Change management's purpose is clear - to ensure that changes deliver intended results and outcomes by addressing one of the most critical elements of successful change, the people side of change.
Employee adoption and usage are the bridge between a great solution and ultimate results. In practice, change management plays out on several different levels within the organization. To provide clarity to this rapidly emerging and evolving discipline and to understand how it is practiced within organizations. This series will examine change management on three distinct levels:
The Enterprise Level - as an organizational capability and competency
The Project Level - as a benefit realization and value creation measure applied on particular initiatives
The Individual Level - as an approach for enabling one person to change successfully
Each of the three levels has a specific focus and purpose. The focus of the Enterprise Level is to create change agility and durability by institutionalizing change management and building competencies throughout the organization. The focus of the Project Level is to ensure that project results and outcomes are achieved and risks are mitigated. The focus of the Individual Level is to help an employee impacted by a change to embrace, adopt and use that change. Each level is essential for an organization to more effectively seize the opportunities and address the issues it faces.
Change management at the Enterprise Level is about building organizational capabilities and competencies to more effectively bring about the 10s or 100s or 1000s of changes being introduced in your organization each year. As change management practices are institutionalized and embedded, each change the organization takes on is more successful and the change management discipline itself is improved.
At the Enterprise Level, three dimensions of change management are present:
Common, consistent, constant application of change management processes and tools
Individual competencies at leading change, from the top to the bottom
A strategic capability/core competency
These characteristics do not simply emerge, but rather they have to be strategically and intentionally fostered through a concerted effort to more broadly deploy change management. When these dimensions are in place, change management becomes common place and the norm. Applying great change management on an effort becomes the expectation, not the exception. Employees, regardless of where they are located in the organization, understand and embrace their roles in bringing about change. Effectively changing becomes a differentiator and cultural value of the organization.
The ECM Roadmap is a web-based instructional guide that provides a step-by-step process and set of tools for creating your customized strategy and approach for advancing each of these three disciplines. Prosci's one-day ECM Boot Camp also provides you with the tools and direction for creating a structured and holistic approach.
Change management at the Enterprise Level can take on many shapes and sizes. How the capability manifests itself within an organization really depends on the organization and how change occurs in the organization. While there is not a simple "one size fits all" recipe for change management at the Enterprise Level, there are a number of common elements found in leading organizations who are building organizational capabilities:
Standard organizational approach for change management
Supporting structure, like a Change Management Office, Community of Practice or Center of Excellence
Learning programs and curriculums for change management competencies
Common, scalable tools for change management practitioners
Triggers for applying change management embedded in project initiation processes
Integrated approach bringing together project management and change management
Appreciation of the value and importance of change management throughout the organization
The Change Management Maturity Model™ Audit is an online self-assessment of organizational maturity, where you evaluate factors like those above across five Capability Areas: Leadership, Application, Competencies, Standardization and Socialization - to arrive at an overall Change Management Maturity Model Level score.
Leading organizations are moving on the Enterprise Level. They are actively working to build a core competency and competitive differentiator stemming from their change adaptability. The first step down this path is to treat "building an organizational change management capability" as a project and as a change.
Below are three tips gleaned from years of research and experience with organizations taking change management past a Project Level application and toward that of an Enterprise Level capability.
Tim Creasey is Prosci’s Chief Innovation Officer and a globally recognized leader in change management. His work forms the foundation of the largest body of knowledge in the world on managing the people side of change to deliver organizational results.