Change Management for It Projects

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					Integrating
     Change Management
into Projects
for True Success
                                                                       A
                                                                               fragile world economy
                                                                               has given birth to an
                                                                               era of unprecedented
                                                                   change. The usual nudge to manage
                                                                 costs has turned into a major push.
                                                                Contact centers must pursue significant
                                                              organizational, process and technology
                                                            projects to address this business reality.
                                                          Although project management (PM) skills and
                                                        resources are obvious requirements, change
                                                       management (CM) is the key to success.

                                                   By Lori Bocklund and Lori Fraser

 14 • CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT •   FALL 2009
The Limitations of Project Management                                             building the knowledge, skills and incentives to sustain
    Project management addresses the technical or task side                       it. It is the people side of change. Best practices data from re-
of a change. Project Managers use their training and experi-                      search company Prosci’s recently updated comprehensive
ence to create detailed project plans and measure progress by                     benchmark study reveals that projects with poor change
completing tasks on time and within budget.They declare                           management stay on schedule or meet desired outcomes
victory (and generally move on to the next thing) when                            only 16% of the time. Prosci found a 95% chance of
the new technology and processes are in place, the staff is                       project success—defined as meeting or exceeding project
trained and the organizational charts are redrawn. But is the                     objectives—when using excellent change management.
project really done or, more importantly, a success?                              Projects with excellent change management are on or
    In the example shown in Figure 1, the key project                             ahead of schedule 72% of the time.2
goal is to reduce the cost-per-contact using a combina-                               If the research does not convince you to implement
tion of technology and process changes. The business                              change management, take a critical look at your recent
case reflects the usual optimism that costs will drop at the                      projects and ask three key questions:
conclusion of the project. In reality, costs often creep up                       • What were the project expectations at the start?
as people adapt to change and establish new work habits.                          • What were the side effects during the project?
The business benefit occurs after the project “completes.”                        • What did you achieve at project completion?
    Technologies, processes, organizational charts and                                If you’re like most companies, you will discover poorly
training sessions may reflect expert design, but it’s the                         defined or overly optimistic expectations, painful execution
customer service representatives and supervisors who                              processes, missed deadlines, cost overruns and key staff depar-
make or break the bottom-line results. They comprise 67-                          tures.You will find lengthy intervals to realize benefits, or
76% of the typical contact center budget.1 They are the                           worse, missed expectations.You may even find that no one
means through which projects realize increased revenue,                           followed up to measure success after project completion.
decreased cost, improved product or service delivery and                              Change management addresses these issues and creates
reduced error rates. And they’ve got to gets their heads                          true accountability for project success. To be clear: it’s
wrapped around the change and adjust personally and                               not a substitute for project management.You need both
professionally to make it happen. In fact, you need to set                        project management and change management to address
your sights beyond mere compliance with a new protocol.                           project needs and help people with the changes any
You want to see the business results as soon as possible.                         project creates. Change management becomes the multi-
                                                                                  plier, enhancing project management success by engaging
The Importance of Change Management                                               people to make project changes a reality. By combining
   Change management is a structured process that rallies                         project management with change management, the sum is
support for change at all levels of the organization while                        greater than the individual components.

Figure 1: Typical Result Gaps Show the Realities of Project “Completion”                               Essential CM Elements
                   $7                                                                                     Change management is a proactive
                                                                                    Projected          and comprehensive approach built into
                                                                                    Actual             the project, starting as early as possible. A
                   $6                                                                                  change management plan defines employee
Cost per Contact




                                                                                                       needs regarding the change. It assesses
                                                                                                       barriers to acceptance and addresses them
                   $5                                                                                  through effective communication and
                                                                                                       education. It enhances employee training
                                                                                                       on processes and technologies by validating
                   $4                                                                                  employee ability to apply newly acquired
                                                                                                       knowledge and skills consistently. It rein-
                                                                                                       forces training through key performance
                   $3
                                                                                                       indicator tracking to assess outcomes and
                        Pre-project   During project    Project “complete”    Benefits achieved
                                                                                                       adjust as needed. Finally, change manage-
                                             Project Stage                                             ment systematizes employee coaching and
                                                                                                       fosters periodic success celebrations.
                                                                                                          Now that you’ve got some idea of what
                                                               Done here?




                                                                                    Done here!




