-technical audiences. Don’t alienate your audience by talking at them in a strange language.
  • Test your message. Run focus groups or deliver communications to a test audience (which could be as simple as asking 2–3 people to read a draft) before delivering messages more broadly.

Info-Tech Insight

Change thy language, change thyself.

Jargon, acronyms, and technical terms represent deeply entrenched cultural habits and assumptions.

Continuing to use jargon or acronyms after a transition tends to drag people back to old ways of thinking and working.

You don’t need to invent a new batch of buzzwords for every change (nor should you), but every change is an opportunity to listen for words and phrases that have lost their meaning through overuse and abuse.

3.2.3 continued - Example “Message Canvas”

The image is a screencapture of tab 6 of the Organizational Change Impact Analysis Tool, which is a message canvas

If there are multiple messages or impacts that need to be communicated to a single group or audience, you may need to do multiple Message Canvases per group. Refer back to your Stakeholder Engagement Workbook to help inform the stakeholder groups and messages that this activity should address.

Go to tab 6 of the Organizational Change Impact Analysis Toolfor multiple message canvas template boxes that you can use. These messages can then help inform your communication plan on tab 7 of that tool.

Determine methods for communications delivery

Review your options for communicating your change. This slide covers traditional methods of communication, while the following slides cover some options for multimedia mass-communications.

Method Best Practices
Email Email announcements are necessary for every organizational change initiative but are never sufficient. Treat email as a formalizing medium, not a medium of effective communication when organizational change is concerned. Use email to invite people to in-person meetings, make announcements across teams and geographical areas at the same time, and share formal details.
Team Meeting Team meetings help sell change. Body language and other in-person cues are invaluable when trying to influence people. Team meetings also provide an opportunity to gauge a group’s response to an announcement and gives the audience an opportunity to ask questions and get clarification.
One-on-One One-on-ones are more effective than team meetings in their power to influence and gauge individual responses, but aren’t feasible for large numbers of stakeholders. Use one-on-ones selectively: identify key stakeholders and influencers who are most able to either advocate change on your behalf or provide feedback (or both).
Internal Site / Repository Internal sites and repositories help sustain change by making knowledge available after the implementation. People don’t retain information very well when it isn’t relevant to them. Much of their training will be forgotten if they don’t apply that knowledge for several weeks or months. Use internal sites and repositories for how-to guides and standard operating procedures.

Review multimedia communication methods for reaching wider audiences in the organization

Method Best Practices
User Interfaces User interface (UI) design is overlooked as a communication method. Often a simple UI refinement with the clearer prompts or warnings is more effective and efficient than additional training and repeated email reminders.
Social Media Social media is widely and deeply embraced by people publicly, and is increasingly useful within organizations. Look for ways to leverage existing internal social tools. Avoid trying to introduce new social channels to communicate change unless social transformation is within the scope of the core project’s goals; the social tool itself might become as much of an organizational change management challenge as the original project.
Posters & Marketing Collateral Posters and other marketing collateral are common communication tools in retail and hospitality industries that change managers in other industries often don’t think of. Making key messages a vivid, visual part of people’s everyday environment is a very effective way to communicate. On the down side, marketing collateral requires professional design skills and can be costly to create. Professional copywriting is also advisable to ensure your message resonates.
Video Videos are well worth the cost to produce when the change is transformational in nature, as in cultural changes. Videos are useful for both communicating the vision and as part of the training plan.

Document communication methods and build the Communications Delivery Plan

3.2.4 30 minutes

  1. Determine when communications need to be delivered for each stakeholder group.
  2. Select the most appropriate delivery methods for each group and for each message.
    • Meetings and presentations
    • Email/broadcast
    • Intranet and other internal channels (e.g. internal social network)
    • Open houses and workshops
  3. Designate who will deliver the messages.
  4. Develop plans to follow up for feedback and evaluation (Step 3.2.5).

The image is a screenshot of the Stakeholder/Audience section of the Transition Plan Template.

This is a screenshot from the “Stakeholder/Audience” section of Info-Tech’s Transition Plan Template. Use the template to document your communication strategy for each audience and your delivery plan.

"The role of project communication is to inspire, instigate, inform or educate and ultimately lead to a desired action. Project communication is not a well presented collection of words; rather it is something that propels a series of actions."

Sidharth Thakur

Info-Tech Insight

Repetition is crucial. People need to be exposed to a message 7 times before it sticks. Using a variety of delivery formats helps ensure people will notice and remember key messages. Mix things up to keep employees engaged and looking forward to the next update.

Define the feedback and evaluation process to ensure an agile response to resistance

3.2.5 46 to 60 minutes

  1. Designate where/when on the roadmap the project team will proactively evaluate progress/success and elicit feedback in order to identify emerging challenges and opportunities.
  2. Create checklists to review at key milestones to ensure plans are being executed. Review…
    • Key project implementation milestones (i.e. confirm successful deployment/installation).
    • Quick wins identified in the impact analysis and determined in the transition plan (see the following slides for advice in leveraging quick wins).
  3. Ensure there is immediate follow-up on communications and training:
    • Confirm understanding and acceptance of vision and action plan – utilize surveys and questionnaires to elicit feedback.
    • Validate people’s acquisition of required knowledge and skills.
    • Identify emerging/unforeseen challenges and opportunities.

"While creating and administering a survey represent(s) additional time and cost to the project, there are a number of benefits to be considered: 1) Collecting this information forces regular and systematic review of the project as it is perceived by the impacted organizations, 2) As the survey is used from project to project it can be improved and reused, 3) The survey can quickly collect feedback from a large part of the organization, increasing the visibility of the project and reducing unanticipated or unwelcome reactions."

– Claire Schwartz

Use the survey and questionnaire templates on the following two slides for assistance in eliciting feedback. Record the evaluation and feedback gathering process in the Transition Plan Template.

Sample stakeholder questionnaire

Use email to distribute a questionnaire (such as the example below) to project stakeholders to elicit feedback.

In addition to receiving invaluable opinions from key stakeholders and the frontline workers, utilizing questionnaires will also help involve employees in the change, making them feel more engaged and part of the change process.

Interviewee Date
Stakeholder Group Interviewer
Question Response Notes
How do you think this change will affect you?
How do you think this change will affect the organization?
How long do you expect the change to take?
What do you think might cause the project/change to fail?
What do you think are the most critical success factors?

