Welcome to the Change Management Tutorial Series
While these previous approaches can be effective by themselves, the most important thing you can do is help your audience make the connection themselves. The simple Project-Purpose-Particulars-People exercise outlined below may seem like common sense, but the impact for the audience can be significant. Walking an individual or group through the process helps create the "ah ha" moment that cannot be achieved by simply telling someone about the importance of change management.
Step 1 - Create four columns
The exercise is a simple build. Start by creating four columns. If you are facilitating this as group discussion, you may use a white board or flip chart. You can also have each person create their own columns on a sheet of paper in front of them.
Step 2 - Identify the Project
Begin by having your audience label the first column Project Name. Have your audience pick a project they are familiar with and that is important to them and write the name in the first column. What is the project we are thinking about? Examples include: Global ERP, Supply Chain Optimization, ACME 2015, eBenefits 2.5, Create PMO, etc.
Step 3 - Identify the Purpose
Next, label column two Purpose. Here, have your audience write down the specific goals or outcomes the project is trying to achieve. Why are we doing this project in the first place? What is the benefit to the organization? Examples include: Reduce cost, increase revenue, improve margin, introduce new product, reallocate inventory, streamline business processes, merge parts of the organization, implement unified data source for entire organization, implement common business practices.
Step 4 - Identify the Particulars
The third column is labeled Particulars. In this column, write down exactly what will be changing in the organization - the nuts and bolts of the change. Document the specific impacts to business processes, systems, tools, job roles or organizational structures. Really work to describe what will be different in the future than it is today.
Step 5 - Identify the People
Have your audience label the final column People. Here, identify who in the organization will have to change how they work. Whose day-to-day activities will be impacted by this project? Who will be doing things differently after the project is implemented? And, the answer "everyone" is not good enough - you need to be specific!
Step 6 - Creating the context
The four columns in the Project-Purpose-Particulars-People exercise, and more importantly the process of labeling and filling in each column, helps create a context for the project. It ties the project to why it is happening, to what specifically will be changing, and most importantly to who will be impacted by the change.
Step 7 - Making the connection
The connection between the columns is the key. If we do not manage the people side of change on the far right, it really doesn't matter what specific changes are architected (in the Particulars column) because they won't be realized. And if people don't change how they do their jobs, we ultimately won't achieve the benefits we were looking for from the project (in the Purpose column). Return on investment will not be realized. The project will not deliver results.
So what can we do about the far right column - the people who have to do their jobs differently? The answer is change management. Effectively managing change requires an understanding of how individuals go through change - described by the ADKAR model - and an understanding of the tools that project teams have to support these individual transitions. Prosci's organizational change management methodology has three phases - preparing for, managing and reinforcing change - and utilizes five levers to achieve ADKAR with impacted employees - communication, sponsorship, coaching, training and resistance management.
Effective change management requires:
The goal of Prosci's Project-Purpose-Particulars-People exercise is not to teach the audience anything, but to get them nodding their heads. The exercise creates the "ah ha" moment about change management because the audience makes the connection themselves - between the project, its purpose and the people who must change how they do their jobs. We can stand on our desk and shout about the importance of change management, but this simple exercise can have far more impact since the audience makes the connection themselves.
Once you have your audience saying, "yes, we must do something about the people impacted by this change," you are ready to move forward. The next step is to apply a structured approach to managing that change - with both an individual change management approach (ADKAR) and an organizational change management approach (Preparing for Change, Managing Change and Reinforcing Change). Prosci's 3-day certification program is the best way to learn and build your change management strategies. Find out more at the training page or by downloading the training brochure (PDF).
Tools for applying change management:
*** 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
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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