Hey project managers, this one’s for you!
Your project is two weeks from go-live. Everything is in the green – on time, on budget, and on scope, yet there are more and more rumblings that the organization isn’t ready. People don’t understand why and what is happening. Only five percent attended the training. The sponsors are getting pushback from other executives. There is talk of putting the go-live on hold. What now?
While we can’t wave a magic wand and rewind the last nine months, here are a few best practices to help mitigate change impacts, improve people adoption, and get to go-live where both the solution and the organization are ready.
Team Up Early
Partner with the change manager during initiation to identify key project and change metrics that define success from both lenses. What does success look like from the people side? What are people doing different because of this change?
Support The Sponsor
Partner with the change manager to support the sponsor in key decision making as well as in their role as the face and voice of the change. Not only do sponsors make decisions that keep the technical side moving, but they must also lead the change from the front – communicating, demonstrating, and reinforcing the why – to create dynamic and noticeable leadership of the change.
Partner with the change manager to integrate change plans (i.e. engagement, communications, and training, etc.) and activities into the overall project plan, milestones, project updates, and meetings. Coordination between the project manager and change manager is critical as project management artifacts inform key change management outputs. Conversely, change plans and activities directly inform the overall project timeline, milestones, and readiness.
To learn more change best practices and the importance of the change team partnership, check out the Avaap Change Academy’s Change Management for Project Managers workshop.
Judith Schouten is a principal consultant in Avaap’s change management practice. She is a certified change management professional (CCMP) and certified Avaap Change Lead experienced in helping organizations transform. Judith specializes in readiness, change engagement, project management, decision governance, communications, and change leader coaching.