Welcome to the Change Management Tutorial Series

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Welcome to the Change Management Tutorial Series

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Treating change management deployment as a project

Over the past several years, Prosci has seen a growing number of clients work to deploy change management more broadly throughout their organizations. Unlike project management, where the competency can be built in to a select number of certified practitioners, change management is a leadership competency that lets organization be flexible and responsive to the market. The ability to lead change is a competency that must reside in the leaders and managers throughout the organization.

The task of building change management competency is not a small one, as becoming competent at managing change surely is a cultural shift and fundamentally impacts how people view themselves in regards to change. From our experience, a change management rollout - or what we call Enterprise Change Management (ECM) - is composed of three elements:

  1. A common set of processes and tools for managing change.

  2. A leadership competency at all levels of the organization from supervisors to senior executives.

  3. A strategic capability that enables the organization to be flexible, change ready and responsive to marketplace changes.

With these elements in place, the organization achieves higher ROI on its initiatives and has the foundation to be more flexible and durable when faced with internal and external pressures requiring change. But these elements take time and focused energy to create. It is critical to view deploying change management as a change and project that can be managed.

Below, Prosci's ECM Deployment Process and ECM Strategy Map provide structure to the project of change management deployment. For organizations ready to take on this challenge now, the ECM Summit provides a 3-day workshop for building your strategy and specific tactics.

ECM Summits scheduled for 2008

The ECM Summit is a 3-day workshop for business leaders tackling the challenge of deploying change management throughout the organization.

  • May 6 - 8, 2008

Find out more about the ECM Summit, or call 970-203-9332 to register.


ECM Deployment Process

The picture below shows Prosci's ECM Deployment Process, based on our experience and research with organizations working to build their flexibility and durability by deploying change management across their organization.

Prosci's ECM Deployment Process


Vision steps:

1. Define future state
In the first step, you will develop the future state vision. This stage helps you move out of your default or comfort zone to really design a complete, holistic future state. While the design may change as you move through the change process, this initial step is necessary to know where you are going. It is the task of describing what your organization will look like in five years when it has built the competency to manage change.

2. Assess current state
There are characteristics of the current state - realities of how your organization behaves - that will help or hinder your change management deployment efforts. In this second step of the process, you will examine these different factors, brainstorm specific situations you face and conduct a gap analysis of the current and future states. You will also investigate the engines that are driving change and patterns in previous changes that were successful, or perhaps unsuccessful.

Strategy steps:

3. Engage primary sponsor
Sponsorship will be a key to success. This step helps you draw out the sponsorship coalition you will need to make your deployments successful and provides guidelines for coaching them through their roles and responsibilities. You will identify not only who is the primary sponsor, but what other leaders are needed to support change management deployment in their departments, divisions or workgroups.

4. Form and prepare project team

The project team should be adequately resourced and represent the main groups in the organization that are involved in applying change management on an ongoing basis. Formalizing the team creates accountability, responsibility and symbolizes the commitment of the organization.

5. Select deployment strategy
The deployment strategy will be a blend of leadership, project, skill, structure and process related tactics for building your organization's change competency. During this stage you define the right strategy for you. The ECM Strategy Map is presented in more detail below. 

Implementation steps:

6. Build project plan
ECM is a project. The project plan includes the specific steps and activities needed to deploy a common approach through your organization. It takes the tactics developed in the Strategy Map and unfolds them over a timeline, with associated milestones and deliverables.

7. Create change management plan
ECM is a change. The change management plan for ECM includes communication, sponsorship, coaching, resistance management and training plans to support the deployment efforts. One of the main challenges is building awareness and desire around applying change management - making the case for applying change management.

8. Create and present business case
The business case presents the whole story of why build change management competency, including the financial justification. Your need for and level of business case will be specific to your organization.

9. Implement integrated plan
An integrated plan pulls together your project and change management activities into an executable plan that shows everyone in the organization what will be done to build your organization's ability to change. it also includes activity and future state measures.

At the ECM Summit, you and your team walk step-by-step through the ECM Deployment Process. You utilize tools, templates and assessments to develop your customized strategy and plans for your own organization. Find out more about the May 6-8, 2008 ECM Summit.


ECM Strategy Map

A critical task of ECM is selecting your deployment strategy. Since building change management competencies is a transformation that many in the organization must go through, it is not enough to just offer training or have a mandate from the top. To truly build the competency to manage change, you need a holistic approach that takes into account how you can create a shift in the way your organization responds to change.

Some organizations had attempted to deploy change management by simply implementing it on many different projects. Others had tried to deploy change management by introducing it into the training curriculum. Prosci's approach was to identify the many different approaches being attempted and try to make sense of these various tactics. The resulting research and analysis produced the ECM Strategy Map that incorporates these different tactics into a comprehensive model. The numerous tactics being used by organizations were ultimately be grouped into five main categories:

  • Leadership

  • Project

  • Skill

  • Structure

  • Process



The ECM Summit presents a laundry list of approaches in each Strategy Map 'wedge', as well as best practice findings on change management deployment approaches.

