D740 – Implement Change Management Programme
Prepare and agree a plan for achieving the human and organisational change through communications, publicity, cascade sponsorship, policies, education etc. Instigate and act upon the plan.
The overall purpose of this process is to prepare the organisation and the people involved for the transition from their existing (manual and/or IT) systems to the new system. This involves:
carrying out practical implementation tasks, e.g. making sure that new forms can be obtained by everyone and that the old forms are abolished
informing people of what benefits the system represents to them, how their jobs will change and what activities they will need to be involved in to prepare for the system being implemented
implementing in each part of the organisation all organisational and procedural changes that are required to allow the new system to operate efficiently.
During this phase of the project more and more people need to be involved to ensure the right approaches are taken and tasks are carried out in time. Not only the project team will need to be involved but also users and their managers will need to support the roll-out of the system to every organisational area involved. How this may be organised and monitored is summarised in the diagram below.
PATH PLANNING GUIDANCE
Optional – used where resistance needs to be managed or where people are expected to carry out new processes or procedures.
Dependent procedures (Finish-Start):
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF TASKS
Define the proposed roll out support organisation
Rolling out the system to the users requires three areas of activity to be managed carefully:
practical tasks that the users need to complete before the system can be set-up, e.g. data clean-up
communication to the users of benefits, changes and preparatory activities
implementing the human and organisational changes required
Responsibilities will need to be agreed and working relationships between the users and the project team defined. Depending on the size of the user community, the complexity of the practical tasks and the amount of changes to be implemented, one of the following approaches will be chosen:
The option chosen will depend on the:
degree of decentralisation in the organisation’s style of management
availability of line management for this function
number of practical tasks that require a significant input from a large number of users
number of changes to be implemented
degree of diversity between the type of changes needed in different parts of the organisation
existing level of trust between the users and the project team
In order to define the right option for the particular project, each of the factors listed above will need to be considered and a proposed option will be defined on the basis of that understanding.
Build the sponsorship to install the roll-out support organisation
To obtain the right level of user commitment their management will first need to understand the size and significance of the roll-out tasks. Project management and user management will therefore need to discuss what the user responsibilities are, the amount of effort that is likely to be required and which set-up is most appropriate for the organisation and the project.
A common understanding of the user roles and an agreement on the roll-out support organisation will result from this process.
Usually this process takes a significant elapsed time, especially when the number of user managers to be involved is large and user managers need to spread the message. It therefore needs to start sufficiently early to reach agreement in time for the appropriate roll-out support organisation to be set-up and be effective to take on roll-out tasks.
Identify and educate roll-out support responsible
Once the roll-out support organisation is agreed responsibilities need to be allocated. Identifying the people with the right skills will contribute to the success of the system roll-out. Selection criteria are likely to include:
The total number of people involved will vary with the size of the project, but it is crucial to ensure that, for each group affected by the system implementation, a responsibility has been allocated to someone in the roll-out support organisation. In some cases it is difficult to ensure this full coverage right from the beginning. This requires any roll-out support organisation to be flexible enough to allow for additional people to be brought in.
For members of the roll-out support organisation to be effective, they will need to absorb a lot of understanding about:
Both sponsors and project team members will need to provide input to the learning process of people in the roll-out support organisation. In certain cases this knowledge transfer might need to be complemented with specific change skills training to increase users’ confidence and ability to deal with new responsibilities, e.g. managing communication and resistance.
Confirm the local impact
Whether new users are brought into the project team, line management is charged with implementation responsibilities or users are appointed to carry out specific implementation tasks, they will need to understand and own the issues associated with the implementation in order to be effective at defining and implementing detailed tasks.
A first activity will therefore be to confirm the project team’s assessment of the human and organisational issues. This process will require the project team to summarise the findings (as described in D730) and the users to test how true these findings are for the organisational area they represent. By documenting this local interpretation of the human and organisational issues, the users are in fact scoping the impact of the project on their organisational area.
This approach has the following benefits:
common understanding of the human and organisational issues between project team and users on the roll-out support organisation
common understanding of the human and organisational issues between the users on the roll-out support organisation and their line managers (if they are different)
identification of issues that are specific to certain parts of the organisation, thus enabling the tailoring of the local implementation approach
corrections of any wrong interpretations the project team might have made
ownership of the issues by local management
Produce local implementation plans, set-up roll-out support teams and implement the plans
The next step in the process will consist of planning the tasks at local level in detail. Depending on the level of experience of the people involved in the roll-out support organisation the project team will need to provide more or less support to the users. As a minimum, the project team will need to define a skeleton plan with the key dates that are universal to all parts of the organisation.
Typical milestones could include:
Although the local implementation plans are the responsibility of the roll-out support network, the active involvement of project team members in defining the local plans ensures that project team members have an opportunity to clarify why certain tasks need to be carried out by the roll-out support members and why certain deadlines are crucial. It also allows the roll-out support members to indicate what support they are likely to need from the project team and when to carry out those tasks successfully.
The detailed analysis of the tasks will identify the local resource needs and will where necessary lead to the identification of extra resources who will need to be made available. These extra resources will again need to be educated for their responsibilities.
Finally it is vital that the local plans are documented and signed off by both the project team and user management so that resources are made available and the plans can be implemented.
Plan and provide project team support to the roll-out activities
The local implementation planning can lead to the identification of new tasks for the project team with an implication on project resources. The project plans and set-up will need to be updated to cater for these.
In certain cases, the roll-out support network will require support from a number of different project team members (e.g. training manager, data clean-up manager, infrastructure manager, etc). In this situation it proves useful to appoint a roll-out support coordinator within the project team to assist the project manager in coordinating and facilitating the communication between the project team and the external roll-out support organisation.
During the implementation of the local plans additional requests for information and help will inevitably be put to the project team. This will be due to unexpected organisational changes that are not due to the new system, incompleteness of the assessment of the issues and underestimation of the resource needs. A mechanism will need to be set up
to identify and respond quickly to those needs, since any delay at this stage of the project is likely to affect the organisation’s readiness to implement the system.
to assess the urgency of issues and decide which requests for support to accept and which ones toi reject.
This requires a close communication between project mangement and user management
Manage the roll-out activities
The preparation of the local implementation plans and the implementation of the project team and local roll-out activities will need to be managed. This comprises:
monitoring the progress of the roll-out activities
monitoring and maintaining the sponsorship of user management
managing the roll-out support organisation
To monitor the progress, performance measures, follow-up responsibilities and mechanisms will need to be put in place. Both project management and user management will need to be involved in this process.
The visibility of management support to make resources available and be involved in the tasks themselves will be a key contributor to the successful implementation of roll-out activities. Project management will need to carefully monitor this and clarify user management’s role with the managers as appropriate.
To maintain the effectiveness of the roll-out support organisation, appraisal and reward systems may need to be identified and implemented, regular communication mechanisms may be set-up and in case of unexpected organisational changes, the roll-out support organisation might need redefining and adjusting.
Supporting tools and techniques
To set-up and manage the required roll-out support organisation, a variety of tools and techniques can be considered:
regular updates via electronic mail
articles in the company newspaper
hands-on run-through of the system
tailored assessment and planning tools
Each of these has its strengths and weaknesses and every project will need to choose its own mix to meet the specific needs of their roll-out organisation