                                                                            NO!                        change management is, let’s be clear on
                                                                                                       what it is not. It is not a last-minute process
                                                                                                       whereby the team gets some quick train-
                                                                                                       ing, a memo and a mug with the project

                                                                                                 FALL 2009   •   CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT   •   15
Figure 2: Integrated Project Management and Change Management Plan

     Define                   Plan               Implement                Support
                                                                                           1. Get buy-in to change management
     PM Tasks              PM Tasks               PM Tasks               PM Tasks             Educate your executives on change
      Strategy           Requirements            Project Plan             Monitor           management and clarify the difference
       Scope               Buy/Build               Design                Maintain
                                                                                            between project management and
       Vision            Select/Define              Develop             Manage/Apply
 Business Case/ROI        Refine ROI               Integrate             Validate ROI
                                                                                             change management. Use research
                                                     Test                                    data to demonstrate the value of
                                                     Pilot                                    change management. Anticipate
                                                   Rollout                                    their reactions and prepare your re-
                                                                                             sponses. (See sidebar: “Change Man-
     CM Tasks              CM Tasks               CM Tasks               CM Tasks           agement Chain Reactions,” p. 17)
    Assessment              Team                   Involve                Coach
      Triggers           Define Model/           Communicate             Assess KPIs        2. Leverage staff from the trenches
        Risks           Method, Barriers            Train                Fill Gaps
                                                                                             Enroll an executive sponsor, key
      Strategy               Plan                  Validate             Take Action
                         Communicate              Manage                 Celebrate
                                                                                         stakeholders and frontline staff (agents
                                                                                        and supervisors) on your change manage-
                                                                                       ment team. Sponsors play a vital role in
name on it. It is not a meaningless exhibition of corporate          promoting the initiative across the organization. Key stake-
“cheerleading.” It is not damage control. Rather, it is the          holders facilitate all elements of change management and
means through which you weave your center’s crucial                  identify synergies within and between teams and depart-
“assets”—your people—into the fabric of organizational               ments. Frontline involvement ensures the “rubber meets
transition to create a win-win for all stakeholders.                 the road” with all projects. They carry the “real world”
   Figure 2 provides an example of integrated project                view of past successes and failures and offer insights on
management and change management activities, which                   how to successfully execute changes in your organization.
research shows leads to greater project success. The optimal         (See sidebar: “Differing Views,” below)
team involves a designated Project Manager and a Change
Manager, although a properly trained individual could                3. Use a structured change management methodology
have dual responsibility for smaller initiatives. However the            Address executive and employee fears about “touchy-
roles are defined, they work hand-in-hand to forge a uni-            feely” activities by using a proven change management
fied plan. Tasks anticipate and account for the people side          methodology. Describe the approach, the link to measur-
of the equation. Change management ensures accountabil-              able outcomes and the research and examples that prove
ity for the business objectives that drive the tasks.                its effectiveness. (See “Resources,” p. 18)

Embedding Change Management into Projects                            Proceeding Even When Support Is Limited
  Here are three key steps to embed change manage-                      Ideally, you obtain executive buy-in for applying a full
ment into your next project:                                         change management methodology to minimize risks and
                                                                     increase your chances of success. Unfortunately, not every



             DIFFERING VIEWS FROM “CHANGERS” AND “CHANGEES”
  Comments about change management reveal different views of the change experience. Aligning executive and frontline employee
  views minimizes cost overruns and project delays occurring due to employee resistance, lower productivity and key staff departures.

   Executive view                                                   Frontline staff view
   “We change all the time around here…we’re good at it.”           “We’re not so good at change.”

   The implication: We change, therefore we are good at             The implication: We struggle here in the trenches.
   change.
   “We already do Change Management.”                               “We don’t really do much change management…all we
                                                                    got on our last project was a memo…or training.”
   The implication: We apply a defined, structured methodology.      The implication: We don’t understand our approach to
                                                                    changes, what we’re doing and why.


