Factors Common to Successful Change Management
Defined Governance and Change Management
Strong governance and associated reporting arrangements need to be established to drive and monitor change
In change projects separate roles and/or lines of responsibility for the change are often established, resulting in the normal hierarchy of control being broken or modified.
This is particularly the case if the change stretches across many parts of the organization and specific managers take on the temporary role of providing the formal authority by which changes are made. It is important that these arrangements are well understood across the organization.
Change Governance (Continued)
Change management governance involves establishing a structure within the organization to ensure a successful change.
While each change process will adopt a governance structure suitable to its specific context and goals, the following represents basic change governance roles that can be used as a model for establishing a change governance structure.
The Steering Committee provides overall oversight for the change process, setting the direction and providing leadership. It also ensures that the change process remains aligned with the organization’s strategic vision and direction.
The Change Sponsor has ultimate responsibility for the change and for building commitment for the change, particularly from leaders across the organization.
The Change Agent is responsible for managing the overall day to day change management process and implementation, including coordination of any different work streams that may be required.
Work Stream Owners
Depending on its complexity a change initiative may be broken down into work groups or streams, i.e. sets of activities that lead to an outcome, and to which clearly identifiable outputs can be associated.
The Steering Committee is the key body within the change governance structure that is responsible for the business issues associated with the change. It ensures the achievement of change outcomes/benefits. Its responsibilities include:
Approving the budget,
Defining and realizing outcomes/benefits,
Ensuring appropriate risk management processes are applied,
Quality and timelines,
Making any policy and resourcing decisions,
Assessing requests for changes to scope.
Steering Committee (Continued)
It is highly recommended that the Steering Committee consist of representatives from the business areas that are affected by the change.
A Steering Committee member from outside the organization, or from a part of the organization that is not undergoing the change, is also beneficial.
The Steering Committee should meet at regular intervals, act as a forum to discuss issues and make decisions to ensure that the change continues to move forward.
The success of change will depend, to a large extent, on how well the person with direct responsibility for the change manages it.
Direct responsibility and accountability for the change must be clearly defined and accepted at an appropriately high-level within an organization. In most cases this will be the person who has discretionary control over the bulk of the resources that will be expended in the change process.
For a large and/or complex project, it may be a member of the senior executive. For small projects, a line manager may fill this role.
High performing change organizations emphasize that the change sponsor must be readily identifiable no matter how small the change project, and they link the sponsor to the change from the outset ensuring his or her accountability through to completion.
The change sponsor is ultimately accountable for the change and is responsible for exhibiting visible sponsorship and advocacy for the change effort, assessing and mitigating any resistance to the change, overseeing the business and project management issues that arise outside the formal business of the steering committee.
Change Sponsor (Continued)
The sponsor’s active support of the change from initiation to completion is important to deal with the organization’s internal politics; to ensure that those who have a stake in the outcome continue to actively support the change throughout the process, to build coalitions across the organization to make the change successful.
Typically the Change Sponsor is the chair of the Steering Committee. With the support of the Steering Committee, it is also the role of the Change Sponsor to gain commitment from the organization’s business owner(s) for any additional resources (outside the project budget) that may be necessary to achieve the required level of organizational change.
Consequently the sponsor for a change effort should be someone who has sufficient authority, seniority, power, enthusiasm, and time to ensure that any conflicts that impede the change are resolved in a timely and appropriate fashion.
Successful change projects also typically appoint a dedicated Change Agent and team to provide day to day project management and support for the change effort.
The Change team is responsible for planning, organizing and coordinating the activities associated with the change including ensuring that the change management process addresses business process, workforce and infrastructure changes, and monitors implementation progress and risks.
High level project management skills are essential. Another key responsibility of the Change Agent and team is the coordination of communications relating to the change - ensuring that information is shared with all relevant stakeholders.
The Change Agent commonly reports through the Change Sponsor to the Steering Committee to escalate issues for discussion and decision.
Change Agent (Continued)
The number of resources that comprise a Change team will be largely dependent on the size, scope and complexity of the change effort.
A Change team comprised of representatives from each work unit across the organization may be necessary to manage a large organizational change. In other situations it may just be the Change Agent alone or with one other resource.
The Change Team’s structure, composition and overall project management responsibilities would be determined in the planning stage, based on the scope of the change effort and the skills required to successfully complete the tasks, prior to embarking on the change project.
Work Stream Owners
Work stream owners are specialist work groups responsible for implementing their work, delivering on the outputs assigned to them, delivering responsibilities within timelines and achieving the milestones.
Work stream owners may be organizational units, specific task forces or individuals, depending on the nature of the change.
They report to the Change Agent on the progress of the work stream against the Change Agent’s plan.
END of UNIT
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