Friday, 21 October 2011

Including change agents into project teams

A very popular subject right now is how to integrate change managers into project teams. This is driven by the growing importance of managing the implementation and transition to new ways of working as a result of the project. Unlike a project team where there is broad agreement on the roles and responsibilities, organisations are still deciding what roles are associated with managing change. The names, position in the organisation and what they are expected to be responsible for is different in every situation, influenced by:
·         organisational culture,
·         the type of change – usually divided between technical changes to procedures or systems and behavioural changes i.e. how people approach their work
·         the professionalism of the project and programme management environment
·         the perceived strategic importance of the changes being planned by the organisation
Before deciding on what change roles should be included in the project team I use my knowledge of organisational change to identify the most important change roles as the basis of mapping these responsibilities into project and programme teams. For example:

·         Change Sponsor - Has the authority to make the change happen, has control of resources and has a clear vision of what the change needs to be
·         Local level sponsor – responsible for change in their division or section of the organisation
·         Change agent – facilitates the change by acting as a bridge between the Sponsor and the implementer. Helps to plan the change, liaises with the project teams to ensure deliverables are ready for use by the Implementers, motivates and persuades Implementers to become involved in the change by identifying and encouraging Advocates
·         Advocates – enthusiastic about the change and highly motivated to make the change happen
·         Implementer – makes changes to their ways of working that makes the desired change a reality

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