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What is change management and why has it been identified as a part of the Quantum Financials implementation?
In their book, Change Management, The People Side of Change, Jeffrey Hiatt and Timothy Creasey, CEO and chief development officer of Prosci, respectively, write that “change Management is the application of processes and tools to manage the people side of change from a current state to a new future state so that the desired results of the change and expected return on investment are achieved.”
Hiatt and Creasey point out that a perfectly designed technology that no one uses creates no additional value to the organization. Change management acts as a bridge between the designed solution and benefit realization (i.e., the results) of people embracing and adopting the change. Only after its people embrace and adopt the change will an organization truly achieve the successful outcome it desires.
Hiatt's and Creasey’s foundational tenets for change management are:
- We change for a reason
- Organizational change requires individual change
- Organizational outcomes are the collective result of individual change
- Change management is an enabling framework for managing the people side of change
- We apply change management to realize the benefits and desired outcomes of change
Change management efforts may be identified and designed by change management professionals, but they are executed by many people across the organization working toward the objectives of the change. It is the achievement of those objectives that is used to measure the effectiveness of the change management efforts.
Therefore, change management has been identified as a specific part of the Quantum Financials implementation project because achievement of project objectives is critical and research shows that projects with excellent change management effectiveness are six times more likely to meet or exceed project objectives.
UMB’s Quantum Financials implementation project has adopted the Prosci® Change Management Methodology. The Change Management team, Michele Evans, Change Management Lead and Robin Reid, Communications and Training Lead, have been trained in the methodology and are Certified Change Management Practitioners.
The Prosci® Change Management Methodology is a structured approach to the change process. Prosci® – short for Professional + Science – uses 20 years of research with thousands of change leaders to arrive at an approach to change that focuses on the people side of change to achieve greater outcomes. Since it is established that organizational change depends upon individual change, the three phases of the methodology for organizational change support individuals through:
Phase 1 – Preparing for Change
Phase 2 – Managing Change
Phase 3 – Reinforcing Change
Additionally, the methodology includes assessing readiness using the project change triangle (PCT) periodically throughout the life of the project. The PCT assessments have the project team answer a set of questions about the Leadership/Sponsorship, Project Management, and Change Management factors, to help us to gauge where the project may have gotten off kilter at different points during its life cycle. The intention is to balance the three factors, much like a three-legged stool. When any one factor slips, the stool becomes wobbly and needs to be strengthened to keep from falling over. The Change Management team uses the PCT assessment results to identify where efforts could be better focused to keep the project moving in sync toward adoption.
Another Prosci ® Change Management Methodology assessment is ADKAR, which stands for Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability, and Reinforcement. The ADKAR Model is an assessment that focuses on the where individuals are as they move through the phases of change. By having individuals rate themselves under each of the five ADKAR elements, change management activities can then be focused on supporting the individuals through each phase, in order, so that they have the awareness of and desire to participate in the change before receiving the knowledge and ability through training and reinforcement.
Although using the PCT and ADKAR assessments throughout the project will be important to the success of Quantum Financials, the Prosci ® Change Management Methodology teaches us that the greatest contributor to the success of a change project is active and visible sponsorship. For that reason, the involvement of our Executive Sponsors is critical. They meet regularly with the project managers, are kept apprised of the project status, and are actively involved in important project decisions. They visibly support the project by taking a lead role in presenting important information at large scale events, like project Town Halls.
As shown in the PCT assessment, project management and change management are two of the three factors critical to the success of a project. Project management’s focus is on the technical side of moving individuals from the current state to the desired future state. It is concerned with designing, developing, and delivering a solution for individuals to use to get to the future state (e.g., a new financial and reporting system). Change management’s focus is on the people side of moving individuals from the current state to the desired future state. It is concerned with ensuring that people embrace, adopt, and use the solution (e.g., a new financial and reporting system) in the future state. Both project and change management are working toward the same goal of getting individuals through to the desired future state of using the provided solution, but just focus on different aspects of getting there. They are both important factors leading to successful change.
We are working to ensure that our change management efforts engage users from across UMB to be part of the change and not just have the change happen to them.
In that regard, we have identified over 40 subject matter experts, 15 Advisory Council members, and 25 Change Champions to participate in some way in the project. The project team has also met with numerous individuals across UMB’s schools and units to solicit input into project decisions and to share the status of the project. The goal is to ensure that the resulting system will address the critical needs of all users.
If you are not sure that your interests are being represented, feel free to reach out to anyone on the Advisory Council, Change Champions, or Subject Matter Experts lists who represent your area. If you do not know anyone in those groups, you may contact the project team at email@example.com.
Additional opportunities to be more informed about the change will come with Town Halls, demos and expos, and presentations at various existing meetings. If you coordinate an existing meeting where you think a presentation about the project would benefit your attendees, please contact the project team at firstname.lastname@example.org to invite a team member.