Client: Government Agency
Function: IT Department
Project: Develop Change Management Program for IT Governance Tool Adoption
Overall Project Mission
A government agency wished to move toward a more disciplined project management of their IT projects. To fulfill this goal, the organization implemented an IT governance tool that they dubbed the Enterprise Management Support System (EMSS). EMSS will manage changes to the organization’s applications and systems, consistent project management functions, and streamline the oversight and management (governance) of projects or investments. This was a completely new way to do manage projects through automation which necessitated a staged implementation to ease the burden on users and increase the likelihood of success. The approach was to implement the new system in four stages with the first one being to automate their project scorecards.
The Communications & Change Management Challenge
The first stage of implementation of the new IT governance system would directly affect project managers and the Program Management Office that compiled the over 30 scorecard status reports, analyzes them and generates a “dashboard” type report that is presented to an Investment Planning Committee monthly. Project managers would be required to track the status of tasks, risks, issues, costs and schedules, while project teams would need to collaborate electronically and store project documentation.
Some senior leadership did not trust that a change management program would truly be useful in adopting the new system. However, the Program Management Office pushed for a change management program given the nature of moving to a completely automated system with new processes in place. In order to achieve success, the Program Management Office had to persuade a diverse group of stakeholders from the senior leadership board to the project managers to embrace significant changes to their processes and systems.
A Change Management program was launched to help ensure the success of the implementation effort. The program addressed communications and training needs for various stakeholders. The stakeholders included the organization’s senior leadership board pilot/implementation team members, and project managers who would have to buy into the program to make it a success.
Stakeholder and Gap Analysis
The team worked with the Program Management Office (PMO) implementation team to define the key stakeholder groups to identify how business processes would change. Next, the team identified the gaps between the current state and the future state to determine methods to mitigate the barriers to change. The team determined mitigation strategies to help manage user expectations, gain and maintain support throughout the project lifecycle, and prepare users and other staff to operate effectively within the new operating environment.
The team then developed a detailed communications plan that defined key messages, target audiences, information sources, communications channels, and delivery timing. Communications channels included the use of emails, posters, and newsletter articles announcing the new system and it benefits. In addition, specific e-mails and presentations were developed to provide a starting point for the PMO Implementation team who would be running their own change management efforts. Next, feedback mechanisms were designed to enable the PMO to track the effectiveness of their communications.
The team was asked to review and provide input into the Automated Scorecard User Guide so that the Scorecard user guide would be the “template” that all other user guides would model during the implementation of subsequent stages. In addition, the team developed a job aide inventory that described the job aide, user, objectives of using the job aide, how it would be delivered, and where it could be found. This inventory provided the Program Management Office with the guidance needed to create each job aide and implement them.
The team delivered a complete package of communications and change management materials that the PMO could use throughout Stage 1 of the EMSS implementation.