The purpose of a change management office


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We all know that managing change is vital skill set. The pace of change has increased in parallel with the increasing complexity of organisations which is a product of the volume of new systems and new information we use to develop products and deliver services. The scope and variety of changes that we can choose to apply to improve how we do business means that increasingly we have to filter these opportunities to ensure that only the most viable; those offering the greatest benefits for the costs involved are actually implemented

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The purpose of a change management office

  1. 1. The purpose of a Change Management OfficeShare this eBook:
  2. 2. Overview We all know that managing change is a vital skill set. Changes result from new systems and new information we use to develop products and deliver services. This innovation is an unstoppable force, where inability to engage leads to business failure. However, innovation without a strong business case can also lead to failure so it is essential that we filter opportunities to ensure that only the most viable i.e.those offering the greatest benefits for the costs involved, are actually implemented. This decision making needs to happen within every department and management function and there needs to be a single, complete picture of change taking place across the whole organisation. This need has led many organisations to create a central information hub for change related information. In some organisations this hub is aligned to project management, and in others project management is seen as part of the skill-set but not the entire picture. In this paper I explore the functions and benefits of establishing an office that supports the implementation of change including the delivery of the components of change through effective project management, and the development of a network of skilled change managers who guide their colleagues through the process of changing their ways of working.2 Share this eBook:
  3. 3. The purpose of a Change Management OfficeThe purpose of a change management office The change management office answers(CMO) is to provide the organisation with questions including:a focal point for governing, structuring and • Are the changes planned and underwayimplementing change initiatives. This office capable of achieving the strategicprovides oversight of all change initiatives objectives?planned and underway and ensures each isdelivered effectively through the application • What other initiatives should be added to fillof a consistent methodology and performance any gaps between strategic ambition andmetrics. current changes? • What initiatives are failing to deliverThe CMO supports the decision making expected improvements?associated with evaluating proposals for • Should they be prematurely terminated?change and supports the delivery of thosethat are authorised. The users of this function • Should a task force be assigned to theirare a wide cross section of roles across the repair?organisation including those responsible for • How can we filter initiatives at the ideasstrategic planning, project managers and stage to prevent authorisation of thedepartmental managers and business leads wrong initiativeswhose work is impacted by the changes. • What steps in the decision making process can we remove or amend to increase theTo be effective the remit of the CMO must be speed of decision making?organisation-wide as change is rarely confinedto one area, and even small changes to arelatively self-contained process can haveknock on effects further in the customer journeythat must be understood and addressed.Organisations are complex systems wherethere is a high degree of interconnectivitybetween components and the boundary ofownership, especially of information, is hard toestablish. For this reason change cannot beimplemented using a silo-based approach andco-ordination and communication are criticalto success. Share this eBook: 3
  4. 4. BenefitsMany of the benefits of an effective ChangeManagement Office occur as a result ofimproved decision making on what changesto commit to, as a result of senior managershaving access to a complete picture ofwhat change is taking place and how thosechanges align to the strategic direction of theorganisation.Benefits at an organisation-wide level:• One source of reporting leads to more • Improved understanding of resource effective communication of issues, risks and requirements and allocation across change progress: initiatives, with the opportunity to build skills - Information gathering, analysing and and competencies through the application report creation takes less time as the of an organisation wide change processes for these activities are defined management method and understood by all those involved • Total cost of delivery of each change - The same information is gathered from initiative is reduced as the CMO is able each change initiative, speeding up the to achieve economies of scale across process of comparison and identification common change activities including of any work that falls outside of communication, implementation, planning, acceptable parameters risk analysis and project management• Development of a complete picture of all • By enabling true cost of delivery to be change taking place, at a functional and visible to the business, managers can organization wide level, enables much contribute more effectively to decisions on quicker identification of likely ‘change which changes to endorse and which to overload’ or destabilisation of the business put on hold as usual environment• An increase in the focus of how changes Benefits specific to change management are contributing to strategic direction initiatives: increases the speed at which senior • Reduction in number of external consultants managers can intervene to suspend or required to support change activities as the terminate initiatives that are not on course organisation develops capability internally to deliver their expected strategic benefits through the application of its change management method, guided by the CMO • The CMO acts as an internal consultancy service, supporting individual change managers, assuring the quality of their work and continuously improving the change management method • Reduction in the level of stress felt by those managing change as the CMO provides support, guidance and advice, facilitating solutions to issues that impede the progress of change4 Share this eBook:
