Change management is of no value – is that true? I know as a PM that you see change managers as a burden on your project. I know that you see that they are additional cost and resourcing that you don’t really need on your project. You don’t really get what this ‘change management’ is really about which is why you don’t see the value in it.
What if I was to ask you this question:-
What is the overall percentage of expected results and outcomes of your project that will depend on employee adoption and usage of the change your making?
I’m guessing that your answer is going to be up in the high end figure of 75% or above. Most likely it will be between the 80 – 90% range.
Then, given this is the case, how can you NOT afford to have a change manager, or change management team working with you in delivering your project.
Notice the use of my words here. They are working with you. This is not about them working against you, working in conflict to you. A change managers role is to make your job easier, by helping you obtain the desired outcome that is expected from the delivery of the project change that you are working on.
Change Managers are there to deal with the impacts of the change and find ways to bring the staff along for the journey. They are there to assist with understanding any risks that might arise for people, relating to the change.
They are there to help get key stakeholders fully in the space; to have them talking about your project in a way that is going to explain the key benefits of it simply and easily for everyone to understand.
Let’s go back to my question to you earlier – if the results of your project depend on adoption percentages and you don’t have the skills to gain that level of buy-in then how are you going to achieve it without the support of a Change Manager.
And remember, it’s not just about training. Training does NOT get people to adopt new ways of working. It might help them to gain and understanding of one part of the change, by giving them knowledge about it that they otherwise wouldn’t have, but consider that training is going to be enough and you won’t achieve your desired adoption rates.
I hope that next time you are starting up a project, you’ll consider bringing a change professional along for the journey with you, at your side for the whole trip. You’ll be glad you did.
Written by Karen Munro a Prince 2 certified Project Manager and Prosci Certified Change Practitioner.
*Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles on Freedigitalphotos.net