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How is Change Management Being Applied at the Portfolio Level?

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Change management has advanced from the delivery of communications and training on a project-by-project basis, to play a far greater role in the success of any project. Many organisations are now establishing change management capabilities to manage change within portfolios. While this growing maturity is a positive step forward, change management is still viewed as a separate discipline from the work done by Portfolio Management Offices. So how does change management work at a portfolio level?
 
In order to maintain and manage a well balanced portfolio we need to adhere to four basic principles – do the right things, at the right time, in the right way, to deliver results. We need to elevate change management from a basic support function at the projects and programs level, and recognise it as a partner in delivering value at the portfolio level.
 
DO THE RIGHT THINGS, AT THE RIGHT TIME, IN THE RIGHT WAY - TO DELIVER RESULTS
What are the right things?
The first task we need to do is to develop a portfolio benefits register that ensures our benefits align with our organisational strategy. By ensuring these benefits are strategic, we directly impact the portfolio’s return on investment (ROI). We then need to review those benefits that link directly to employee usage and adoption, to target the organisation change management strategy appropriately.
 
CLEARLY IDENTIFY THE BENEFITS THAT LINK DIRECTLY TO EMPLOYEE USAGE AND ADOPTION
When is the time right?
We need to analyse the impacts of the changes to be delivered across the portfolio. These changes include the impact to people – the amount of change to people, process, technology and environment; the project delivery timeframes - taking into account your internal and external environment and any project interdependencies - such as resources required to deliver the projects.
 
We then need to develop a ‘single view of change’ at the portfolio level. This will enable us to mitigate change saturation by structuring the delivery of the portfolio so that you gain the maximum benefits. By proactively managing the delivery from a portfolio perspective, we can combat change fatigue which will in turn lead to an increase in ROI.
 
MANAGE THE TIMING OF YOUR CHANGE TO AVOID YOUR PEOPLE EXPERIENCING CHANGE FATIGUE
What is the right way?
We recommend establishing an Enterprise Change Management (ECM) body to ensure you manage the change across the whole portfolio in a consistent and co-ordinated manner. This will enable you to set standards of effective communication at both the portfolio and individual project levels, define standards of appropriate language to be used and manage the timing, professionalism and delivery of relevant information. It will also enable you to communicate the ‘What’s in it for me’ (WIIFM) from a portfolio perspective. The ECM group will help you realise the benefits of your portfolio and maximise the ROI.
 
ESTABLISH AN ECM TO ACT AS A ONE STOP SHOP FOR ALL YOUR CHANGE ACTIVITIES
How do we deliver results?
The development of  Business Readiness Assessments and Business Transition Plans will help the ECM manage the change and achieve the desired business results.
 
To achieve the right outcomes we need to review and monitor the amount of Portfolio benefits that are dependent upon employee adoption and usage.
The results will provide input into Project Implementation Reviews (PIR) and ensure that lessons learnt are captured and shared in upcoming projects.
 
HELP YOUR PEOPLE GET READY FOR THE TRANSITION AND CAPTURE ANY LESSONS LEARNT
You’ve seen the statistics; you know the success of any project is defined by the adoption of this new process, so yes, if you want to meet your organisation's strategic objectives and maximise your ROI - change management is required at Portfolio level.
 
Quite simply, change management identifies the amount of portfolio benefits that are directly tied to employee adoption and usage, and links these benefits to people engaging activities.
 
If the goal of Portfolio Optimisation is to select the right set of projects to best achieve your organisation’s strategic outcomes, then the role of your ECM is to support you in delivering these goals.
 
How have your change managers supported the delivery of your portfolio?
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SMS Management & Technology
About: SMS Management & Technology

A leader in advisory, solutions and managed services, SMS cultivates innovation, digital, mobile and design-led business and technology capability to empower organisations across all industry sectors. With over 1600 staff across Asia Pacific, SMS promotes and delivers next-generation customer-centric outcomes for our clients.

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