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The Importance of Sourcing a Professional Change Manager


Monday, 16th February 2015 at 9:45 am
Xavier Smerdon, Journalist
With changes in legislation, pressure from the commercial sector and expanding demands from the community sector, Not for Profits are coming under intense pressure to review and transform their organisational processes and frameworks, which will require extensive change management writes project management expert Ed Jeffers.

Monday, 16th February 2015
at 9:45 am
Xavier Smerdon, Journalist


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The Importance of Sourcing a Professional Change Manager
Monday, 16th February 2015 at 9:45 am

With changes in legislation, pressure from the commercial sector and expanding demands from the community sector, Not for Profits are coming under intense pressure to review and transform their organisational processes and frameworks, which will require extensive change management writes project management expert Ed Jeffers.

With the NFP environment experiencing so much rapid change, organisations must learn to become comfortable accept the coming and inevitable transformation. Therefore, the ability to manage and adapt to organisational change is an essential ability required in the today’s environment. Yet, major and rapid organisational change is profoundly difficult because the structure, culture, and routines of organisations often reflect a persistent and difficult-to-remove "imprint"  of  historical characteristics, which are resistant to radical change or in some cases any change at all.

Choosing what changes to implement

When determining which of the latest techniques, business processes, or innovations to adopt, there are four major factors to be considered:

  • Levels, goals, and strategies

  • Measurement system

  • Sequence of steps

  • Implementation and organisational change

Managing the change process

Regardless of the many types of organisational change, the critical aspect is an organisations ability to win the buy-in of their organisation’s employees (and/or board) on the change.

Effectively managing organisational change is a four-step process:

  1. Recognising the changes in the broader business environment

  2. Developing the necessary adjustments for their organisations needs

  3. Training their employees on the appropriate changes

  4. Winning the support of the employees and management with the persuasiveness of the appropriate adjustments

As a multi-disciplinary practice that has evolved as a result of scholarly research, organisational change management should begin with a systematic diagnosis (RACI) of the current situation in order to determine both the need for change and the capability to change. The objectives, content, and process of change should all be specified as part of a Change Management plan.

Successful change management is more likely to occur if the following are included:

  • Benefits management and realisation to define measurable stakeholder aims, create a business case for their achievement (which should be continuously updated), and monitor assumptions, risks, dependencies, costs, return on investment, dis-benefits and cultural issues affecting the progress of the associated work

  • Effective communication that informs various stakeholders of the reasons for the change (why?), the benefits of successful implementation (what is in it for us, and you) as well as the details of the change (when? where? who is involved? how much will it cost? etc.)

  • Devise an effective education, training and/or skills upgrading scheme for the organisation

  • Counter resistance from the employees of companies and align them to overall strategic direction of the organisation

  • Provide personal counseling (if required) to alleviate any change-related fears

  • Monitoring of the implementation and fine-tuning as required

These are several reasons why change management is becoming an increasingly important business process. When you're attempting to reshuffle your organisation to ensure it survives into the future, it can be helpful to enlist the help of an external professional change manager to guide you through the process.

What to look for in a change manager

  • Clear, consistent communication

  • Change can bring uncertainty to even the most well-prepared organisations, so it's important that a change manager is able to keep everyone on the same page at all times.

  • Employees should be alerted to impending changes as soon as possible so they have time to get ready, and communication should be maintained in every step of the project to eliminate inconsistencies.

  • Alignment with the vision

  • Change management is all about re-organising a business so it is best prepared for the future.

  • An effective change manager should therefore be able to ensure an organisations vision and values can help it survive and prosper in the future, outlining the best possible way to lead the organisation forwards.

  • Create a compelling case

  • Every change in an organisation's structure brings with it potential risks, and change managers must be able to clearly articulate why such measures must be taken.

  • They must have the ability to convince both upper management and employees across the organisation why the change they propose is required. This could be the most important assignment/appointment for any organisational or transformation endeavor.

About the author: Ed Jeffers is the founder and Managing Director of the EDGE Plus Network which is the largest networks of Project Managers and Project Practitioners in Australia with over 1100+ members. He can be reached at ej@edgeplus.com.au or 0404 835 176.


Xavier Smerdon  |  Journalist |  @XavierSmerdon

Xavier Smerdon is a journalist specialising in the Not for Profit sector. He writes breaking and investigative news articles.

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