It was a problem in search of a solution.
For Project Managers, the problem ‘bubbles
up’ at an awful moment of realisation.
The new technology the project is installing and which will rely on collaboration
and information sharing to deliver business benefits – is incompatible with
your client’s business culture.
could it have come to this and what do you do?
Compartmentalise the problem by calling it ‘out of scope’ or tell your
client the truth – that their business won’t get a ‘bang for their buck’ from
their investment because the culture gap is just too big to cross.
It was during one of those discussions among peers that a ‘cut
through’ insight about the problem came from an Enterprise Architect. “Why can’t change and benefits be integrated into
enterprise architecture before the project starts, and before the influence of
silo thinking and competing mindsets takes hold?
The chain of ideas was continued by a Change Manager and an IT
Benefits Manager. “Of course, integrating enterprise architecture and benefits goals
would have a deeper and more effective impact on project viability, and it makes
a lot of sense to assess cultural compatibility well before the project starts”.
to a more focussed discussion within the broader peer group about what this approach
to change would look like, how it would fit together, how it could reduce risk
and whether we could be certain that the problem IT Project Managers agonize
over - and which our group had spent the best part of a month talking about – could
This in turn led to a realisation that we should
develop these ideas further.
And so this is what I found myself doing in my
spare time, contributing towards developing a better and more viable approach
to change management in a project environment.
|Chain of Collaboration.|
The discussion did not take place in a workshop or a business
Architect was in Montreal, Canada, the Change Manager and the Benefits Manager were
in Brisbane, Australia.
and reviewers were from Canada, United States, South Africa and the
It happened in one of those
virtual networking spaces that we are increasingly gravitating towards to meet
peers, build networks and collaborate around common interests - the linkedin
group for change management practitioners.
These collaborations are commonplace nowadays.
New communities, causes and peer groups are formed
everyday because technology enables it.
The tools we have at our finger tips are cheap,
quick and effective.
And we like the
speed at which we can connect, review others work, give feedback on ideas and
contribute to innovation.
out as a professional networking space has literally exploded into a place of
marketplace of ideas, debate and opportunity.
I started taking cautious steps in this world, which led to
more experimentation from increased confidence.
Here you interact, share ideas and participate
in two-way communication.
It takes a
leap of faith to do this with people you’ve never met.
But my experiences so far have taught me that
the bad’s co-exist with the good’s.
takes a constant effort, misunderstandings are frequent and disengagement is frustrating.
Continued engagement is vital, because
without it, people do not share information freely or offer up the ideas needed
to drive new thinking about the problems and challenges we face as
After each interaction, I resolve to get better
at virtual communication. I like being part of this world and am relaxed
about where collaboration leads. I am also
curious about what it takes to build a cohesive team in cyberspace, a team that
is robust enough to work through its creative tension and build the trust needed
to keep engaged as volunteers. So I keep
engaged – contribute, learn, extend my network and try different things – some work
and some don’t. But I know we are a team and I feel confident that
our work will contribute something important to the body of change management
- Janet Crews Senior Consultant - Information Professionals
Janet is a storied, qualified, change management professional, with many years of both commercial and government based experience.
You can connect with or find out more about Janet on linkedin: au.linkedin.com/pub/janet-crews/6/900/907
Labels: Business Culture, Change, Change Management, Change Manager, Enterprise Architecture, ICT, IT, Janet Crews, Linkedin, Project Management, Project Manager