We asked one of our division managers, Scott Major, PMP, CLSS, CCMP to provide some insights on his experience and journey to becoming a certified, organizational change management specialist.
Can you describe your role at Management Solutions?
I am a Division Manager, who is responsible for the amazing people and clients for the Management Services division of Management Solutions. Our division uses competencies in project management, process improvement, and organizational change management amongst others to provide solutions to our clients’ complex needs. Much of the work that I do day to day involves being a practitioner of those competencies to best serve my clients.
How did you get started in organizational change management?
The short answer is that if you are involved in any type of organizational change, you are involved in change management, you just might not be optimizing that capability. Organizational change management, a lot like project management, is something many of us are already doing whether we are formally trained or call ourselves change managers. I was certified as a Change Manager by Prosci® in 2019. According to PMI, projects were only delivered on time 53 percent of the time and within budget 59 percent of the time. Having been involved in project management for over 15 years, it was easy to see that most of the challenges associated with delivering projects on time and on budget centered around people-related issues. This led me to the realization that I must do something different to expect a better result. Organizational change management was a logical choice since it is focused on the people side of change.
What backgrounds and skills do you think help make organizational change practitioners successful?
Individuals with an achiever mindset and who are outcome-oriented will excel in an organizational change management role. Having the skills to develop process improvement and project management plans are key in any organizational change program as they are both outcome oriented.
I could make an entire list of skills that I think are important, but I think the most important skill is empathy. If I can appreciate what you are going through as an individual, then I am better prepared to help you transition through a change. Communicating, being transparent and bold, driving others to succeed, and anticipating resistance are also strong skills that a change manager would need to be successful.
Can you share a time when you helped your organization or one of your clients through an organizational change management program? If so, what was the outcome?
Most recently, a client decided to make a significant change in how their site managed outages at a very large facility. The client had recently discovered the benefits of applying a standard for organizational change management and they were looking for support for this particular initiative. Most projects or business initiatives involve a change to people, processes, tools, or some combination of the three. In this case, we were chartered to optimize a new process and tool. Initially, we performed an assessment of their change magnitude, and the organizational preparedness to take on and manage the change. This assessment gave us the insight needed to develop organizational change management plans to lead us through the personal side of change, but more importantly, it helped us focus on areas of strength to leverage and areas of risk to mitigate. We executed the initiative as a project and integrated the organizational change management plans with the project management plans. We ultimately delivered the project scope on time and within budget. However, most people that study change management recognize that change does not stop when the project ends. We know that the change must be reinforced to sustain the change and ultimately be successful.
Where do you see yourself going next on your change practitioner journey?
I think that businesses today are consumed and essentially tapped out, too busy to deliver on the strategies that they plan. I also strongly believe there is a synergy between project management, change management, and process improvement that leads to better outcomes. I want to continue to optimize my delivery and integration of those three competencies together to provide solutions for our clients that need solutions for implementation on their well-intended plans.