Agile Organizational Change Management— Why It’s Still Necessary
Project teams today recognize the necessity to manage the human factor side of change on all projects. However, organizational change management means different things to different stakeholders. IT project managers see change management as the defined process controls in place to gain approval to change a project’s scope, schedule, and budget. On the other hand, executive leadership and the collective user community view change management as a change to behaviors, and the new and improved ways of conducting business. Everyone shares a common goal to realize value and achieve desired results. Many federal agencies face complex challenges with organizational change management (OCM) obstacles. Government stakeholders must see these obstacles as opportunities, not obligations. The agencies that implement and dedicate time and effort to enterprise OCM—the human side of change—realize superior benefits.
OCM thought leadership is critical for agencies looking to transform and modernize. The key is collaboration and iterative progress to gain buy-in. Just as agile processes are followed where projects are developed in sprints (lasting just days or a few weeks), a project can also undergo iterative or Agile OCM plan. A skilled thought OCM leader will have extensive communication expertise in Agile OCM and know how to create a strategic change plan that accelerates change adoption. MBA CSi’s OCM framework was designed for Agile transformation and accounts for the impact of new business processes, changes in organizational structure, and cultural changes within the enterprise.
OCM is valuable when change requires people to learn new behaviors. An Agile OCM plan itself is not enough. Instead, the value of an Agile OCM plan is realized incrementally through the improvements in human behavior and sustained advancements of work results. By setting expectations early, using tools to improve communication, and proactively identifying ways to reduce misinformation, agencies are more likely to adapt to change. To accelerate change adoption, we embed Agile coaches within Agile teams. Our coaches ensure teams understand the change impacts, assess training needs, and reduce productivity dips. Furthermore, Agile coaches customize the process for faster adoption without negatively impacting schedules. The right player-coach solution provides users with the confidence that their voice is heard, that their day-to-day work activities are understood, and their feedback is both welcome and implemented.
Another vital aspect of Agile OCM success is User Journeys. User Journeys inform all users, participants, and stakeholders of leadership priorities. After all, it is the leadership that must embrace new behaviors first to motivate the rest of the user community. This allows the agency to demonstrate vision, help understand user behavior (possible resistance), identify potential issues, and implement a realistic approach based on organizational readiness and capacity to change. The result is always an experienced partner who understands the agency’s business, enterprise environments, and provides the necessary level of support to execute its journey successfully.
Transforming culture can be challenging – especially when communicating at the speed of Agile. Our Agile OCM approach accelerates positive human behavioral change times. Experience is key, and our past performance highlights valuable lessons learned. Best practices and perspectives gained across high-visibility and complex programs allow us to identify and resolve challenges quickly. We also break down silos, improve leadership, and user adoption by demonstrating a shared understanding of strategic direction. This allows the agency to map organizational priorities and goals with mission requirements. Our Agile OCM approach scales to any customer and any mission.
Author: Sean Delaney, MBA CSi’s SVP of Strategy
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