Sample survey template

Similar to a questionnaire, a survey is a great way to assess the lay of the land in terms of your org change efforts and the likelihood of adoption.

Using a free online survey tool like Survey Monkey, Typeform, or Google Forms, surveys are quick and easy to generate and deploy. Use the below example as a template to build from.

Use survey and questionnaire feedback as an occasion to revisit the Impact Analysis Tool and reassess the impacts and roadblocks based on hard feedback.

To what degree do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements?

1=Strongly Disagree, 2=Disagree, 3=Somewhat Disagree, 4=Somewhat Agree, 5=Agree, 6=Strongly Agree

  1. I understand why [this change] is happening.
  2. I agree with the decision to [implement this change].
  3. I have the knowledge and tools needed to successfully go through [this change].
  4. Leadership/management is fully committed to the change.
  5. [This change] will be a success.

Rate the impact of this change.

1=Very Negative, 2=Negative, 3=Somewhat Negative, 4=Somewhat Positive, 5=Positive, 6=Very Positive

  1. On you personally.
  2. On your team/department/unit.
  3. On the organization as a whole.
  4. On people leading the change.

Develop plans to leverage support and deal with resistance, objections, and fatigue

Assess the “Faces of Change” to review the emotions provoked by the change in order to proactively manage resistors and engage supporters.

The slides that follow walk you through activities to assess the different “faces of change” around your OCM initiative and to perform an objections handling exercise.

Assessing people’s emotional responses to the change will enable the PMO and transition team to:

  • Brainstorm possible questions, objections, suggestions, and concerns from each audience.
  • Develop responses to questions, objections, and concerns.
  • Revise the communications messaging and plan to include proactive objections handling.
  • Re-position objections and suggestions as questions to plan for proactively communicating responses and objections to show people that you understand their point of view.
  • Develop a plan with clearly defined responsibility for regularly updating and communicating the objections handling document. Active Subversion Quiet Resistance Vocal Skepticism Neutrality / Uncertainty Vocal Approval Quiet Support Active Leadership
Hard Work Vs. Tough Work

Carol Beatty’s distinction between “easy work,” “hard work,” and “tough work” can be revealing in terms of the high failure rate on many change initiatives. (“The Tough Work of Managing Change.” Queen’s University IRC. 2015.)

  • Easy work includes administrative tasks like scheduling meetings and training sessions or delivering progress reports.
  • Hard work includes more abstract efforts like estimating costs/benefit or defining requirements.
  • Tough work involves managing people and emotions, i.e. providing leadership through setbacks, and managing resistance and conflict.

That is what makes organizational change “tough,” as opposed to merely hard. Managing change requires mental and emotional toughness to deal with uncertainty, ambiguity, and conflict.

Assess the full range of support and resistance to change

3.2.6 20 minutes

Categorize the feedback received from stakeholder groups or individual stakeholders across the “faces of change” spectrum.

Use the table below to document where different stakeholders and stakeholder groups fall within the spectrum.

Response Symptoms Examples
Active Subversion Publicly or privately disparaging the transition (in some cases privately disparaging while pretending to support); encouraging people to continue doing things the old way or to leave the organization altogether. Group/Name
Quiet Resistance Refusing to adopt change, continuing to do things the old way (including seemingly trivial or symbolic things). Non-participative. Group/Name
Vocal Skepticism Asking questions; questioning the why, what, and how of change, but continuing to show willingness to participate and try new things. Group/Name
Neutrality / Uncertainty Non-vocal participation, perhaps with some negative body language, but continuing to show tacit willingness to try new things. Group/Name
Vocal Approval Publicly and privately signaling buy-in for the change. Group/Name
Quiet Support Actively helping to enable change to succeed without necessarily being a cheerleader or trying to rally others around the transition. Group/Name
Active Leadership Visibly championing the change and helping to rally others around the transition. Group/Name

Review strategies and tactics for engaging different responses

Use the below tactics across the “faces of change” spectrum to help inform the PMO’s responses to sources of objection and resistance and its tactics for leveraging support.

Response Engagement Strategies and Tactics
Active Subversion Firmly communicate the boundaries of acceptable response to change: resistance is a natural response to change, but actively encouraging other people to resist change should not be tolerated. Active subversion often indicates the need to find a new role or depart the organization.
Quiet Resistance Resistance is a natural response to change. Use the Change Curve to accommodate a moderate degree and period of resistance. Use the OCM Depth Scale to ensure communications strategies address the irrational sources of resistance.
Vocal Skepticism Skepticism can be a healthy sign. Skeptics tend to be invested in the organization’s success and can be turned into vocal and active supporters if they feel their questions and concerns have been heard and addressed.
Neutrality / Uncertainty Most fence-sitters will approve and support change when they start to see concrete benefits and successes, but are equally likely to become skeptics and resisters when they see signs of failure or a critical mass of skepticism, resistance, or simply ambivalence.
Vocal Approval Make sure that espoused approval for change isn’t masking resistance or subversion. Engage vocal supporters to convert them into active enablers or champions of change.
Quiet Support Engage quiet supporters to participate where their skills or social and political capital might help enable change across the organization. This could either be formal or informal, as too much formal engagement can invite minor disagreements and slow down change.
Active Leadership Engage some of the active cheerleaders and champions of change to help deliver communications (and in some cases training) to their respective groups or teams.

Don’t let speed bumps become roadblocks

What If... Do This: To avoid:
You aren’t on board with the change? Fake it to your staff, then communicate with your superiors to gather the information you need to buy in to the change. Starting the change process off on the wrong foot. If your staff believe that you don’t buy in to the change, but you are asking them to do so, they are not going to commit to it.
When you introduce the change, a saboteur throws a tantrum? If the employee storms out, let them. If they raise uninformed objections in the meeting that are interrupting your introduction, ask them to leave and meet with them privately later on. Schedule an ad hoc one-on-one meeting. A debate at the announcement. It’s an introduction to the change and questions are good, but it’s not the time for debate. Leave this for the team meetings, focus groups, and one-on-ones when all staff have digested the information.
Your staff don’t trust you? Don’t make the announcement. Find an Enthusiast or another manager that you trust to make the announcement. Your staff blocking any information you give them or immediately rejecting anything you ask of them. Even if you are telling the absolute truth, if your staff don’t trust you, they won’t believe anything you say.
An experienced skeptic has seen this tried before and states it won’t work? Leverage their experience after highlighting how the situation and current environment is different. Ask the employee what went wrong before. Reinventing a process that didn’t work in the past and frustrating a very valuable segment of your staff. Don’t miss out on the wealth of information this Skeptic has to offer.

