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“Shelley Sweet was recommended to me at a time when I was seeking professional assistance to lead the District in the development of a strategic plan. It was a fortunate meeting – with Shelley’s experience and guidance we were able to assemble a broad range of community members to form a design team. The team participated in a series of activities to assess, discuss, and develop the outcomes to create the classroom of the future. Under Shelley’s leadership, the design team was able to propose to the Board of Education, seven completed “initiatives” that would provide the course of action to realize the District’s vision.”

John Deasy
Superintendent of Schools (former)
Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District


When Should Organizational Change Management Start Part 2

Org change jumping fish AMNow let’s take these frameworks and relate them to the stages of a BPI effort.  (Part 1 of this blog looked at the change journey from a personal standpoint.)

BPM:BPI Methodology-Color-orange-blue

A BPI project begins with working with the Executive Sponsor, Process Owner, Project Lead, and BPM Facilitator to develop a charter that will provide project scope, process improvement goals, baseline measures and team members to work the project.  During the charter formation the leaders list the key challenges they see in the process today, communicate the business case and why it is important for the business to make improvements to this process now.  The Project Lead (a key manager who works the process and is a subject matter expert) should add to the challenges of the Process Owner. The joint charter formation creates a focus for the project, builds alignment around the current situation and articulates the expected outcomes for the project. 

In the Change Management framework below created by organization development consultant Anna Ewins, the Executive Sponsor and Process Owner, who have identified the need for the project have already moved to Exploration, but they are ahead of the Project Lead and other managers and employees. The charter helps the Project Lead and BPM Facilitator move toward exploration. 

Strategies for Managing Change Corporate Anna E. AMThen the Process Owner and Project Lead start the change process with the team members when they ask team members to join the BPI team.  Then at the kickoff meeting, the team members (These are additional subject matter experts(SME) who work in the process, an IT person, data person, and a maverick.) review the Charter, see the high level process model and add to the list of challenges.  The Process Owner reviews their SME roles for this BPI effort and acknowledges their value to the company in doing the process today.  The Process Owner thanks each team member for helping to study the process and to make it better, as the SMEs on the team know the real work of the process and will have helpful recommendations.

The team members are probably in resistance at this stage.  The charter and kickoff meeting acknowledge their concerns and incorporate their feedback into the charter.   Then as the Project Lead, BPM Facilitator and team members begin Process Discovery techniques such as developing the As Is Swim Lane process model, and using the I-4 Lists give them a chance to voice complaints by recognizing issues and improvement ideas.  The Swim Lane diagram provides a visual method of seeing how the whole process works together, including the part that each SME completes in their individual role.  This is a method to reframe the situation for the team, moving from a problem with mistakes, blame, and lack of accountability to a process with many steps where different roles are contributing to the whole process which they can see in the Swim Lane process model.

During Process Analysis the team members use other analytical techniques to gather data and metrics, hear the voice of the customer, identify wastes and inefficiencies.  The team begins to see common problem areas and issues at different steps or subprocesses in the process. They are learning the skills of process improvement.  They should identify some quick wins and implement them early on (after three to four meetings) in the BPI project.  They are being engaged and their ideas are valued.  All of these elements move them into exploration.

And after modeling the current state and analyzing it using the relevant techniques, it is time to formulate the Future State, or how the team wants the process to be in the new design.  Of course this new design needs to meet the improvement goals set by the Process Owner, respond to the voice of the customer, and have metrics showing the improvements over the baseline data.  (All of these are now part of the charter.) This stage is part of commitment.  Commitment also goes farther; it includes socializing the new design with other employees and managers, the implementation plan, identifying data to track to monitor the level of success after implementation, and determining data continue to ensure results are maintained.

Yet, the project stage of implementation is not the beginning of the Change Management Plan.  Identifying and engaging the leaders and team at the beginning of the BPI project enable early and ongoing communication, establish advocacy for the project, and build involvement and reality into the project for leaders and employees who are team members.  That means when the BPI gets to implementation there already is a strong foundation of Change Management.  Then implementation takes it to its next stages, expanding the stakeholder groups  that will be involved.  But many of the stakeholders have already had communication and engagement about the project with the BPI leaders and team members.  This does not mean that there will be no resistance, but some managers and employees many have worked through denial and even resistance, instead of just beginning during implementation.  So start Organizational Change Management early and have a plan to follow during all the stages of the BPI Project.    





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2 comments to When Should Organizational Change Management Start Part 2

  • […] a great article about Change Management in Business Process Improvement (BPI) projects: part 1, part 2.Shelly refers to Anna Ewins, who adapted the famous Elisabeth Kubler-Ross stages of people’s […]

  • Brian E

    This is such an important topic and I’m glad to see it covered here! As a change practitioner, I am too often brought into a project that is ready for implementation, but no one has yet thought of how this will impact those involved. Unfortunately, this often means that the particular change hasn’t been thoroughly vetted to ensure it can or will be well adopted. Additionally, in these situations, people often only see change management as a means to deliver training and communications, which results in missed opportunities to add value to a project by incorporating the “human perspective” early in the game! Hopefully this message will resonate with anyone tackling a new process improvement project, as the potential value-add is tremendous!

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