I spend a significant portion of my time working with new change practitioners leaving Prosci’s Certification Program and supporting them on the first steps of their change management journey. The most common question I receive is “where do I start?” This question is the perfect segue into a conversation around the definition of success post-certification.
The Prosci Certification Program is an immersive program, packed with application. The program provides you with an understanding of the individual model for change and its integration with the organizational process aimed at driving results. Additionally, the Certification Program equips you with a suite of tools to manage the people side of change. Upon leaving the Certification Program you should be able to tackle any change expertly and you are going to be instantly successful, right? Wrong. Becoming an effective change practitioner takes time, patience, and continued engagement and practice with the methodology. However, in my conversations I say if you have begun taking action on the following in the short term post-certification, you have been successful:
Present Your Change Management Plan to Your Sponsor
During certification, you demonstrated your competency in the use of Prosci’s change management tools and concepts by applying them to a real project from your organization. You practiced delivering a presentation of your change management plan in the program and gained feedback and direction on how to make the presentation more impactful. Post-certification, it is imperative that you take that presentation and adapt it for your project sponsor. Clearly articulate not only that you completed activities and assessments in the Certification Program, but also articulate why the activities and assessments you completed for your change matter.
This will allow you to make the case for change management on your project early with your project sponsor. Remember, in all nine Best Practices in Change Management benchmarking reports, active and visible sponsorship was identified as the number one success factor on a change management initiative. Making the case for why change management is critical on the project, what your sponsor’s role is and how you will support him/her in that role will help you as you move toward effective change management application on your project, implementing what you learned in certification.
Socialize Change Management to Critical Audiences
Having the support and engagement from your sponsor is an important step, but it is also important that you begin to socialize change management more broadly across your organization.
Think back to the conversation on the morning of Day One in class. You were equipped with three approaches for articulating the value of change management; you completed an exercise to connect change management to business results by articulating your Project Name, Purpose, Particulars and People. You discussed how to mitigate negative consequences of change with the Flight Risk Model and you reviewed how to translate change management to financial performance.
Consider who you need to engage with across your organization with regard to the value of change management. This could be critical managers, project managers, impacted employees, etc. Pick an approach that will support the case for why change management needs to be incorporated on your project, and its value will resonate with each of your critical audiences.
Customize and Scale Your Change Management Approach
The Certification Program provides you an end-to-end overview and explanation of the methodology, including the assessments, templates and tools you have at your disposal (and you still have those tools available to you after the program in your Practitioner eToolkit). After completing your certification, you should consider the scope, size, type, complexity, objective and timing of your project and begin to scale and right-size your change management approach. Explore your Practitioner eToolkit and get familiar with the resources you have, but know that you will not use every tool every time. Adapting and customizing your approach based on the characteristics of the change at hand is a critical success factor.
What This Means for You
We believe in defining success clearly. What does success mean for the change project you are working on? For the individuals who have to adopt and use a new solution? For the organization and the benefits that you are trying to achieve with the change? Let’s continue the conversation around defining success by taking into consideration these three post-certification milestones.