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: tell us how change saturation affects your organization

Slalom Consulting Roger Kastner

Roger Kastner

Are employees in your organization being impacted from too much change?

Through our many discussions with clients, we hear employees talk about the overwhelming amount of changes being rolled out at their organizations, and their genuine concern about “keeping up.” We also hear from many organizational leaders who are struggling to balance the demand for faster results and improved performance with their ability to lead their people through the seemingly endless cycle of change. Now we’d like to hear from you about your experience with change saturation. 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

Change Is Good: K Is for Keep It Super Simple

Slalom Consultant Roger Kastner

Roger Kastner

In a famous episode of the sitcom series Seinfield, the father of one of the main characters, Frank Costanza, received the therapeutic advice to say “serenity, now” whenever a situation caused his blood pressure to suddenly rise. However, instead of using a calming voice to repeat the mantra, the joke was that he screamed the mantra, obliterating any possible soothing benefit.

For many change leaders as well as recipients of change, the urge to scream “Serenity, now!” might be commonplace. And just like Mr. Constanza creating and escalating his own maddening situations, many change leaders do the same thing by attempting to drive too much change, too fast, and with not enough support to make it successful.

Serenity now, indeed. 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

Why Projects Succeed: Fostering Joint Accountability

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.

Imagine this—an organization that celebrates its successes, both large and small, and also embraces its failures, so that it rewards the wins and reinforces a culture of learning and improvement. In this organization, individuals will identify others’ contributions to success and will also freely stand up to take personal responsibility for their contributions when things go wrong.

Sounds like a utopian workplace that only exists in management philosophy books, right?

Well, maybe it is Pollyanna-ish to presume that a culture of accountability is possible within a large organization. Maybe it is unlikely that leaders who rely on punishment as their form of accountability, or lack the skills and knowledge of what accountability truly means, can repeatedly demonstrate strong and healthy accountability behavior.

However, as a successful project manager, accountability is a key behavior you want your team members and stakeholders to embrace and exhibit. And if you are fortunate enough to be able to select team members and stakeholders who already act with accountability, you are living the good life. But for the rest of us, we need to be proactive in fostering joint accountability amongst the team, as this is how the best teams coalesce, compete, and succeed together.

The successful project manager establishes and cultivates a team culture of joint accountability, which results in a culture of winning. 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

Why Projects Succeed: Take Corrective Action

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.

Everyone has a plan, until they get punched in the mouth.” —Mike Tyson

Maybe you’ve heard the project manager axiom “plan the work, work the plan,” which suggests there’s value in both creating a plan and then closely managing that plan. But to Mike Tyson’s point, shouldn’t you also have a plan for when the original plan unexpectedly doesn’t work?

I’ve had the privilege to speak to over 1,000 practitioners over the years at project management presentations and classes, and in almost every instance I ask each audience to, “raise your hand if you’ve ever been on a project that did not have some unforeseen problem knock the project sideways to the point of putting the objectives at significant risk?” How many hands do you think I’ve seen over the years?

(Well, OK, there was one, but the person was referring to a two-week “project.” So I’ve learned to phrase the question differently.) Read more of this post

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