As we are halfway through the year I have been reviewing the paper I wrote about trends in Change Management for 2018. I think some of my predictions are coming true and some of them have evolved so thought you might enjoy this interim status report!
Explaining the value of change management
The measures to track if our change activities are working continues to develop. I am asked to develop a suite of measures to track awareness, participation and adoption prior to measuring the financial benefits of what has changed as a regular part of my assignments now.
This links to role of Sponsor, with increasing awareness from senior managers and executives that sponsoring a change initiative is different to sponsoring a project. The questions they have to ask to track progress and detect issues are more centred on how people feel about the new ways of working and how many are participating in creating them, practising and implementing them, rather than a simple review of a plan to see what has been ticked off.
Further integration with other disciplines
Probably the closest links are being forged with those responsible for Portfolio Management as there is increasing awareness that understanding the full scale of the all the change initiatives taking place is an essential tool in being able to manage the high volumes of change that organisations are committed to.
I think running a close second is the recognition that project management and change management need to collaborate, and the interest by forward thinking Project Managers that change management is an important skill for them. I am seeing an increased willingness by project teams to be involved in the identification and planning of the activities the business need to carry out if the project deliverables are to be successfully adopted.
Increasing maturity of change management
I chaired a session of change professionals recently, who identified that the role of central change teams needs to evolve. There is still a need to provide guidance on how to manage change, but these central teams of change experts need to concentrate on transferring their skills to the wider population within their organisation. They need to facilitate the planning of change activities by the business, so they are doing change to themselves and not having it done to them. The reasons for these changes link directly to the volume of change initiatives, and the impossibility of a central team controlling everything.
This links to other work I have done this year on democratising change management, where organisations are keen to build networks of volunteers to lead the change within their teams, and to build these networks early in the life of the transformation. Increasingly it is how these networks are supported and encouraged that forms the responsibilities of a central team of change managers.
Change Management is an evolving profession, we continue to develop our techniques and our approaches in a world where the pace of change is increasing in speed. Do you agree with these predictions/trends? I would love to hear your comments so please share your thoughts.