16 • CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT •      FALL 2009
                                                                   Figure 3: The CM Spectrum from Covert Operations to Nirvana

                                                                     As much CM as you         Some CM activities        Structured CM
                                                                     can sneak in                                               process
organization will receive full executive support and ap-
                                                                     Whatever resources        Project resources or   Trained resources
proval or resources for change management. How do you
                                                                     you can muster               others pitch in
proceed knowing you need both project management and
change management for project success?                               No leadership             Selectively applied      Inherent part of
   Determine where your organization falls on the                    buy-in but do what        where most needed           every project
Change Management Spectrum shown in Figure 3.                        you can
Identify the level of executive commitment and resources
you can leverage and map out a plan for your organiza-
tion. Establish what will work—for your culture, orga-
nization, history and the specific project characteristics.
Apply change management to whatever degree you can
within your environment.                                             Covert Operations                                       Nirvana
   When all else fails, something is better than nothing:
use covert change management tactics. For example, refer
to change management by another name (such as “Com-                for each project in your call center. Get past the tempta-
munication Plan”), incorporate project training into               tion to merely survive. Become an advocate of change
annual training, engage frontline supervisors and manag-           management and watch your center thrive!
ers in special coaching efforts or find someone to step up            Consider this question the next time you implement
to act as a sponsor if needed. Assess risks such as limited        any type of change to reduce costs or improve customer
leadership buy-in, inadequate resources, resistant em-             service: Are our results derived from new systems, processes
ployees, key staff departures—and devise plans to address          and organizational changes or are they a result of how our
them. Applying change management to any degree will                employees can work differently? If the answer is the latter,
help employees navigate change and begin educating the             then every change project you do going forward should:
organization on the value of change management.                    1. Plan for change management (be a change sponsor
                                                                      yourself)
You Are the Key to Project Success                                 2. Budget for change management as part of the project
   Change is certain. In uncertain times, raise the level          3. Begin change management early—right at the beginning
of your game to make sure you achieve target outcomes                 if possible


              CHANGE MANAGEMENT CHAIN REACTIONS
  While reactions to change management vary, the table below provides responses to common objections.

   Scenario               Typical Arguments                                     Your Response
   What’s CM?             • I haven’t heard of it, so it’s not important to     • CM manages the people side of change
                            the project…                                          (Remember: Staff represents 67-76% of
                          • Why do we need that?                                  the budget)
   We already do CM       • We already do…                                      • IT “change management” is version control,
                            • IT Change Management…                               not CM
                            • Project Management…                               • PM focuses on technology or process
                            • Training…                                           tasks…not people
                            • Communication…                                    • Training is just one CM component
                                                                                • Communication is a multi-step process and
                                                                                  only one component in a multi-pronged
                                                                                  change management approach
   We don’t need CM       • We’ve told them the plan…they’ll do it (or          • Demanding does not work over age 8
                            else…)                                              • CM aids key staff retention
                          • We’re not going to do that “touchy feely” stuff     • Let me show you our structured methodology
   We can’t afford CM     • Budgets are tight…                                  • Without good CM, projects meet target
                          • It’s not in the project budget…                       outcomes only 17% of the time
                                                                                • We can’t afford not to do CM


                                                                              FALL 2009   •   CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT    •   17
4. Integrate change management with project management                                  Lori Fraser is an enthusiastic contact
5. Declare your project finished only when you achieve                                  center leader and is certified with CIAC as
   the business results—and celebrate that success with                                 a Contact Center Management Consultant
   your employees! CRM                                                                  (CCMC) and with Prosci in Change Man-
                                                                                        agement methodologies and tools. Her
 notes                                                                                  primary focus is on contact center people,
 1. Lori Bocklund and Brian Hinton, Cost Structure and Distribution                     processes and the training needed to
    in Today’s Contact Centers, White Paper, March 2008.              help them accomplish their strategic goals with the help of
 2. Prosci Benchmarking Report, Best Practices in Change              technology and sound business processes. Lori has over
    Management, 2009.
                                                                      20 years experience in leading sales, customer service and
                                                                      technical support teams in both the USA and in Europe.
                     Lori Bocklund is President of Strategic Con-
                     tact, an independent consulting firm that
                     helps companies optimize the strategic
                     value of their customer contact technology
                     and operations. Strategic Contact helps                      RESOURCES
                     companies develop and execute plans
                     tied to business goals. Lori is a recognized       Get educated on Change Management. For more
industry leader in contact center strategy, technology and              information and resources on Change Management,
operations. She has over 20 years of experience in the call             see these web sites:
center industry, 16 of them as a consultant. She shares her
knowledge and experience through speaking engagements,                  www.change-management.com
articles, a two-day call center technology course and her               www.wmbridges.com
book Call Center Technology Demystified (Call Center Press).             www.lamarsh.com
Lori is certified in change management with Prosci.




18 • CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT •         FALL 2009

				
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