We explain how collaboration between your enterprise change management office and your program management office can streamline your strategic portfolio.
We’ve all been there – most of the projects you lead include multiple stakeholders’ expectations for how the project will cause change. Even a simple process improvement requires people to adapt how they work.
Experts have widely documented and shared the benefits of organizational change management (OCM) to facilitate employees through the change (see Prosci’s article: 7 Compelling Reasons for Deploying Change Management).
But how often do companies integrate their program management office (PMO) resources and enterprise change management office (CMO) priorities to drive integrated strategic outcomes and adoption? How many projects have you been on or led where people only considered organizational change management after the implementation went poorly? Consider how much more successful your projects and strategic portfolio would be if your company incorporated change activities at the formation of the effort.
Let’s consider the benefits of pairing program management and change management.
PMO and CMO Together in Practice
Recently, at a Fortune 500 financial services company, their PMO engaged with their CMO team to mitigate a visibility gap. Quarterly, their product services department and IT generated a list of priority deployments. However, the CMO had capacity constraints and could not meet the training content requirements within the deployment timeframe.
The PMO collaborated with the product services department and IT to obtain a list of feature releases ahead of quarterly planning sessions. Once received, the PMO then engaged with the CMO to conduct a change impact assessment on each feature capturing low, medium, and high change impacts. As a result, this effort translated into sufficient lead time visibility to plan for training content build.
Once complete, the PMO shared the change impacts with product services and IT. This revised process helped them prioritize deployment to meet the CMO timeline. The pairing of the PMO and CMO teams proved successful, resulting in a repeat of the process each quarter going forward.
Benefits of Enterprise Program Management and Enterprise Change Management
Integrating the Two Disciplines
PMO ensures all programs and projects align with strategic priorities and finish on time and within budget. CMO manages the people side of the equation, ensuring employees adapt to the change while adopting new ways of working to ensure not only project or program completion but a successful return on the ROI.
In partnership, enterprise change management and program management create a strong foundation for you to better integrate change into the company, assuring better adoption at the project and program level regardless of the complexity. Imagine the efficiency gains you could realize by considering what OCM activities and resources you will need during the project planning phase.
Benefits of Program and Change Integration
A strong partnership between your PMO and CMO has impacts beyond simple project success.
- Ensure alignment and ability to adjust strategies
- Supports the ability to scale faster
- Accelerates delivery speed to improve value
- Enables business agility to flex and bend with the market
- Portfolio view of all initiatives.
- Strategically positioned to be agile and ready for change
- Competency and capability to create a holistic view of your organization
- Improved decision making with a change lens to accelerate and realize benefits faster
- Stronger culture to better handle the speed of changing market dynamics.
- Established, clear roles and responsibilities to engage in the change process and ease frustration
- Aligned processes, language and tools to speed up adoption
- Improved change agility to more quickly adapt to business needs
- Elevated understanding of the interdependency of those things driving change and those impacted by it, driving alignment across teams.
However, it can be challenging. It can get messy when project managers and change managers collaborate to integrate efforts. Here are four considerations to help foster collaboration:
- When should change management experts be a part of a project or program? (Hint, as soon as possible!)
- How do project managers work to better understand change management, so that they don’t assume there’s scope creep?
- What’s the benefit to project managers if they welcome change managers into project meetings?
- Will I be forced to extend my project timeline to include change?
Human resources typically houses the CMO, though it may reside within the PMO in some organizations. Partnering to better integrate change and project work creates opportunities to proactively plan for and manage organizational change. Everyone benefits.
As project and program managers learn how and when to integrate change by partnering with the CMO, you build an organization better skilled at managing through change and create opportunities for the PMO and CMO to learn from one another.