Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Change Management Is Not Everyone's Cup Of Tea

#SridharPeddisetty #ChangeManagement #Management #Project #BestPractices #Agile #ProjectManagement 

There's an old sea story about a ship's Captain who inspected his sailors, and afterward told the first mate that his men smelled bad. The Captain suggested perhaps it would help if the sailors would change underwear occasionally. The first mate responded, "Aye, aye sir, I'll see to it immediately!" and went straight to the sailors berth deck and announced, "The Captain thinks you guys smell bad and wants you to change your underwear." He continued, "Pittman, you change with Jones, McCarthy, you change with Witkowski, and Brown, you change with Schneider."
Moral of the story: 
Someone may come along and promise "Change", but don't count on things smelling any better.
Whether your Organization is using Agile or Iterative or Traditional methodology to deliver services to its customers, Change Management is a key component to ensure alignment of plan with strategic objectives. Change Management is a structured approach comprising of an approval process, which allows a change request to move through a series of approval stages to ensure that the lasting benefits of change are achieved. Organizations still struggle to implement a robust Change Management process vetting out the changes as they ought to be.
Common pitfalls seen in Change Management process include

  1. People are not very receptive to expect change. Either there is not a good process to identify and report change or enough stakeholders are not involved early enough to vet out the change. 
  2. More often than not, necessary ‘Change Impact Analysis’ is not performed to truly understand the impact of a ‘Change’ and how its aligned with the strategic objectives of an Organization. 
  3. Project plans are not always changed to reflect the impact of a change, which could effect overall schedule, cost and likely result in scope creep. 
  4. If the project plans are changed, they are not communicated to all project stakeholders to ensure everyone are aware of the change, its likely impact and seek approvals. 
  5. Weigh the priorities of the change with the tasks in pipeline, aligning with strategic objectives of the Organization 

Below is a pictorial depiction of a simple 'Change Management' process


Presently all Organizations are growing through a disruptive phase whether its technology transformation, changing customer demographics, challenging economic times, etc. In this phase, It is an organization's ability to learn and translate that learning into action rapidly, which gives it the ultimate competitive advantage. In other words, sustaining success depends on an organization’s ability to adapt to a changing environment. Implementing a robust Change Management reduces disruptive aspects and emphasizes positive opportunities in the change process. 
In my future blog posts, I will be sharing how specifically to plan Change Management in an Enterprise Agile setup. 
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