About The Author
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Melodi Johnson 1 article
US Little Elm, Texas
Strategic Implementation Program Manager at Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP
PMP, MCP, MCT, CompTia CTT+

I am a Certified Project Management Professional (PMP from PMI), Microsoft Certified Professional, and Certified Technical Trainer with over 20 years of strategic implementation, business analysis, project management, change management, curriculum design, e-learning development and instruction experience. I have been involved in analyzing, planning, managing, and executing change strategies in over 100 various technology, business process, and professional training-related implementations.


How Change Management is Impacting Project Management

As project managers we are often warned to guard our projects against scope creep, however, you have likely already noticed the profession of project management is itself being impacted by scope creep. One area in which we see responsibilities expanding is change management.

Change management is an area of study which guides how we prepare, equip, and support, individuals to successfully adopt change (Prosci). There is an industry standard model to assist you in planning change management communications and activities within your project. This is the ADKAR model, which stands for Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Action, and Reinforce.

The ADKAR model can help you customize your change management messaging to answer questions which commonly arise for individuals, such as: “Why are we doing this?” “What is in it for me?” “How is my role changing?” “How will I learn the skills I need to be successful?”

Let’s review the definition of change management. I’d like to focus on one key word; Individuals. We often consider organizational change management and think of an organization as a single entity, but what is an organization if not a group of individuals moving toward a common goal? It is important to remember that each individual will respond to change differently based on their own unique experiences, biases, and emotions.

How can you as a change leader possibly assist each and every individual through their unique change experience? A great place to start is with empathy. In order to get in touch with how change can impact us, it can be helpful to ask yourself a few questions and think back to your own personal experiences:

What was your last major change that had a significant impact in your life?

What was your initial emotional response?

How did your feelings change within the first days, weeks, or months and why?

Ultimately, how do you feel about the change in retrospect?

In addition to getting in touch with your own change response style, there are four archetypes that can help you craft messaging and activities to assist a broad array of change response types:

Remember when considering these four archetypes that each individual will vary and likely fall somewhere on a spectrum. The type of change initiated may also elicit a different change response even from the same individual. Also, be careful to reserve your judgement. An individual’s change response style doesn’t make them a positive or negative person; it simply makes them a person.

After considering the various change response styles that you may encounter, it can also be helpful to consider the process through which people experience change. The illustration of the change curve helps represent the phases people move through when adopting change.

Change often comes as a surprise and people are likely to express denial. During this time it may be helpful to provide clarifying messaging explaining why the change is important and what the risks would be of not changing.

Next, people move through the process of acceptance and possibly depression. As they traverse the valley of depression, it is important to connect on an emotional level and show how much you care. Get in touch with your empathy and craft messaging that supports and motivates.

Moving to the other side of the change curve is when people are prepared to hear how they will gain knowledge and skill. Up to this point, knowledge and skills building will likely fail; people need to become motivated to experience the change before skills can be built. During this time begin to build in experiential learning opportunities.

Lastly, don’t forget to reinforce and reward early positive behavioral change. How can you and your organization encourage the desired level of engagement? This is critical for on-going, sustainable change, and sets a positive association for the next change initiative. Building an organizational culture of resilient, positive, change adoption is a skill that can be built over time.

I encourage you to learn more about change management and how it could benefit you and your organization in an era of rapid, high-impact change. I also encourage you, as project manager, to see this scope creep in our profession, not as negative, but as an opportunity to move beyond project management into a role of change leadership.

 


Published at pmmagazine.net with the consent of Melodi Johnson
Source of the article: {Linkedin} on [2018-11-19]