The need for Enterprise Change
Management (ECM) -- or -- Why build the competency to manage change
Building the competency to manage change is not like installing a new
technological system or training on a new skill or process.
Becoming competent at managing change requires a
transformation in the
way your organization and the individuals within the organization view and react to change. It
foundation of how the organization operates, and how those within the
organization see themselves in relation to change. The goal of building the competency to manage change is to give
individuals the perspective, authority and skills they need to support
the many different changes they will face.
provides five reasons why organizations
today need to get serious about building the competency to manage change
- what Prosci calls Enterprise Change Management:
- Competitive advantage
- Failed changes
- Upcoming changes
- Consistent application
- Personal competency
Tutorial highlights -
- Organizations need to get serious about
building the competency to manage change
- Change management competencies will be a
key source of competitive advantage in
- The number and importance of upcoming
changes makes change management competencies
even more critical
about the ECM Summit - Prosci's research-based
approach to building change management competencies
Why build the organizational competency to manage change?
Factor 1 – Competitive advantage
Building the organizational competency to effectively implement and
manage change is one of the key ways you can set yourself apart from
your competitors. In today’s marketplace, many organizations have seen
the sources of their historic competitive advantage
erode. Rapid access to information, common technologies,
best practices, suppliers and markets has resulted in parity for many
organizations. The new,
global economy is forcing organizations to change the way they do work locally and abroad.
So, if you can no longer rely on historic sources of competitive
advantage, how will you set your organization
apart? Imagine that your organization can more quickly and more effectively
react to change with less impact on productivity. People are ready for
change and expect that it is going to happen. Questions are targeted.
General resistance is mitigated or prevented. Each new project has a
plan and approach for managing the human side of change. This is what is
meant by Enterprise Change Management, and we have seen organizations
begin to dedicate the time, resources and mindshare to build change
management as a core competency over the last few years.
How well you manage change in the coming years - and how effectively
you build internal change management competencies - will be a key source
of competitive advantage and will
differentiate you from others in the
Factor 2 – Failed changes
Each of us could list off a number of changes we have seen poorly
implemented in our organizations. Some changes end up behind schedule.
Others run over budget. Some face tremendous resistance from employees.
Some are implemented, but the expected results never
materialize. In some cases changes fail completely and are abandoned.
Many of the reasons your projects have not fully realized the expected
benefits in the past are tied to mismanaging
the human side of change.
Now, consider the cost of these failed changes. How much
money was spent on initiatives that were not fully implemented? What was
the impact to the organization of these changes not being implemented? Your organization
cannot risk the additional cost and missed benefits of poorly managing
the human side of change.
Building the competency to manage change effectively, throughout the
organization, can be viewed as a cost avoidance measure
minimizizing the impacts associated with failed changes.
Factor 3 – Upcoming changes
In addition to minimizing the risk of failed change, the
changes on the horizon is another reason why your organization needs to build the competency to manage change.
The coming years promise to have both a larger quantity of changes and more critical
changes than any time before.
Organizations are constantly
working to implement new technologies, upgrade systems, improve
productivity, cut cost and manage the human capital in the organization.
At any one time, your organization may have
fifty to 100
projects impacting how individuals do their jobs - with
fifty to 100 more on the schedule. Improving how your organization manages change will directly impact
the success of each of the initiatives underway and those planned for the
future. Additionally, the higher priority
and more strategic
initiatives have a direct impact on how employees do their jobs
- meaning there is a greater need for change management.
With such tremendous churn on deck, effective change management will
be critical to project outcomes and the organization's ability to meet
Factor 4 – Consistent application
While there certainly is value to applying change
management to a single project, the value is magnified when
organizations begin consistently
applying change management on each and every
change - a key component of change management competency.
The adoption and deployment of a common approach results in
more consistent application both by individual practitioners
and across numerous projects. This step of adopting a common
approach includes common processes, tools, practices and
language throughout all levels and all projects.
There are numerous benefits of more consistent
application of change management. First, a common set of
resources and subject matter experts
can support a variety of change management practitioners.
Learning curves are shortened when a common approach is
consistently applied. A common approach also provides a platform for
continuous learning and improvement. Each time change
management is applied, practitioners can generate lessons
learned that will improve the subsequent change management
efforts. Without this consistent application, continuous
improvement of the change management process and approach cannot occur.
There is also a risk of not adopting a common approach.
Think about a single manager who is being asked to fulfill
three completely different roles by three change management
practitioners supporting three different changes. While each
of the practitioners is working to optimize the adoption of
their particular change by using change management, the manager may become
disengage altogether from
all change management activities. The same backfire effect
can occur with senior business leaders, project teams and
other project support functions (like communication
specialists or training specialists).
One of the first steps in building change management
competency is the selection and deployment of a
approach, which improves change management efforts
throughout the organization.
ECM Summit -
April 17-19, 2007
The ECM Summit is a chance to meet with other
business leaders working to deploy change
management and develop a plan and strategy based
on Prosci's latest research. At the ECM Summit,
- Create a plan for bringing a
approach to change management into your
- Identify the most effective
and tactics for deployment in your
- Develop messages for building
and buy-in throughout the organization
- Share, network and learn
taking on the same challenge in their
Find out more at
the ECM Summit by visiting the
calling 970-203-9332 or emailing
a Prosci ECM analyst. Seats are limited so
Factor 5 – Personal competency
Finally, there is an individual perspective related to building
organizational change management competency. Aside from the 'organizational' reasons
given above, managing change is an emerging and important
skill set that leaders, managers and supervisors throughout the
organization need to add to their portfolio.
There are several key best practices that show why managing change is
a necessary personal competency at many levels in the organization. All four of
Prosci's best practices reports have identified the role of the primary
sponsor as the number one contributor to success. The sponsor's role
includes actively and visibly participating with the project team,
building a coalition of sponsorship with peers and other managers and
communicating directly with employees about the need for change.
However, fulfilling these roles does not come naturally for many
senior leaders. Even the best leaders in an organization may need
support, training and coaching on how to be an effective sponsor. The
same holds true for managers and supervisors when it comes time to
fulfill the role of coach, communicator and resistance manager when
changes are introduced.
Project team members can also build personal competencies related to
managing change. Even the Project Management Institute has started to
add the management of the human component of change to the body of
project management skills.
A final element of organizational change competency is the collective
individual competencies built throughout the organization - from the
person sitting at the very top all
the way down to front line supervisors
and employees. Change
management competency shows up across the entire organization, and must
be managed both from the organizational and the personal perspective.
In organizations across the globe, there is in an increased need to
truly build the competency to manage change. Building the competency
sets your organization apart and improves the execution of each new
project being implemented. It allows you to minimize the substantial
negative consequences of mismanaging change and better position yourself
to be successful on future initiatives. Building the competency to
change is not easy - it requires design, project management, change
management and commitment from the organization - but it will be
critical for success in coming years.
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