Adrian Jeffers is part of Condeco’s Project Management team, overseeing employees in our London office on a daily basis. Adrian is a qualified project and programme manager, with 15 years of experience, across a variety of industries. Adrian kindly spent five minutes with us, using his expertise to explain two of the core elements of change management in the workplace:
Change champions play a huge part in the success of any change within the workplace, so what advice can you offer when implementing change champions into their projects?
Change champions should come from departments affected by the change, and must have a clear understanding of the project and its objectives. They should be actively involved as part of the project team, enabling them to be excellent evangelists of the planned benefits of the change. Change champions need to be sensitive to both the positive and negative impact of change – for example, a new IT solution that brings efficiencies and reduces the time of a particular task may mean that three staff have to re-train in a new field.
A change champion needs to feedback this information to the project manager, and be active in managing negativity. Change champions should always be fully briefed by the PM, so that they can confidently sell the projects benefits, and allay any perceived fears. To be successful, change champions must not only feedback to the PM, but also to the groups they engage with; their communication needs to be bi-directional and consistent throughout the project.
The end user
Introducing change to a business, whether a process or a new technology, always has a big impact on the end user – so, what is the first step to ensuring people understand the steps involved?
The first step to understanding is communication; the project manager should be responsible for all elements of a project, including the communications plan, which they are then free to delegate this to member of the project team. Stakeholders need to be established and grouped accordingly; some may be affected, but hold no influence, while others may have significant influence within the company’s ecosystem. Each group could require a different communication plan, so plan accordingly. Influential senior stakeholders could also require regular face-to-face communication, while groups of less importance can receive updates and communication in a more informal fashion, like via an internal communication platform.
To ensure all end users understand the process, it’s particularly helpful for the project manager to share plans, regular updates, progress and most importantly the benefits, on a regular basis, to everyone. The PM must also clearly understand the impact of internal communication via external communication; communication within the project team will often contain detailed and sensitive information about the project including financial information, and while some of this information may need to be shared with finance stakeholders, it won’t be for suitable for all end users.