Use the Objections Handling Template on the next slide to brainstorm specific objections and forms of resistance and to strategize about the more effective responses and mitigation strategies.

Copy these objections and responses into the designated section of the Transition Plan Template. Continue to revise objections and responses there if needed.

Objections Handling Template

3.2.7 45 to 60 minutes

Objection Source of Objection PMO Response
We tried this two years ago. Vocal skepticism Enabling processes and technologies needed time to mature. We now have the right process discipline, technologies, and skills in place to support the system. In addition, a dedicated role has been created to oversee all aspects of the system during and after implementation.
Why aren’t we using [another solution]? Uncertainty We spent 12 months evaluating, testing, and piloting solutions before selecting [this solution]. A comprehensive report on the selection process is available on the project’s internal site [here].

Info-Tech Insight

There is insight in resistance. The individuals best positioned to provide insight and influence change positively are also best positioned to create resistance. These people should be engaged throughout the implementation process. Their insights will very likely identify risks, barriers, and opportunities that need to be addressed.

Make sure the action plan includes opportunities to highlight successes, quick wins, and bright spots

Highlighting quick wins or “bright spots” helps you go from communicating change to more persuasively demonstrating change.

Specifically, quick wins help:

  • Demonstrate that change is possible.
  • Prove that change produces positive results.
  • Recognize and reward people’s efforts.

Take the time to assess and plan quick wins as early as possible in the planning process. You can revisit the impact assessment for assistance in identifying potential quick wins; more so, work with the project team and other stakeholders to help identify quick wins as they emerge throughout the planning and execution phases.

Make sure you highlight bright spots as part of the larger story and vision around change. The purpose is to continue to build or sustain momentum and morale through the transition.

"The quick win does not have to be profound or have a long-term impact on your organization, but needs to be something that many stakeholders agree is a good thing… You can often identify quick wins by simply asking stakeholders if they have any quick-win recommendations that could result in immediate benefits to the organization."

John Parker

Tips for identifying quick wins (Source: John Parker, “How Business Analysts can Identify Quick Wins,” 2013):
  • Brainstorm with your core team.
  • Ask technical and business stakeholders for ideas.
  • Observe daily work of users and listen to users for problems and opportunities; quick wins often come from the rank and file, not from the top.
  • Review and analyze user support trouble tickets; this can be a wealth of information.
  • Be open to all suggestions.

Info-Tech Insight

Stay positive. Our natural tendency is to look for what’s not working and try to fix it. While it’s important to address negatives, it’s equally important to highlight positives to keep people committed and motivated around change.

Document the outcomes of this step in the Transition Plan Template

3.2.8 45 minutes

Consolidate and refine communication plan requirements for each stakeholder and group affected by change.

Upon completion of the activities in this step, the PMO Director is responsible for ensuring that outcomes have been documented and recorded in the Transition Plan Template. Activities to be recorded include:

  • Stakeholder Overview
  • Communications Schedule Activity
  • Communications Delivery
  • Objections Handling
  • The Feedback and Evaluation Process

Going forward, successful change will require that many responsibilities be delegated beyond the PMO and core transition team.

  • Delegate responsibilities to HR, managers, and team members for:
    • Advocating the importance of change.
    • Communicating progress toward project milestones and goals.
    • Developing HR and training plan.
  • Ensure sponsorship stays committed and active during and after the transition.
    • Leadership visibility throughout the execution and follow-up of the project is needed to remind people of the importance of change and the organization’s commitment to project success.

Download Info-Tech’s Transition Plan Template.

"Whenever you let up before the job is done, critical momentum can be lost and regression may follow." – John Kotter, Leading Change

Step 3.3: Establish HR and Training Plans

Phase 3 - 3.3

This step will walk you through the following activities:
  • Analyze HR requirements for involvement in training.
  • Outline appropriate HR and training timelines.
  • Develop training plan requirements across different stakeholder groups.
  • Define training content.
  • Assess skills required to support the change and review options for filling HR gaps.
This step involves the following participants:
  • PMO Director
  • Transition Team
  • HR Personnel
  • Project Sponsor
Outcomes of this step
  • A training plan
  • Assessment of skill required to support the change

Make sure skills, roles, and teams are ready for change

Ensure that the organization has the infrastructure in place and the right skills availability to support long-term adoption of the change.

The PMO’s OCM approach should leverage organizational design and development capabilities already in place.

Recommendations in this section are meant to help the PMO and transition team understand HR and training plan activities in the context of the overall transition process.

Where organizational design and development capabilities are low, the following steps will help you do just enough planning around HR, and training and development to enable the specific change.

In some cases the need for improved OCM will reveal the need for improved organizational design and development capabilities.

  • Required Participants for this Step: PMO Leader; PMO staff; Project manager.
  • Recommended Participants for this Step: Project Sponsor; HR personnel.

This section will walk you through the basic steps of developing HR, training, and development plans to support and enable the change.

For comprehensive guidance and tools on role, job, and team design, see Info-Tech’s Transform IT Through Strategic Organizational Design blueprint.

Info-Tech Insight

Don’t make training a hurdle to adoption. Training and other disruptions take time and energy away from work. Ineffective training takes credibility away from change leaders and seems to validate the efforts of saboteurs and skeptics. The PMO needs to ensure that training sessions are as focused and useful as possible.

Analyze HR requirements to ensure efficient use of HR and project stakeholder time

3.3.1 30-60 minutes

Refer back to Activity 3.2.4. Use the placement of each stakeholder group on the Organizational Change Depth Scale (below) to determine the type of HR and training approach required. Don’t impose training rigor where it isn’t required.

