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November 2009
Effective Change Management in Today’s Marketplace
By T.J. Eberle

     Change is key to success in today’s recovering marketplace, but determining what it is you need to change and how to get there can be a puzzle. The best formula to effectively manage and deliver change while minimizing obstacles and diffusing resistance is to integrate the change across three dimensions—people, process and technology—through the principle of Portfolio Management.

     Portfolio Management is the practice of managing, aligning and optimizing multiple independent programs to improve an organization’s performance, focusing on measurable benefits and returns. It is the center of the puzzle to which all other pieces connect. This concept delivers change using the facilitating “tools” of program management and project management, stakeholder management and communications, process excellence, and training.

     Program Management and Project Management are the second pieces of the puzzle. Program management selects the best mix of projects to achieve desired objectives and deliver organizational and functional improvement. Project management executes flawless, consistent project delivery with a finite scope and duration. Focus on project-level execution by meeting goals, objectives, budgets and timelines to integrate these techniques.

     The next piece of the puzzle is Stakeholder Management and Communications, which facilitates the integration of people, process and technology. To effectively adopt change, identify the issues and impacts for each of your stakeholders. Target communications based on your stakeholders to proactively decrease the risk of resistance and increase the acceptance of your change initiatives.

     To survive today, an organization must have a goal of continuous Process Improvement, the fourth piece. By developing a more refined set of core business processes based on measurement systems, an organization can increase the quality of its products and services, while decreasing overall costs. Six sigma and total quality management (TQM) are common techniques used.

     The last piece of the puzzle is Training. Design and implement a comprehensive training strategy to ensure all employees acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to implement change. Leverage training as a stepping stone to success, allow employees to fully understand training requirements early in the process, align training with the communications strategy, and create opportunities for stakeholder engagement.

     These puzzle pieces represent tools necessary to manage change within your organization. Adopting the portfolio management philosophy will allow you to survive in challenging times and thrive in good times. Finding the right pieces for your organizational puzzle will enable you to plan, execute, track and effectively manage change that delivers results.

      T.J. Eberle is president and CEO of NouvEON, a regional business and technology consulting firm. Contact him at 704-944-3155 or visit www.NouvEON.com.

T.J. Eberle is president and CEO of NouvEON, a regional business and technology cunsulting firm.
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