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TEKsystems performed an assessment and validation of our client’s change readiness and organizational change management capabilities in support of a multiyear program.
While more companies are beginning to recognize the value of organizational change management (OCM), more often than not, organizations focus on the delivery of an initiative without acknowledging the readiness of those impacted by the change.
Most of the time, people are uncomfortable with change—even if the change is in their favor. They find it is easier to continue known behaviors and try to avoid or resist change whenever possible. That is why major transformational initiatives are frequently met with resistance and low adoption. Projects with poor OCM met or exceeded objectives 16 percent of the time, while those with excellent OCM met or exceeded objectives 95 percent of the time.1
The four pillars of effective OCM are:
Leadership and stakeholder management.
Aligning stakeholders with project objectives, gaining active and demonstrated project support from leadership, and helping leaders be successful.
Establishing the correct infrastructure to get the right message to the right people at the right time, while providing consistency.
Assessing the current organizational environment, choosing the best approach for that environment and developing infrastructure for sustainable change.
Providing blended solutions that help the organization close performance gaps (only in cases when there is a new skill required that people do not know how to do but need to be able to as part of their job).
Our client was using a legacy mainframe technology to manage their core business. The technology relied heavily on manual work, which required more time and resources, making them inefficient. There was also little integration between their business and IT units. Our client realized they needed to move to a newer technology and began a transformational initiative to upgrade technologies, create a more robust service environment and better serve their customers. The first transformational initiative was driven by the client’s IT team, but lacked involvement from the business. The project was not successful, and the client recognized that the effort really needed to be led by the business, with greater integration between both organizational units.
The multiyear transformational program recommenced with new leadership from the business. Program leaders recognized that preparing and training their staff would be fundamental to the transformation’s success. They wanted to perform a third-party assessment of their program to understand their current state in terms of OCM and identify and close gaps to help attain future program maturity.
The client decided to partner with TEKsystems for an OCM assessment due to our expertise and experience conducting assessments, knowledge around OCM and IT Service Management, as well as our cost-effective solution. As a value-add, we would also assess the program’s process management and governance.
We would assess the program’s training, organizational program structure and how aligned their leaders were to the changes they were driving. We would perform the following activities to meet those goals: information-gathering interviews; program goal analysis and validation; change impact assessment; sponsor/champion identification and evaluation of their program support; review of communication processes, vehicles and tools; review of training curriculum plans and capabilities; and program roadmap analysis.
The assessment would begin with a series of interviews, observations and documentation reviews. Then, we would analyze our findings and compare them against the desired future state and best practices, followed with a mapping to a maturity scale.
Our deliverables would include:
A structured location for managing, tracking and maintaining artifacts gathered and developed during the engagement.
OCM gap analysis.
A document outlining gaps against OCM best practices across the four pillars: organizational alignment, leadership and stakeholder management, communication and training.
Change impact heat map.
A base document for situational analysis related to the program’s OCM impacts.
Organizational readiness assessment.
Initial findings based upon information gathering, stakeholder interviews and the program’s plan reviews.
A template for managing the communication vehicles and messages related to the program’s OCM events.
Implementation roadmap and resource plan.
Initial project and resource plan to support decision making regarding program execution.
Base structure for ongoing organizational change education and training of program stakeholders.
We completed the project on budget and within the client’s desired time frame. During the first two-and-a-half weeks, we interviewed over 35 individuals involved in the program from the IT and business units, as well as personnel outside of the program who would be impacted by the change.
Our team compiled this information and identified themes found across the interviews and information-gathering processes. At the end of the assessment, we presented an executive summary of our findings and recommendations. We also provided additional findings and recommendations around OCM and business process transformation in a maturity assessment report and a gap analysis.
If the recommendations are implemented, the client’s program will become more efficient, effective and economical. In particular, it will help them meet major upcoming release milestones.
OCM is designed to ease the stress and discomfort individuals go through during change initiatives. By implementing our recommendations, the client will have more success in ensuring change is understood, embraced and adopted by the people who are critical to the success of the change.
1 “Best Practices in Change Management Benchmarking Study,” Prosci, 2009.