Procedural Behavioral Interpersonal Vocational Cultural
Simply changing procedures doesn’t generally require HR involvement (unless HR procedures are affected). Changing behaviors requires breaking old habits and establishing new ones, often using incentives and disincentives. Changing teams, roles, and locations means changing people’s relationships, which adds disruption to people’s lives and challenges for any change initiative. Changing people’s roles and responsibilities requires providing ways to acquire knowledge and skills they need to learn and succeed. Changing values and norms in the organization (i.e. what type of things are seen as “good” or “normal”) requires deep disruption and persistence.
Typically no HR involvement. HR consultation recommended to help change incentives, compensation, and training strategies. HR consultation strongly recommended to help define roles, jobs, and teams. HR responsibility recommended to develop training and development programs. HR involvement recommended.

22%

In a recent survey of 276 large and midsize organizations, eighty-seven percent of survey respondents trained their managers to “manage change,” but only 22% felt the training was truly effective. (Towers Watson)

Outline appropriate HR and training timelines

3.3.2 15 minutes

Revisit the high-level project schedule from steps 1.2.4 and 3.4.1 to create a tentative timeline for HR and training activities.

Revise this timeline throughout the implementation process, and refine the timing and specifics of these activities as you move from the development to the deployment phase.

Project Milestone Milestone Time Frame HR/Training Activities Activity Timing Notes
Business Case Approval
  • Consulted to estimate timeline and cost
Pilot Go-Live
  • Train groups affected by pilot
Full Rollout Approval
  • Consulted to estimate timeline and cost
Full Rollout
  • Train the trainers for full-scale rollout
Benefits Assessment
  • Consulted to provide actual time and costs

"The reason it’s going to hurt is you’re going from a state where you knew everything to one where you’re starting over again."

– BA, Natural Resources Company

Develop the training plan to ensure that the right goals are set, and that training is properly timed and communicated

3.3.3 60 minutes

Use the final tab in the Stakeholder Engagement Workbook, “7. Training Requirements,” to begin fleshing out a training plan for project stakeholders.

The image is a screencapture of the final tab in the Stakeholder Engagement Workbook, titled Training Requirements.

The table will automatically generate a list of stakeholders based on your stakeholder analysis.

If your stakeholder list has grown or changed since the stakeholder engagement exercise in step 3.1, update the “Stakeholder List” tab in the tool.

Estimate when training can begin, when training needs to be completed, and the total hours required.

Training too early and too late are both common mistakes. Training too late hurts morale and creates risks. Training too early is often wasted and creates the need for retraining as knowledge and skills are lost without immediate relevance to their work.

Brainstorm or identify potential opportunities to leverage for training (such as using existing resources and combining multiple training programs).

Review the Change Management Impact Analysis to assess skills and knowledge required for each group in order for the change to succeed.

Depending on the type of change being introduced, you may need to have more in-depth conversations with technical advisors, project management staff, and project sponsors concerning gaps and required content.

Define training content and make key logistical decisions concerning training delivery for staff and users

3.3.4 30-60 minutes

Ultimately, the training plan will have to be put into action, which will require that the key logistical decisions are made concerning content and training delivery.

The image is a screencapture of the Training Plan section of the Transition Plan Template.

  1. Use the “Training Plan” section in Info-Tech’s Transition Plan Template to document details of your training plan: schedules, resources, rooms, and materials required, etc.
  2. Designate who is responsible for developing the training content details. Responsibilities will include:
    • Developing content modules.
    • Determining the appropriate delivery model for each audience and content module (e.g. online course, classroom, outsourced, job shadowing, video tutorials, self-learning).
    • Finding and booking resources, locations, equipment, etc.

“95% of learning leaders from organizations that are very effective at implementing important change initiatives find best practices by partnering with a company or an individual with experience in the type of change, twice as often as ineffective organizations.”

Source: Implementing and Supporting Training for Important Change Initiatives.

Training content should be developed and delivered by people with training experience and expertise, working closely with subject matter experts. In the absence of such individuals, partnering with experienced trainers is a cost that should be considered.

Assess skills required to support the change that are currently absent or in short supply

3.3.5 15 to 30 minutes

The long-term success of the change is contingent on having the resources to maintain and support the tool, process, or business change being implemented. Otherwise, resourcing shortfalls could threaten the integrity of the new way of doing things post-change, threatening people’s trust and faith in the validity of the change as a whole.

Use the table below to assess and record skills requirements. Refer to the tactics on the next slide for assistance in filling gaps.

Skill Required Description of Need Possible Resources Recommended Next Steps Timeline
Mobile Dev Users expect mobile access to services. We need knowledge of various mobile platforms, languages or frameworks, and UX/UI requirements for mobile.
  • Train web team
  • Outsource
  • Analyze current and future mobile requirements.
Probably Q1 2015
DBAs Currently have only one DBA, which creates a bottleneck. We need some DBA redundancy to mitigate risk of single point of failure.
  • Redeploy and train member of existing technology services team.
  • Hire or contract new resources.
  • Analyze impact of redeploying existing resources.
Q3 2014

Review your options for filling HR gaps

Options: Benefits: Drawbacks:
Redeploy staff internally
  • Retains firm-specific knowledge.
  • Eliminates substantial costs of recruiting and terminating employees.
  • Mitigates risk; reduces the number of unknowns that come with acquiring talent.
  • Employees could already be fully or over-allocated.
  • Employees might lack the skills needed for the new or enhanced positions.
Outsource
  • Best for addressing short-term, urgent needs, especially when the skills and knowledge required are too new or unfamiliar to manage internally.
  • Risk of sharing sensitive information with third parties.
  • Opportunity cost of not investing in knowledge and skills internally.
Contract
  • Best when you are uncertain how long needs for particular skills or budget for extra capacity will last.
  • Diminished loyalty, engagement, and organizational culture.
  • Similar drawbacks as with outsourcing.
Hire externally
  • Best for addressing long-term needs for strategic or core skills.
  • Builds capacity and expertise to support growing organizations for the long term.
  • High cost of recruiting and onboarding.
  • Uncertainty: risk that new hires might have misrepresented their skills or won’t fit culturally.
  • Commitment to paying for skills that might diminish in demand and value over time.
  • Economic uncertainty: high cost of layoffs and buyouts.