  5. 5. Success criteria for a changemanagement office Sponsor is a board member/director responsible for strategy, change or projects Sponsor demonstrates commitment and enthusiasm Change information is reported by the CMO to the board on a regular and frequent basis The manager of the CMO has experience and knowledge of organisational change, portfolio, programme and project management and strategic planning There is a clear set of strategic objectives which is known and understood across the organisation CMO staff have high degree of practical experience in running change initiatives and have a strong skill set in project and change management methods and techniques The CMO defines and owns the organisational change framework and method and provides training in this to all relevant staff There are opportunities for those managing and impacting change to influence the way that the CMO operates through forums and regular discussions CMO staff build strong relationships with their stakeholders There is clarity over the remit of the CMO versus its key stakeholders including any Portfolio, Project or Programme offices (PMO), the corporate communications function, corporate risk management and audit functions, and the learning and development function Share this eBook: 5
  6. 6. Consideration when building a change management office There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution. The model that is right for your organisation will be a product of a number of factors including:  The scale of change that is taking place - if your organisation plans to undertake transformational change it is unlikely to be able to achieve its goals without multiple change projects in the majority of business functions which will require a higher degree of control than small scale incremental change that takes place within individual departments and teams  The existing level of structure for portfolio, programme and project management - if there is already an established PMO function then consider widening the CMO remit to include organisational change rather than building a separate change management office that may have to compete for similar resources  The level of maturity that exists within your organisation in its approach to change management – if organisation-wide change management framework, methodology, documentation and performance metrics are already defined, understood and successfully in use then the driving force of the CMO will be to exploit economies of scale and drive improvements in quality through a process of continuous improvement. If organisation wide change management does not yet exist, then the main function of the CMO will be to build this approach, educate users in its use and guide its application  The level of centralised control that your organisation wishes to apply to how changes are made in a distributed organisation, whilst change cannot be effected in a silo based approach, a great deal of decision making will be delegated across the business units so the role of the CMO will be information provision and co-ordination. In organisations where decision making is concentrated at board level or equivalent then the CMO will take the lead on information gathering from individual change managers and providing summary reports across all of the change initiatives6 Share this eBook:
  7. 7. Responsibilities of a change management officeOrganisation-wide change management methodcomprising core elements of best management practice:• Portfolio, programme and project management• Change management• Risk management• Benefits management Services • Quality assurance • Resource management and capacity planning • Financial planning and budgeting • Performance monitoring • Stakeholder engagement and communications • Definition of processes, tools and techniques • Support for individual change managers • Reporting to decision makers • Ownership, maintenance and dissemination of the organisation wide change plan • Risk and issue management across all change initiatives Central repository of information from all change managers Share this eBook: 7
  8. 8. Organisation As stated earlier in this paper there is no ‘one size fits all’ structure for CMOs, and this is reflected in the roles set out below which highlight the key responsibilities that a typical office would include, and is based on the example governance structure set out below: Change Management Office structure Board of Directors CMO Sponsor / Owner Change Management Office • IT Sharing specialist • Corporate • Process expert Communications knowledge • Risk and issues expert • Facilities Management CMO on the scope • Communications and impact of • Legal and Regulatory Manager expert change Service • Planning expert • Audit • Finance expert • Human ResourcesChange management Change information methodology, reported against documentation, pre-agreed guidance performance metrics Change managers and change teams located in departments and functions across the organisation8 Share this eBook:
