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Managing Organizational Change -- Guest Post by Jen Carolan, former Director of Newsletter

albert-einstein-hd-wallpaper-iphone Albert Einstein

The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.

Albert Einstein
Al may have been on to something here, and change management has been thrust into the limelight for our community lately. We are expected to come into projects having magically gained the skillset change management takes overnight. While always an area of focus, budgets and resource concerns have left project managers executing work that historically was handled by a communications consultants and training teams. Aligning with Mr. Einstein's wise words – we can learn to work smarter when it comes to change.  Here's how:


Make sure ALL audiences can answer the question "Why Change?"

Every audience may have a different twist on the answer.  If change management is handled well, they will highly resemble one another's and you will not get five disparate responses. Preparing this elevator speech and sharing it early and often is the key.

Help Make the Right Decision When It Comes to "What to Change?"

Our instinct can be to change more than is necessary or to pay attention to all the little details. My experience is that when the correct "big rocks" are identified and you pull out your PM fulcrum, the leverage you will get can be enough to allow all the other little rocks to fall in place nicely right behind it.

Pat Attention to the Momentum Change Impacts Have – And USE it!

Aligning with business outcomes means having to watch impacts to all audiences and finding ways to guide the momentum built by action and reaction from those parties. Using Agile principles and planning iteratively allows you to take feedback, make adjustments, and take full advantage of the pace and energy change can have.

Focus on Building the Capabilities to Change More Than Execution

Give them information - make sure it us easily accessible and bite sized in nature. Give them time – productivity will drop, learning curves vary, don't force all folks into the same timelines. Give them a voice - allow time for teach back and reflection, humans use different areas of their brains to learn and to teach so tap into that. Show them consistent leadership and commitment - there should be confidence that the change compass is leading them in the right direction.

Change can be like an impending storm, anxiety about the unknown at the start, chaos and confusion about what to do in the middle and relief and clear skies after it is over – maybe even a rainbow if you are lucky. Is your next project prepared to handle the ChangeStorm?


Jen Carolan, former PMI Central Iowa Chapter Director of Newsletter, is the owner and operator of ChangeStorm Consulting which focuses on helping organizations use a proven and repeatable set of exercises to manage organizational changes and impacts coming from software implementations, process transformations and company restructures. For questions or interest in working with Jen she can be contacted at Jen@Change-Storm.com.


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Tuesday, 20 August 2019

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