Managing Organisational Change

2. Managing Organisation Change through the Project Definition Stage
3. Managing Organisation Change through the Project Management & Control Stage

Activities & Tasks

Implement the Organisational Change Management Plan

Implementing an effective Organisational Change Management Plan and managing the many human and organisational changes that are inherent in projects is fundamental for their success.

Implement the Plan And Manage the Process

The Organisational Change Management Plan should be implemented and the processes managed. All team members need to be trained based on the information contained in the transformation plan.

The Project Manager also needs to monitor the level of support being provided by sustaining sponsors. A reduction in the level of support requires the project manager to take action.

An active and effective project sponsor:

  • Supports the project approach, organisation, methodologies, guidelines and procedures both consistently and vocally.
  • Helps manage project scope, and is actively involved in reviewing/ approving all major scope change requests.
  • Provides motivation and direction for end user community in adapting to project-related changes.
  • Is accessible to project team members.
  • Supports efforts directed towards project quality.
  • Participates in the development and updating of the management plan.
  • Maintains up-to-date information on project status.
  • Addresses high-level project issues in a timely manner.

The project team organisation may change during the life of the project, including the project sponsors and other key roles. Project managers will need to plan for this succession and allow time for orienting new sponsors.

In extreme cases, where project success is jeopardised because of ineffective sponsorship, sponsors may need to be replaced. There have been situations where the project manager has found it necessary to withdraw from the project entirely because of the high risks presented by inadequate project sponsorship.

Figure 4 summarises the major principles of effective change sponsorship.

Principles of sponsorship
1. Sponsorship is critical to successful change.Significant change within a target population will not occur without sufficient commitment demonstrated by appropriate sponsors.
2. Weak sponsors must be educated or replaced.When sponsors lack a full understanding of the change implications, are unwilling/unable to take the actions necessary to secure the critical resources, or are unwilling/unable to fulfil their role requirements, they must be educated or replaced; otherwise the change effort will fail to meet the stated objective(s).
3. Sponsorship cannot be delegated to agents.The sponsor’s function is to authorise change within a designated area of the organisation. This role cannot be delegated to agents. Change agents can be charged with implementation responsibilities but should never be asked to legitimise change.
4. “Initiating” and “Sustaining” sponsors must not attempt to fulfil each other’s functions.”Initiating” sponsors have the organisational power to start the change process. However, “sustaining” sponsors can maintain the change process because they have the logistic, economic and political proximity to the targets.
5. Cascading sponsorship must be established and maintained.There must exist a cascading, direct line of active sponsorship from the “initiating” sponsors to the “sustaining” sponsors or the change effort will fail to achieve its objective(s).

Build Synergy Through Teamwork

An effective technique in managing change is to build synergy within the project team. A synergistic relationship is one in which the team is able to accomplish more than its members could have done individually.

Accomplishing project objectives requires teamwork. Creating an atmosphere that allows individuals from diverse backgrounds with varied interests, needs, and aspirations to work together is very challenging and will take up a significant proportion of the project manager’s time. The project manager must actively work to develop the synergy required to accomplish project objectives within the defined timeframe.

Ideally, project team synergy will extend to end-users and senior management. Developing synergy at a very broad level will help the project manager to gain support for project-related changes more easily.

Manage Resistance

Resistance factors change as more information becomes available to individuals affected by the project. As a result, resistance generally increases as the project implementation date approaches. Although an initial assessment of resistance factors should be made at the beginning of the project, it is very important to review these factors regularly.

Certain high-level or complex resistance issues may have to be addressed by user management (sustaining sponsors) rather than by the project implementers. The project manager should call on the appropriate level of user management support to resolve these resistance issues, rather than allowing the resistance to build. For example, user team members may anticipate that the project will result in large staff reductions, which may generate high levels of anxiety, and result in lower productivity. The project manager may not be able to overcome this level of resistance without seeking assistance from senior managers within the user organisation.

Processing...