Report HR and training plan status to the transition team

3.3.6 10 minutes (and ongoing thereafter)

Ensure that any changes or developments made to HR and training plans are captured in the Transition Plan Template where applicable.
  1. Upon completion of the activities in this step, ensure that the “Training Plan” section of the template reflects outcomes and decisions made during the preceding activities.
  2. Assign ongoing RACI roles for informing the transition team of HR and training plan changes; similarly define accountabilities for keeping the template itself up to date.
    • Record these roles within the template itself under the “Roles & Responsibilities” section.
  3. Be sure to schedule a date for eliciting training feedback in the “Training Schedule” section of the template.
    • A simple survey, such as those discussed in step 3.2, can go a long way in both helping stakeholders feel more involved in the change, and in making sure training mistakes and weaknesses are not repeated again and again on subsequent change initiatives.

Info-Tech Insight

Try more ad hoc training methods to offset uncertain project timelines.

One of the top challenges organizations face around training is getting it timed right, given the changes to schedule and delays that occur on many projects.

One tactic is to take a more ad hoc approach to training, such as making IT staff available in centralized locations after implementation to address staff issues as they come up.

This will not only help eliminate the waste that can come from poorly timed and ineffective training sessions, but it will also help with employee morale, giving individuals a sense that they haven’t been left alone to navigate unfamiliar processes or technologies.

Adoption can be difficult for some, but the cause is often confusion and misunderstanding

CASE STUDY

Industry Manufacturing

Source Info-Tech Client

Challenge
  • The strategy team responsible for the implementation of a new operation manual for the subsidiaries of a global firm was monitoring the progress of newly acquired firms as the implementation of the manual began.
  • They noticed that one department in a distant location was not meeting the new targets or fulfilling the reporting requirements on staff progress.
Solution
  • The strategy team representative for the subsidiary firm went to the manager leading the department that was slow to adopt the changes.
  • When asked, the manager insisted that he did not have the time or resources to implement all of these changes while maintaining the operation of the department.
  • With true business value in mind, the manager said, they chose to keep the plant running.
Results
  • The representative from the strategy team was surprised to find that the manager was having such trouble fitting the changes into daily operations as the changes were the daily operations.
  • The representative took the time to go through the new operation manual with the manager and explain that the changes replaced daily operations and were not additions to them.

"The cause of slow adoption is often not anger or denial, but a genuine lack of understanding and need for clarification. Avoid snap decisions about a lack of adoption until staff understand the details." – IT Manager

If you want additional support, have our analysts guide you through this phase as part of an Info-Tech workshop

Book a workshop with our Info-Tech analysts:

  • To accelerate this project, engage your IT team in an Info-Tech workshop with an Info-Tech analyst team.
  • Info-Tech analysts will join you and your team onsite at your location or welcome you to Info-Tech’s historic Toronto office to participate in an innovative onsite workshop.
  • Contact your account manager (www.infotech.com/account), or email Workshops@InfoTech.com for more information.

The following are sample activities that will be conducted by Info-Tech analysts with your team:

3.1.2 Undergo a stakeholder analysis to ensure positive stakeholder engagement

Move away from a command-and-control approach to change by working with the analyst to develop a strategy that engages stakeholders in the change, making them feel like they are a part of it.

3.2.3 Develop a stakeholder sentiment-sensitive communications strategy

Work with the analyst to fine-tune the stakeholder messaging across various stakeholder responses to change.

If you want additional support, have our analysts guide you through this phase as part of an Info-Tech workshop

Book a workshop with our Info-Tech analysts:

3.2.5 Define a stakeholder feedback and evaluation process

Utilize analyst experience and perspective in order to develop strategy for effectively evaluating stakeholder feedback early enough that resistance and suggestions can be accommodated with the OCM strategy and project plan.

3.2.7 Develop a strategy to cut off resistance to change

Utilize analyst experience and perspective in order to develop an objections handling strategy to deal with resistance, objections, and fatigue.

3.3.4 Develop the training plan to ensure that the right goals are set, and that training is properly timed and communicated

Receive custom analyst insights on rightsizing training content and timing your training sessions effectively.

Phase 4

Establish a Post-Project Benefits Attainment Process

Phase 4 outline

Call 1-888-670-8889 or email GuidedImplementations@InfoTech.com for more information.

Complete these steps on your own, or call us to complete a guided implementation. A guided implementation is a series of 2-3 advisory calls that help you execute each phase of a project. They are included in most advisory memberships.

Guided Implementation 4: Establish a Post-Project Benefits Attainment Process

Proposed Time to Completion (in weeks): 1 to 2 weeks

Step 4.1: Determine accountabilities for benefits attainment

Discuss these issues with analyst:

  • Accountability for tracking the business outcomes of the project post-completion is frequently opaque, with little or no allocated resourcing.
  • As a result, projects may get completed, but their ROI to the organization is not tracked or understood.

Then complete these activities…

  • Perform a post-implementation project review of the pilot OCM initiative.
  • Assign post-project benefits tracking accountabilities.
  • Implement a benefits tracking process and tool.

With these tools & templates:

  • Portfolio Benefits Tracking Tool
  • Activity 4.1.2: “Assign ownership for realizing benefits after the project is closed”
  • Activity 4.1.3: “Define a post-project benefits tracking process”

Step 4.1: Determine accountabilities for benefits attainment

Phase 4 - 4.1

This step will walk you through the following activities:
  • Conduct a post-implementation review of pilot OCM project.
  • Assign ownership for realizing benefits after the project is closed.
  • Define a post-project benefits tracking process.
  • Implement a tool to help monitor and track benefits over the long term.
This step involves the following participants:
  • PMO Director
  • Project Sponsor
  • Project managers
  • Business analyst
  • Additional IT/PMO staff
Outcomes of this step
  • Appropriate assignment of accountabilities for tracking benefits after the project has closed
  • A process for tracking benefits over the long-run
  • A benefits tracking tool

Project benefits result from change

A PMO that facilitates change is one that helps drive benefits attainment long after the project team has moved onto the next initiative.

Organizations rarely close the loop on project benefits once a project has been completed.

  • The primary cause of this is accountability for tracking business outcomes post-project is almost always poorly defined, with little or no allocated resourcing.
  • Even organizations that define benefits well often neglect to manage them once the project is underway. If benefits realization is not monitored, the organization will miss opportunities to close the gap on lagging benefits and deliver expected project value.
  • It is commonly understood that the project manager and sponsor will need to work together to shift focus to benefits as the project progresses, but this rarely happens as effectively as it should.

