The first tutorial in this two-part series addressed the change
associated with improvement systems - implementing approaches and
methodologies that create change in an organization. While the large
scale organizational structural changes associated with reorganization
or acquisition activity often utilize change management, structural
changes associated with improvement systems - like creating an office or
team or group to take the lead with a particular methodology or system -
are often ignored. This tutorial presents
• A high level look at the importance of managing structural changes coming from improvement approaches
• An introduction to the Change Management Office as an emerging structure
• A discussion on the change associated with an Internal Consulting function from special guest author Dr. William Trotter.
Structural change from improvement systems
When two divisions are combined or an organization is merged with another - the people side of change implications are clear. People's behaviors and processes must change as the formal relationships in the organization are altered. However, as discussed in the previous tutorial, when the structure change itself occurs to trigger more change, the people side is too often ignored. Take two examples of structure changes associated with improvement systems:
• The organization decides it needs a more common process for managing projects. A task force is created to examine how projects are currently managed and the alternatives available in the marketplace. Once a common approach is developed, the decision is made to create a Project Management Office to govern the methodology and its application.
• Performance on the manufacturing floor is suffering. After an analysis of current performance, the leadership team identifies that a high level of defects is the cause of eroding quality numbers. The leaders of the plant create a new Six Sigma Team to begin searching for and fixing defect problems.
In both cases, part of the solution to the problem was to create a team or office to oversee a particular improvement system - project management and Six Sigma respectively. While the decisions might have been correct, there is still work to be done to ensure that the newly formed group is successful. And, it is the people side of change that needs work. Has a compelling case for the creation of the group been made to employees? Is there a coalition of leaders that will support the new group and the work it does? Have anticipated points of resistance been identified? What specific behavioral and process changes will result from the creation of the group - and who will be impacted?
Each of these people side issues must be adequately addressed if the new group is going to succeed and bring about the change it was formed to deliver. When the people side of these organizational structure changes is ignored, the group may be seen as an artifact of some "flavor of the month" or as a nuisance. Organizations need a methodology and process for managing the people side of change of these types of structure changes.
The Change Management Office
The Change Management Office is an entity that is starting to emerge in more and more organizations. This group - like the more familiar Project Management Office - plays a key role in supporting the broader application and adoption of change management. While creating a group focused on change management is a major victory in showing an organization's commitment to change management, there are certainly still questions that must be answered including: What will the CMO do? Where will it live? What "people side" issues might emerge related to the CMO?
What will the CMO do?
While the creation of CMOs is certainly still in its infancy, we have seen a number of roles and responsibilities begin to emerge. Not every CMO will have all of the responsibilities listed below. In fact, you will have to make decisions about the responsibilities of your CMO based on how change happens in your organization and how the CMO is positioned. Some of the responsibilities we've seen a CMO take on include:
• Owning the methodology and processes
• Collecting lessons learned and continuously improving the methodology
• Acting as the change management resource on particular projects
• Providing support for change management resources on particular projects
• Acting as a sounding board for senior leaders and project teams on people side issues
• Integrating change management and project management tools and processes
• Creating a change management curriculum for different levels and roles in the organization
• Managing training offerings
• Providing direct coaching to sponsors of change
• Tracking change management progress
Where will the CMO live?
Again, because the CMO is a fairly new entity, a preferred location in the organization has yet to emerge. And, given the unique nature of each organization - including its history and how change occurs - there is probably not a "right answer" for where it should reside. Based on Prosci's research and experience, the most common places for a change management group or office include:
• Human Resources
• Project Management Office
• Organization Development
• IT or IS
• Department of Strategic Planning and Development
• Department of Transformation
• Department of Organization Effectiveness
• Directly reporting to the CEO or President
• Distributed across business units or departments
When deciding where to put the CMO, consider the following:
• Access to and visibility into change efforts
• Credibility in the organization
• Historic or cultural implications of different alternatives
• Adequate sponsorship for enterprise-wide impact
• Ability to liaise with project managers and teams, training specialists, communication specialists, leadership development and groups involved with defining and creating individual competencies
What "people side" issues might emerge?
The "people side" issues of the CMO are not that different than the people side issues related to any change - or any structural change that is supporting an improvement system. People whose work will be impacted - project teams, managers and supervisors who will be tasked with coaching employees through change, senior leaders who will be tasked with sponsoring change - all need to understand why the CMO has been created and what the implications are to them.
Internal Consultant Group as a change
The following section was written by special guest author Dr. William Trotter, Managing Director of the Association of Internal Management Consultants (AIMC). For the second year, Tim Creasey - Prosci's Director of Research and Development - will be presenting a keynote and workshop at the AIMC 2009 Global Conference.
Establishing and Enhancing An Internal Consulting Group As A High Impact Change Program
Dr. Bill Trotter, Managing Director, AIMC
Since one of the key goals of the internal consulting function is to help lead and facilitate the organization's change programs, it is important to integrate key change management principles into establishing and further developing their consulting practice within the organization.
In a recent survey of the members of the Association of Internal Management Consultants (AIMC), nearly 90% of these groups had change management as one of their key areas of practice, which has increased dramatically over the past five years.
Many of these internal consulting (IC) groups are also involved with more comprehensive enterprise-wide change management programs, which require a more rigorous and systematic approach. In addition, a number of our member IC groups work directly with top management or the "C-suite" to cultivate a change leadership program and process which will have maximum impact on the organization.
