Change is good: managing Change Saturation

Slalom Consulting Roger Kastner

Roger Kastner

It’s probably an all-too familiar scenario at your organization: multiple internal initiatives happening at once, and often competing with each other, falling on the shoulders of stressed-out employees. As new initiatives get added to the heap, productivity—not to mention morale—suffers. Read more of this post

Change is good: L is for leadership courage

Slalom Consulting Roger Kastner

Roger Kastner

Successful change occurs when sponsors are actively engaged and committed to the change.

I recently conducted a Change Success Factor survey where 71% of the respondents said that active and engaged sponsorship is the #1 success factor for change projects. Interestingly, the next highest identified factor, change leadership, weighed in at 47% of the vote. Clearly, active and engaged sponsorship is the unanimous, crowd-favorite success factor. Read more of this post

Change is Good: Change Factor Survey results

Roger Kastner

Roger Kastner

On October 24, I had the privilege of speaking at the ACMP Pacific Northwest Regional Network’s Change Connect 2013 Symposium. My presentation highlighted the value of identifying the factors that increase the likelihood of successful outcomes and how to turn those factors into a Change Success Checklist. Read more of this post

Why Projects Succeed: Checklist for Change

Slalom Consulting Roger Kastner

Roger Kastner

This October, I will be presenting “Why Change Management Projects Succeed” at the ACMP Pacific Northwest Regional Network’s Change Symposium. My presentation highlights the value of identifying the factors that increase the likelihood of project success, and then I’ll share how to turn those factors into a Project Success Checklist and embed them into your project plans. Read more of this post

Why Projects Succeed: Organizational Change Management

Slalom Consulting Roger Kastner

Roger Kastner

Is change management or project management more critical to project success?

Before you answer, let me tell you about two examples that might impact your response.

Like many of you, I’ve been on a few projects where I was able to appropriately set and deliver on expectations on scope, schedule, and budget (“on time, on budget, high five!”), only to have the end product of the project be a big fat zero in the marketplace. Read more of this post

Change Is Good: J Is for Justification

Slalom Consulting Roger Kastner

A Consultant Manager with Slalom Consulting, Roger works with clients and other consultants in the delivery of Organizational Effectiveness and Project Leadership services and helps practitioners achieve greater success than previously possible.

Recently, a coworker asked me, “How do you explain the value of change management to senior leadership? You know, explain why change management is important?” As if it were a game of Name that Tune I responded, “I can justify change management in three letters: R-O-I.”

The response was similar to when I talk to a Labrador Retriever: the head cocks to one side, the ears perk up, and the eyes light up with anticipation.

So I provided a little more explanation. “Project management is all about setting, managing, and delivering on expectations of scope, schedule, and budget, and all that work constitutes the investment, or ‘I,’ in the Return on Investment calculation. The return, however, is based on the adoption of the solution created by the project. Therefore, change management is all about optimizing the ‘R’ in the ROI calculation.”

The Labrador expression turned into one of comprehension, and my colleague responded with, “Got it. That’s perfect, thanks!” She then created a PowerPoint slide with just the three letters “R-O-I” as the basis for her upcoming formal request for funding a change management effort.

Just like any investment an organization makes, the justification for the change should be rooted in quantifiable, measurable benefits to the organization. Read more of this post

Change Is Good: I Is for Integrity

Slalom Consulting Roger Kastner

A Consultant Manager with Slalom Consulting, Roger works with clients and other consultants in the delivery of Organizational Effectiveness and Project Leadership services and helps practitioners achieve greater success than previously possible.

Several years ago I worked for a large, matrixed company that was going through some restructuring, which included the centralization of a couple program management offices (meaning that my boss had a new boss). The new boss’s boss came out to our campus to hold her first all-hands where she was attempting to build enthusiasm for her new organization.

In her presentation, she used a drawing of an iceberg to illustrate that she was aware that 3/4s of what a project manager does is not visible to all stakeholders, thus potentially creating a lack of appreciation for the work we do. But she was different—she appreciated the full course of work we did and it was her number-one priority to help the larger organization have a better appreciation for project management.

Unfortunately, her message was lost at sea. You see, behind the iceberg, there was a ship labeled with the company’s name. While she was attempting to articulate an appreciation for her new team, the message received was that project management was going to do to the company what an iceberg did to the Titanic. Read more of this post

Change Is Good: H Is for Habit

Slalom Consulting Roger Kastner

A Consultant Manager with Slalom Consulting, Roger works with clients and other consultants in the delivery of Organizational Effectiveness and Project Leadership services and helps practitioners achieve greater success than previously possible.

I love witnessing personal transformations.

This is why I enjoy watching the Ironman competition and “The Biggest Loser.” Ultimately, it’s the moment when one realizes that
what was once perceived as impossible is now achievable. It’s breaking the habit of doubt, and creating a new habit of possibility.

For me, this moment came when I ran my first marathon, something that I once believed was ridiculous and impossible. After I completed my first 26.2 mile race, it still seemed ridiculous, but it was now my new reality. My new habit is that now when something is said to be impossible, the voice in my head says, “Oh really? Let’s see about that.”

Occasionally I’ll come across advice from other change practitioners that one should “not attempt to change culture.” While I understand that the undertaking of changing culture is not easy, I don’t think it’s as impossible as some might think. In fact, we witness cultural changes all the time, so I do not accept the guidance to “not try to change culture,” but instead I take the advice as a warning and acknowledgement that just like a marathon, it’s not easy but it is doable. Read more of this post

Change Is Good: G Is for the Golden Rule

Slalom Consulting Roger Kastner

A Consultant Manager with Slalom Consulting, Roger works with clients and other consultants in the delivery of Organizational Effectiveness and Project Leadership services and helps practitioners achieve greater success than previously possible.

A colleague told me about a technique he learned at a workshop that calls out the inherent unfairness of not engaging individuals prior to rolling out a change which has a significant impact on them. The technique is brilliant:

  1. Ask participants to pull out their wallet and pass it to the person on their right.
  2. Participant #2 will then go through the wallet and determine what Participant #1 truly needs and does not need in their wallet.
  3. Then Participant #2 hands the wallet back to Participant #1 for future use.

The point of this technique is to demonstrate how change feels to most people who are not engaged in the development of the change or how it is implemented, and if you are like most people who I’ve shared this with, you are probably feeling a little uncomfortable at the thought of being a participant in this exercise. Read more of this post

Why Projects Succeed: The Right Resources

Slalom Consulting Roger Kastner

A Consultant Manager with Slalom Consulting, Roger works with clients and other consultants in the delivery of Organizational Effectiveness and Project Leadership services and helps practitioners achieve greater success than previously possible.

Project success is dependent on having the right resources, doing the right work at the right time. Presuming that the successful Project Manager will have shepherded the process to identify the appropriate scope and aligned the critical path and schedule dependencies, let’s talk about having the right people assigned and performing the work.

The right resources will have three characteristics: capability, experience, and motivation. In other words, they can do the work, they’ve done similar work before, and they’re inspired to succeed.

Capability
When identifying scope and associated tasks and deliverables, the successful Project Manager will also ensure that appropriate resource capabilities are identified. By identifying the correct resource requirements, the successful Project Manager will be able to request the correct resources. Read more of this post

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