With all this in mind, in this step we will round out our PMO-driven org change process by defining how the PMO can help to better facilitate the benefits realization process.

This section will walk you through the basic steps of developing a benefits attainment process through the PMO.

For comprehensive guidance and tools, see Info-Tech’s Establish the Benefits Realization Process.

Info-Tech Insight

Two of a kind. OCM, like benefits realization, is often treated as “nice to have” rather than “must do.” These two processes are both critical to real project success; define benefits properly during intake and let OCM take the reigns after the project kicks off.

The benefits realization process spans the project lifecycle

Benefits realization ensures that the benefits defined in the business case are used to define a project’s expected value, and to facilitate the delivery of this value after the project is closed. The process begins when benefits are first defined in the business case, continues as benefits are managed through project execution, and ends when the loop is closed and the benefits are actually realized after the project is closed.

Benefits Realization
Define Manage Realize
Initial Request Project Kick Off *Solution Is Deployed
Business Case Approved Project Execution Solution Maintenance
PM Assigned *Project Close Solution Decommissioned

*For the purposes of this step, we will limit our focus to the PMO’s responsibilities for benefits attainment at project close-out and in the project’s aftermath to ensure that responsibilities for tracking business outcomes post-project have been properly defined and resourced.

Ultimate project success hinges on a fellowship of the benefits

At project close-out, stewardship of the benefits tracking process should pass from the project team to the project sponsor.

As the project closes, responsibility for benefits tracking passes from the project team to the project sponsor. In many cases, the PMO will need to function as an intermediary here, soliciting the sponsor’s involvement when the time comes.

The project manager and team will likely move onto another project and the sponsor (in concert with the PMO) will be responsible for measuring and reporting benefits realization.

As benefits realization is measured, results should be collated by the PMO to validate results and help flag lagging benefits.

The activities that follow in this step will help define this process.

The PMO should ensure the participation of the project sponsor, the project manager, and any applicable members of the business side and the project team for this step.

Ideally, the CIO and steering committee members should be involved as well. At the very least, they should be informed of the decisions made as soon as possible.

Initiation-Planning-Execution-Monitoring & Controlling-Closing

Conduct post-implementation review for your pilot OCM project

4.1.1 60 minutes

The post-project phase is the most challenging because the project team and sponsor will likely be busy with other projects and work.

Conducting a post-implementation review for every project will force sponsors and other stakeholders to assess actual benefits realization and identify lagging benefits.

If the project is not achieving its benefits, a remediation plan should be created to attempt to capture these benefits as soon as possible.

Agenda Item
Assess Benefits Realization
  • Compare benefits realized to projected benefits.
  • Compare benefit measurements with benefit targets.
Assess Quality
  • Performance
  • Availability
  • Reliability
Discuss Ongoing Issues
  • What has gone wrong?
  • Frequency
  • Cause
  • Resolution
Discuss Training
  • Was training adequate?
  • Is any additional training required?
Assess Ongoing Costs
  • If there are ongoing costs, were they accounted for in the project budget?
Assess Customer Satisfaction
  • Review stakeholder surveys.

Assign ownership for realizing benefits after the project is closed

4.1.2 45 to 60 minutes

The realization stage is the most difficult to execute and oversee. The project team will have moved on, and unless someone takes accountability for measuring benefits, progress will not be measured. Use the sample RACI table below to help define roles and responsibilities for post-project benefits attainment.

Process Step Responsible Accountable Consulted Informed
Track project benefits realization and document progress Project sponsor Project sponsor PMO (can provide tracking tools and guidance), and directors or managers in the affected business unit who will help gather necessary metrics for the sponsor (e.g. report an increase in sales 3 months post-project) PMO (can collect data and consolidate benefits realization progress across projects)
Identify lagging benefits and perform root cause analysis Project sponsor and PMO Project sponsor and PMO Affected business unit CIO, IT steering committee
Adjust benefits realization plan as needed Project sponsor Project sponsor Project manager, affected business units Any stakeholders impacted by changes to plan
Report project success PMO PMO Project sponsor IT and project steering committees

Info-Tech Insight

A business accountability: Ultimately, the sponsor must help close this loop on benefits realization. The PMO can provide tracking tools and gather and report on results, but the sponsor must hold stakeholders accountable for actually measuring the success of projects.

Define a post-project benefits tracking process

4.1.3 45 minutes

While project sponsors should be accountable for measuring actual benefits realization after the project is closed, the PMO can provide monitoring tools and it should collect measurements and compare results across the portfolio.

Steps in a benefits tracking process.

  1. Collate the benefits of all the projects in your portfolio. Document each project’s benefits, with the metrics, targets, and realization timelines of each project in a central location.
  2. Collect and document metric measurements. The benefit owner is responsible for tracking actual realization and reporting it to the individual(s) tracking portfolio results.
  3. Create a timeline and milestones for benefits tracking. Establish a high-level timeline for assessing benefits, and put reminders in calendars accordingly, to ensure that commitments do not fall off stakeholders’ radars.
  4. Flag lagging benefits for further investigation. Perform root cause analysis to then find out why a benefit is behind schedule, and what can be done to address the problem.

"Checking the results of a decision against its expectations shows executives what their strengths are, where they need to improve, and where they lack knowledge or information."
Peter Drucker

Implement a tool to help monitor and track benefits over the long term

4.1.4 Times will vary depending on organizational specifics of the inputs

Download Info-Tech’s Portfolio Benefits Tracking Tool to help solidify the process from the previous step.

  1. Document each project’s benefits, with the metrics, targets, and realization timelines. Tab 1 of the tool is a data entry sheet to capture key portfolio benefit forecasts throughout the project.
  2. Collect and document metric measurements. Tab 2 is where the PMO, with data from the project sponsors, can track actuals month after month post-implementation.
  3. Flag lagging benefits for further investigation. Tab 3 provides a dashboard that makes it easy to flag lagging benefits. The dashboard produces a variety of meaningful benefit reports including a status indication for each project’s benefits and an assessment of business unit performance.

Continue to increase accountability for benefits and encourage process participation

Simply publishing a set of best practices will not have an impact unless accountability is consistently enforced. Increasing accountability should not be complicated. Focus on publicly recognizing benefit success. As the process matures, you should be able to use benefits as a more frequent input to your budgeting process.