Leadership tactics

There are two elements of leadership tactics. First, there are leadership tactics relates to getting managers and leaders to fulfill their role as sponsors on the initiatives they lead. Sponsorship has been identified as the number one contributor to success in each of Prosci’s five benchmarking studies. To build the competency to manage change, acting as effective sponsors must become second nature for senior leaders. Research indicates that this role include actively and visibly participating on the project, building the necessary coalition of leaders to support the initiative and communicating directly with employees about the business reasons for the change.

Second, sponsorship is required to support the initiative called "building change management competencies". Leadership commitment and support is needed across the organization to begin applying change management on new initiatives and build the individual competencies at each level. While the initiative may reside in HR or IT or the Project Management Office, a broad base of support is needed to truly infuse change management into the business.

Project dimension

Change management is ultimately a tool that helps projects achieve their objectives by addressing the human side of change. Change management competencies in an organization require that projects apply change management. To be most effective, change management should be applied at the initiation of the project, and the change management activities should be integrated into the existing project plan. Specific tactics should be developed for attaching change management to the projects happening in the organization.

Some examples include setting a dollar threshold, so any project over a certain investment level is required to create a change management plan. You might also begin by applying change management to a high profile project. Or, start with projects in a particular department, division or geographic region and then move across the organization. Whatever tactics, or combinations of tactics, you choose the goal is to include change management activities when you implement new projects.

Skills dimension

Skills is the dimension of the deployment strategy that many organizations default to, and sometimes don’t ever get beyond. Training in change management is a critical success factor in building the organizational competency. However, it is only a part of the greater system you will use to transform how your organization responds to change.

There are numerous groups in the organization that need to develop new skills and behaviors to support change management. Since each person in the organization – from the CEO down to front line supervisors – plays a role in managing change, they need to be given the skills to do so. However, just because you offer training does not mean you’ve built the competency to manage change. The training must be positioned as part of the overall transition and new organizational competency.

Structure dimension

Structure relates to the organizational footprint left by change management on the organization - answering the question related to where change management lives within the organization. Many organizations create a group or department that owns the common process, maintains the tool set and works on the continuous improvement of the change management approach. This group may coordinate training for others in the organization and track the progress. The Change Management Office in this case is similar to the Project Management Office many organizations are already familiar with. It is important to remember though, that the people who are ‘doing’ the change management are leaders and managers throughout the organization. There are many locations in the organization where change management can reside, and selecting the right place, along with the right level of formality of structure, are important at this point.

Process dimension

The process element of the deployment strategy involves selecting a common process for managing change. Just as important, a standard methodology allows an organization to develop common language and common terminology. Prosci’s research shows that while some organizations have started working to get change management applied to their projects, many have not taken the next step of selecting a common approach. A common change management process allows for faster learning, more consistent application and continuous improvement.

Additionally, other efforts can be taken to adjust existing business processes to include change management. For instance, the project approval and launch process can be changed to include an initial assessment of change readiness and potential change management risks.



Next steps:

In Prosci's most recent benchmarking study, we asked participants what they would do differently on their next change management deployment. The number two answer was to bring structure to the deployment initiative - including planning, thinking ahead, understanding the current situation and using a strategic approach. Prosci's ECM Deployment Process and ECM Strategy Map provide the structure organizations need when they aim to build their internal competency at managing change.

Is your organization looking to deploy change management more broadly?

  • Attend the ECM Summit - The ECM Summit is a 3-day session focused on deploying change management. The next ECM summit will be May 6-8, 2008. Leaders from all types of organizations come together to build a strategy and set of plans for deploying change management with a holistic approach. Find out more about the ECM Summit or call 970-203-9332 to speak with an analyst.





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Tools for applying change management:

  • Change management certification ($2100) - 3-day program where you bring a project you are working on and apply all of the assessments and tools as you learn them - taught by former Fortune 500 executives at locations across the U.S.

  • 2007 Best Practices in Change Management benchmarking report ($249) - journal-style report with lessons learned and best practices from 426 participants, presented in an easy-to-use format - reads as a checklist of what to do and what not to do

  • Change Management Toolkit ($349) - hardcopy 3-ring binder presenting Prosci's change management methodology; includes templates, checklists and assessments for managing the people side of change (includes CD-ROM)

  • Change Management Guide for Managers and Supervisors ($189) - tools to help supervisors engage and coach their direct reports through change (includes 4 copies of the Employee's Survival Guide)

  • Change Management Pilot 2008 ($449) - online tool including Prosci's change management methodology, eLearning modules and downloadable templates, assessments, presentations and checklists

  • Change Management Pilot Professional 2008 ($559) - the content of the Change Management Pilot plus additional benchmarking data and an online version of the Change Management Guide for Managers and Supervisors

  • Change Management: the people side of change ($18.95) - a primer for anyone involved in organizational change that addresses why manage change, individual change management and organizational change management

  • Employee's Survival Guide to Change ($14.95) - a handbook to help employees survive and thrive during change; answers frequently asked questions and empowers employees to take charge of change


*** Prosci also offers leadership packages - groupings of products at discounts that offer you some of the most helpful and common combinations of Prosci change management resources


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Email a Prosci analyst or call 970-203-9332 with questions about the methodology, its application, or finding the right resources to support your change management activities.




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