Any project undertaken by an organisation will inevitably result in some kind of change. This creates a task for someone to manage the change – including how it is communicated to the wider organisation. While some larger organisations do employ dedicated organisational change manager, it is often a project manager who is expected to also be the organisational change manager.
This can be very daunting, particularly as it is an almost full time job that needs to be done alongside your other full time job of actually managing the project.
Below are some tips to help you successfully manage organisational change:
- Make sure you clearly identify all of the different stakeholders and fully understand their aims and motivations. A good tool for this is a stakeholder engagement matrix where you list the stakeholders and indicate whether they are positive, neutral or negative about the changes.
- Keep on top of the project’s risks, issues, budget, return on investment, benefits etc. as any changes, both positive and negative, could have an impact on the level of change the organisation would be able to cope with. For example, an issue around the available functionality of a piece of software may mean that a group in the organisation that were supportive of the change may become detractors.
- When communicating with your stakeholders, make sure you use a variety of methods. This could include town hall type sessions, drop in clinic type sessions, emails, newsletters and videos.
- Schedule any training sessions early in the project – by this I mean make people aware of the training early, not hold the sessions early as the products being trained may change. Offer a large number and a variety of different types of training. After the training is complete, make sure the trainers are available to answer any questions or concerns that people may have. The trainers should be available for a few weeks post training as people don’t always need help straight away.
- Monitor the progress of the change and make sure you address any issues that come up early, as there is a limited window in which to change detractors to supporters.
Managing organisational change isn’t easy, particularly as many people fear change. Hopefully the above tips will help make your next change project a bit easier.