  • Create an internal challenge. Publish the dashboard from the Portfolio Benefits Tracking Tool and highlight the top 5 or 10 projects that are on track to achieve benefits. Recognize the sponsors and project team members. Recognizing individuals for benefits success will get people excited and encourage an increased focus on benefits.
  • With executive level involvement, the PMO could help institute a bonus structure based on benefits realization. For instance, project teams could be rewarded with bonuses for achieving benefits. Decide upon a set post-project timeline for determining this bonus. For example, 6 months after every project goes live, measure benefits realization. If the project has realized benefits, or is on track to realize benefits, the PM should be given a bonus to split with the team.
  • Include level of benefits realization in the performance reviews of project team members.
  • As the process matures, start decreasing budgets according to the monetary benefits documented in the business case (if you are not already doing so). If benefits are being used as inputs to the budgeting process, sponsors will need to ensure that they are defined properly.

Info-Tech Insight

Don’t forget OCM best practices throughout the benefits tracking process. If benefits are lagging, the PMO should revisit phase 3 of this blueprint to consider how challenges to adoption are negatively impacting benefits attainment.

If you want additional support, have our analysts guide you through this phase as part of an Info-Tech workshop

Book a workshop with our Info-Tech analysts:

  • To accelerate this project, engage your IT team in an Info-Tech workshop with an Info-Tech analyst team.
  • Info-Tech analysts will join you and your team onsite at your location or welcome you to Info-Tech’s historic Toronto office to participate in an innovative onsite workshop.
  • Contact your account manager (www.infotech.com/account), or email Workshops@InfoTech.com for more information.

The following are sample activities that will be conducted by Info-Tech analysts with your team:

4.1.2 Assign appropriate ownership and ensure adequate resourcing for realizing benefits after the project is closed

Get custom insights into how the benefits tracking process should be carried out post-project at your organization to ensure that intended project outcomes are effectively monitored and, in the long run, achieved.

4.1.4 Implement a benefits tracking tool

Let our analysts customize a home-grown benefits tracking tool for your organization to ensure that the PMO and project sponsors are able to easily track benefits over time and effectively pivot on lagging benefits.

Phase 5

Solidify the PMO’s Role as Change Leader

Phase 5 outline

Call 1-888-670-8889 or email GuidedImplementations@InfoTech.com for more information.

Complete these steps on your own, or call us to complete a guided implementation. A guided implementation is a series of 2-3 advisory calls that help you execute each phase of a project. They are included in most advisory memberships.

Guided Implementation 5: Solidify the PMO’s role as change leader

Proposed Time to Completion (in weeks): 1 to 2 weeks

Step 5.1: Institute an organizational change management playbook

Discuss these issues with an analyst:

  • With the pilot OCM initiative complete, the PMO will need to roll out an OCM program to accommodate all of the organization’s projects.
  • The PMO will need to facilitate organization-wide OCM accountabilities – whether it’s the PMO stepping into the role of OCM leader, or other appropriate accountabilities being assigned.

Then complete these activities…

  • Review the success of the pilot OCM initiative.
  • Define organizational roles and responsibilities for change management.
  • Formalize the Organizational Change Management Playbook.

With these tools & templates:

  • Organizational Change Management Playbook
  • Activity 5.1.1: “Review lessons learned to improve organizational change management as a core discipline of the PMO”
  • Activity 5.1.3: “Define ongoing organizational roles and responsibilities for change management”

Step 5.1: Institute an organizational change management playbook

Phase 5 - 5.1

This step will walk you through the following activities:
  • Review lessons learned to improve OCM as a core discipline of the PMO.
  • Monitor organizational capacity for change.
  • Define organizational roles and responsibilities for change management.
  • Formalize the Organizational Change Management Playbook.
  • Assess the value and success of the PMO’s OCM efforts.
This step involves the following participants:
  • Required: PMO Director; PMO staff
  • Strongly recommended: CIO and other members of the executive layer
Outcomes of this step
  • A well-defined organizational mandate for change management, whether through the PMO or another appropriate stakeholder group
  • Definition of organizational roles and responsibilities for change management
  • An OCM playbook
  • A process and tool for ongoing assessment of the value of the PMO’s OCM activities

Who, in the end, is accountable for org change success?

We return to a question that we started with in the Executive Brief of this blueprint: who is accountable for organizational change?

If nobody has explicit accountability for organizational change on each project, the Officers of the corporation retained it. Find out who is assumed to have this accountability.

On the left side of the image, there is a pyramid with the following labels in descending order: PMO; Project Sponsors; Officers; Directors; Stakeholders. The top three tiers of the pyramid have upward arrows connecting one section to the next; the bottom three tiers have downward pointing arrows, connecting one section to the next. On the right side of the image is the following text: If accountability for organizational change shifted to the PMO, find out and do it right. PMOs in this situation should proceed with this step. Officers of the corporation have the implicit fiduciary obligation to drive project benefits because they ultimately authorize the project spending. It’s their job to transfer that obligation, along with the commensurate resourcing and authority. If the Officers fail to make someone accountable for results of the change, they are failing as fiduciaries appointed by the Board of Directors. If the Board fails to hold the Officers accountable for the results, they are failing to meet the obligations they made when accepting election by the Shareholders.

Info-Tech Insight

Will the sponsor please stand up?

Project sponsors should be accountable for the results of project changes. Otherwise, people might assume it’s the PMO or project team.

Keep your approach to change management dynamic while building around the core discipline

The PMO will need to establish an OCM playbook that can scale to a wide variety of projects. Avoid rigidity of processes and keep things dynamic as you build up your OCM muscles as an organization.

Continually Develop

Change Management Capabilities

Progressively build a stable set of core capabilities.

The basic science of human behavior underlying change management is unlikely to change. Effective engagement, communication, and management of uncertainty are valuable capabilities regardless of context and project specifics.

Regularly Update

Organizational Context

Regularly update recurring activities and artifacts.

The organization and the environment in which it exists will constantly evolve. Reusing or recycling key artifacts will save time and improve collaboration (by leveraging shared knowledge), but you should plan to update them on at least a quarterly or annual basis.

Respond To

Future Project Requirements

Approach every project as unique.