  9. 9. Sponsor/Owner of the ChangeManagement OfficeThis role may be known as Director of Change CMO manageror Strategy, or Head of Organisational Change.The role is performed by a senior manager This role reports to the sponsor, and has linewho is responsible for the change agenda management authority for all those assigned tofor the organisation, which is driven by the the Change Management Office but will alsostrategic objectives set by the board or senior need the confidence and support of all thosemanagement team. The sponsor owns the change managers supported by the CMO.blueprint for how the organisation is expectedto evolve over time, which is devised from The level of authority needed by the CMOfunctional strategies and plans including the manager is dependent upon the remit ofIT architecture plan, the facilities plan, sales the function. For example, if the changeforecasts and market analysis and operational management office is responsible for ensuringplans. The sponsor is responsible for reporting that the change management methodologyprogress against the change agenda to the is applied to all initiatives irrespective of whichboard or senior management team using function is funding them, then the Managerthe information provided by the Change will need the authority to insist on use of theManagement Office. method, and have the support of the Sponsor to address those that are not applying thisThis reporting means the sponsor has oversight organisation wide approach. If the CMO isof all the change initiatives that are planned a central information hub then the Managerand underway and provides a summary of how must have the authority to request progress, riskthe totality of change is impacting the day-to- and issue information from all those within theday operational capability of the organisation. organisation who are running change projects,The sponsor draws attention to the risks and programmes or other initiatives.issues associated with the totality of changeand will require decisions to be taken aboutthe results to date and any re-prioritisingof initiatives that senior colleagues feel isnecessary to achieve strategic objectives. Share this eBook: 9
  10. 10. CMO staff:Process expert – this role may be performed Planning expert – whilst individual changeby those with business analysis skills. The role managers will identify the change activitiesacts as a source of information about end- relevant to their work, there is a need to collateto-end processes across the organisation, all of this activity across the organisation andpinpointing where change in one area can be able to understand how much is changing,impact systems, processes, inputs, outputs and where and for how long so that the risk ofbehaviours in other areas destabilising the ability of the organisation to deliver ‘business as usual’ is understood. ThisRisk and issues expert – this role is responsible role requires excellent technical estimating,for the identification, analysis and definition scheduling and resource management skills.of responses to risks and issues that havethe capability to prevent change being Finance expert – although many changesimplemented successfully. A key aspect of this are made at a micro level to the way inrole is information sharing as risks and issues which individuals work, there is still a need tooccurring in one change initiative might also identify the required funding for system andapply to other initiatives of which the relevant infrastructure acquisition, loss of productivitychange managers need to be made aware. and back-filling of roles during periods ofThis role has a coaching element as it is in the change. Decision makers need a clear pictureinterests of the organisation to develop an of the expected budgetary impact of changeability to analyse and situations for potential and the progress of change initiatives againstand actual impediments and have the this budget. This role requires excellent financialconfidence to define actions to address them planning and control skills.before they harm the progress of the plannedchange activities.Communications expert – change requireseveryone to be aware of what is changing,when and how so this role is central toensuring all stakeholders are fully informedand engaged with the changes that matterto them. This role requires creativity andinnovation to get the messages across to ahigh number of individuals, often when theyare very busy and have little time for taking innew information.10 Share this eBook:
  11. 11. Biography:Melanie FranklinMelanie has an impressive track record in the successful realisation of business changeprogrammes across private and public sector organisations. She is the founder and ChiefExecutive of Maven Training and is highly experienced in the delivery of board level guidanceand mentoring.She takes a very practical approach to change, programme and project management withpriority on the realisation of planned benefits, working closely with her client base to ensure thatthe desire to implement best practice does not result in bureaucracy for its own sake. Eachsolution that Melanie proposes to clients is based on sound practical advice and experience withguidance on how it is likely to be received by staff, how resistance to change can be overcomeand how stakeholders can be engaged from the outset.Melanie is a talented communicator and has a reputation for delivering complex information withhumour and passion. She draws on her wealth of practical experience to illustrate concepts andto engage her audience in lively debates on advantages and disadvantages of each approachthat she outlines.Melanie is the author of a number of books and whitepapers about project and changemanagement including the recently launched Managing Business Transformation: A PracticalGuide.11 Share this eBook:
  12. 12. For further information about Maven Training please contact: Melanie Franklin Telephone: 020 7403 7100e-mail: Follow us on: Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Slideshare YouTube Scribd Share this eBook: 12