The rest of this article focuses on the process for establishing or further developing an IC group through the use of best practice change management methodologies, across three phases:
• Mobilizing Support for Developing The IC Group (Change Preparation)
• Establishing the IC Group (Change Implementation)
• Sustaining the IC Group (Continuous Improvement)
Mobilizing Support for Developing the IC Group
The process of mobilizing support for establishing or expanding an internal consulting group is much like the change preparation phase of any significant undertaking, involving analyzing the situation and planning the initiative. This is typically comprised of seven key activities, as follows:
1. Developing the Case for Action: This consists of laying out the specific impacts of forming or further expanding the services of the IC group, including the anticipated benefits, investment and support system required. It is also important to link to proven best practices approaches including an internal consulting process model and performance measurement scorecard (both of which are available through the AIMC).
2. Assessing Change Readiness: This involves a formalized assessment of the readiness of both leadership and potential client organizations to support the IC group and identification of key issues which need to be addressed.
3. Fostering Stakeholder Engagement: Then a proactive program to follow-up with key stakeholders needs to be adopted to clarify any issues identified in the change readiness assessment and position key constituencies to help ensure success.
4. Establishing Communications Program: This starts with the development of an overall communications strategy followed up by a series of meetings and messages covering the key objectives of the IC group and followed by periodic progress updates.
5. Developing/Enhancing Key Consulting Processes: In a start-up mode, it's important to establish consistent processes for relationship management, internal operations and staffing/development early on (as described in the AIMC Consulting Model). In a business development/expansion mode, the relationship development and management process is particularly important in cultivating key stakeholders and positioning for success.
6. Developing Core Competencies Needed for Success: A key success factor in developing and sustaining an IC group is ensuring that important competencies are in place. The change management area has become increasingly important in recent years, with this rising as a critical service area (now nearly 90% of IC groups surveyed versus just over 20% five years ago). The AIMC Competency Framework for both individual contributors and leadership details 14 key competencies for internal consultants along with a straight-forward self assessment approach.
7. Formulating a Performance Measurement Plan: As with all major change initiatives, measuring the performance of the program is critical to both initial success and longer-term sustainability. The AIMC's Internal Consulting Scorecard provides best practice metrics in the areas of financial targets, operating processes, relationship management and people/culture.
Establishing the IC Group
Effectively establishing an IC Group focuses on ensuring effective execution of the program and is similar to the implementation phase of any significant change effort. This typically involves six key activities:
1. Managing Client Relationships: Our research indicates that this is not only one of the most important areas of focus for internal consultants, but also one that frequently does not receive adequate attention. Key aspects include implementing and maintaining the stakeholder management program and communications plan. Here, it is important for the IC liaison to be viewed as a member of the client's project planning team and be able to help identify important change management aspects early on.
2. IC Staffing with Change Management Expertise: A structured training and mentoring program needs to be in place to provide core change management skills to the internal consulting staff. Many IC groups are adopting a more formalized change management training curriculum for their consultants, and a number have expanded this focus to include clients and other managers across the enterprise.
3. Developing Superior Project Management with an Integrated Change Program: In order to help ensure the success of the projects in which they are involved, many IC groups have developed project management methodologies with explicit/structured change management activities. Here, the IC often assumes the role of coordinating the requisite change elements of the project and transferring this knowledge to other team members.
4. Aligning All Consulting Processes with Change Management Best Practices: This involves an ongoing effort by the IC group to monitor best practices in change management and embed them into their consulting processes, including relationship development/management, program/project management and employee development
5. Operationalizing the Performance Measurement and Management Plan: The balanced set of performance measurements mentioned earlier needs to be integrated into how the IC group manages both its projects and ongoing operations. Specific techniques, such as client feedback surveys, change readiness assessments, after action reviews and consultant skill development tracking should be utilized where possible
Sustaining the IC Group:
The four activities in this area are focused on institutionalizing and growing the influence of the IC group across the enterprise, and are analogous to key continuous improvement activities in any major change initiative, including:
1. Managing Client Relationships and Transferring Ownership: This first involves focusing on developing good ongoing relationships with client organizations including a proactive role in their planning process and helping to identify opportunities for improvement. A second key area here is transferring the ownership for project implementation and associated change management to the clients and process owners, and adopting an ongoing coaching and support role.
2. Building Capabilities Throughout the Organization: This starts with viewing each project as an opportunity to build project and change management skills into the organization through the client members of their project teams. In addition, a number of IC groups have developed a network of gate-keepers or satellite consulting capabilities in organizations throughout the enterprise. This provides both additional resources from those closest to the client organization but also can be utilized as a source of new opportunity identification.
3. Developing A Supportive Culture: Here, the increasing involvement of IC groups in enterprise change management programs provides an opportunity to help influence leaderships and a broader constituency regarding the need for a proactive role in anticipating the need for change and establishing cross-organizational processes to deal with it.
4. Enhancing Change Skills and Innovation Capabilities: The combination of project team client training and instituting joint consultant and general organizational change management courses/curriculum are key initiatives to build organization-wide change management awareness and skills. A companion initiative which helps enhance organizational resilience and receptivity to change involves instituting innovation programs and associated training.
The insights provided by change management best practices combined with a systematic application can significantly improve the chances of successfully developing and enhancing an internal consulting capability. This applies not only to those groups formally designated as internal consultants, but also any organization providing advisory services to internal clients, including: human resources, project management and information technology to name just a few.
Another key benefit of this approach is that it helps to maximize the impact of the company's internal consulting investment not only in their projects, but also to spread key change competencies throughout the organization. One of the important benefits which companies cite in establishing IC capabilities is that it increases the focus on successfully implementing change and helps build capability to do so.