One project might involve more technology risk while another might require more careful communications. Make sure you divide your time and effort appropriately for each particular project to make the most out of your change management playbook.

Info-Tech Insight

Continuous Change. Continuous Improvement. Change is an ongoing process. Your approach to managing change should be continually refined to keep up with changes in technology, corporate strategy, and people involved.

Review lessons learned to improve organizational change management as a core discipline of the PMO

5.1.1 60 minutes

1. With your pilot OCM initiative in mind, retrospectively brainstorm lessons learned using the template below. Info-Tech recommends doing this with the transition team. Have people spend 10-15 minutes brainstorming individually or in 2- to 3-person groups, then spend 15-30 minutes presenting and discussing findings collectively.

What worked? What didn't work? What was missing?

2. Develop recommendations based on the brainstorming and analysis above.

Continue... Stop... Start...

Monitor organizational capacity for change

5.1.2 20 minutes (to be repeated quarterly or biannually thereafter)

Perform the Organizational Change Management Capabilities Assessment in the wake of the OCM pilot initiative and lessons learned exercise to assess capabilities’ improvements.

As your OCM processes start to scale out over a range of projects across the organization, revisit the assessment on a quarterly or bi-annual basis to help focus your improvement efforts across the 7 change management categories that drive the survey.

  • Cultural Readiness
  • Leadership & Sponsorship
  • Organizational Knowledge
  • Change Management Skills
  • Toolkit & Templates
  • Process Discipline
  • KPIs & Metrics

The image is a bar graph, with the above mentioned change management categories on the Y-axis, and the categories Low, Medium, and High on the X-axis.

Info-Tech Insight

Continual OCM improvement is a collaborative effort.

The most powerful way to drive continual improvement of your organizational change management practices is to continually share progress, wins, challenges, feedback, and other OCM related concerns with stakeholders. At the end of the day, the PMO’s efforts to become a change leader will all come down to stakeholder perceptions based upon employee morale and benefits realized.

Define ongoing organizational roles and responsibilities for change management

5.1.3 60 minutes

  1. Decide whether to designate/create permanent roles for managing change.
    • Recommended if the PMO is engaged in at least one project at any given time that generates organizational change.
  2. Designate a principle change manager (if you choose to) – it is likely that responsibilities will be given to someone’s existing position (such as PM or BA).
    • Make sure any permanent roles are embedded in the organization (e.g. within the PMO, rather than trying to establish a one-person “Change Management Office”) and have leadership support.
  3. Consider whether to build a team of permanent change champions – it is likely that responsibilities will be given to existing positions.
    • This type of role is increasingly common in organizations that are aggressively innovating and keeping up with consumer technology adoption. If your organization already has a program like this for engaging early adopters and innovators, build on what’s already established.
    • Work with HR to make sure this is aligned with any existing training and development programs.

Info-Tech Insight

Avoid creating unnecessary fiefdoms.

Make sure any permanent roles are embedded in the organization (e.g. within the PMO) and have leadership support.

Copy the RACI table from Activity 3.1.1. and repurpose it to help define the roles and responsibilities.

Include this RACI when you formalize your OCM Playbook.

Formalize and communicate the Organizational Change Management Playbook

5.1.4 45 to 60 minutes

  1. Formalize the playbook’s scope:
    1. Determine the size and type of projects for which organizational change management is recommended.
    2. Make sure you clearly differentiate organizational change management and enablement from technical change management (i.e. release management and acceptance).
  2. Refine and formalize tools and templates:
    1. Determine how you want to customize the structure of Info-Tech’s blueprint and templates, tailored to your organization in the future.
      1. For example:
        1. Establish a standard framework for analyzing context around organizational change.
    2. Add branding/design elements to the templates to improve their credibility and impact as internal documents.
    3. Determine where/how templates and other resources are to be found and make sure they will be readily available to anyone who needs them (e.g. project managers).
  3. Communicate the playbook to the project management team.

Download Info-Tech’s Organizational Change Management Playbook.

Regularly reassess the value and success of your practices relative to OCM effort and project outcomes

5.1.5 20 minutes per project

The image is a screencapture of the Value tab of the Organizational Change: Management Capabilities Assessment

Use the Value tab in the Organizational Change Management Capabilities Assessment to monitor the value and success of OCM.

Measure past performance and create a baseline for future success:

  • % of expected business benefits realized on previous 3–5 significant projects/programs.
    • Track business benefits (costs reduced, productivity increased, etc.).
  • Costs avoided/reduced (extensions, cancellations, delays, roll-backs, etc.)
    • Establish baseline by estimating average costs of projects extended to deal with change-related issues.

If you want additional support, have our analysts guide you through this phase as part of an Info-Tech workshop

Book a workshop with our Info-Tech analysts:

  • To accelerate this project, engage your IT team in an Info-Tech workshop with an Info-Tech analyst team.
  • Info-Tech analysts will join you and your team onsite at your location or welcome you to Info-Tech’s historic Toronto office to participate in an innovative onsite workshop.
  • Contact your account manager (www.infotech.com/account), or email Workshops@InfoTech.com for more information.

The following are sample activities that will be conducted by Info-Tech analysts with your team:

5.1.3 Define ongoing organizational roles and responsibilities for change management

As you scale out an OCM program for all of the organization’s projects based on your pilot initiative, work with the analyst to investigate and define the right accountabilities for ongoing, long-term OCM.

5.1.4 Develop an Organizational Change Management Playbook

Formalize a programmatic process for organizational change management in Info-Tech’s playbook template.

Related research

Develop a Project Portfolio Management Strategy

Grow Your Own PPM Solution

Optimize Project Intake, Approval, and Prioritization

Develop a Resource Management Strategy for the New Reality

Manage a Minimum-Viable PMO

Establish the Benefits Realization Process

Manage an Agile Portfolio

Project Portfolio Management Diagnostic Program: The Project Portfolio Management Diagnostic Program is a low effort, high impact program designed to help project owners assess and improve their PPM practices. Gather and report on all aspects of your PPM environment in order to understand where you stand and how you can improve.

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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

9.4/10
Overall Impact

$89,236
Average $ Saved

26
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.

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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.

Need Extra Help?
Speak With An Analyst

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.

Authors

Travis Duncan

Barry Cousins

Contributors

  • 12 anonymous company contributors
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