Are you familiar with these 5 role-based skills in CM?

02 April 2019

CM maturity comes at a cost and it certainly is closely related to the development of individual aptitudes.

author picture Article written by Vincent Piedboeuf

We have already written extensively about the holistic nature of CM. Change never sits on the shoulders of one single person. There are all sorts of roles meant to ensure a smooth transition to the future envisioned state, ranging from those more specifically dedicated to building CM capacities across the organisation (i.e. leadership sponsors, steering committee) to those involving practical CM implementation (leaders, CM practitioners, project teams, managers, collaborators). If you are not familiar with the skills attached to major roles in CM, here is a short outline. CM maturity comes at a cost and it certainly is closely related to the development of individual aptitudes.

# Leadership.

Sponsorship is everything. In fact, it is the number one success factor of any change initiative and by a long stretch at that, since it is 3 to 4 times more important than any other factor. Being Active and visible throughout the project, Building a robust coalition of sponsors aligned with the vision and Communicating with collaborators about the business reasons behind the change are the true missions assigned to sponsors (the ABC of sponsorship). Unfortunately, sponsors usually display a lack of understanding of what their role entails and a somewhat limited knowledge of ADKAR (an alarming 50% according to a survey conducted in 2017 by our partner PROSCI). At any rate, the most difficult task sponsors are faced with is to maintain a healthy coalition.

# Change Practitioners.

It should come as no surprise that a growing number of job postings are directly related to this role. On a global scale, CM is getting more and more connected to projects. But we also observe an increasing demand for CM extension at the enterprise level. CM practitioners are the ones in charge of designing the strategy and applying a structured approach to turn the envisioned future into a tangible reality. They are also expected to empower the full set of roles described in this post. Certifying a number of people in CM is the best way to develop credibility, facilitate tool-sharing and contribute to an evolving knowledge base … all of which is required to optimise results delivered by CM. Not only is the success rate of projects at stake, it can future-proof the organisation.

# Project Teams.

Project teams are logically well versed in designing, developing and delivering the best possible solution. Such a focus on the technical side of change should not make them oblivious to the fact that adoption and usage are just as important. Articulating CM to PM is thus an important of part of their role. It involves, among others, the development of adoption metrics and the integration of activities aimed at helping people make the best use of tools and processes. This is how change is truly and fully operationalised. 

# Managers.

It is somewhat paradoxical that managers are often neglected despite being key actors in the process of change. At the end of the day, they are closest to the needs of frontline employees whose working conditions and routines are bound to change. Not for nothing does PROSCI speak of CLARC missions, echoing the name of a superhero. Managers are at once communicators, liaison officers, ambassadors of change, resistance managers and coaches. Providing proper support throughout the ADKAR process is how they help employees go through their individual transition. Unfortunately, if managers generally prove to be very good at maintaining BAU operations in a context of change, they strive with everything people-related. Reported deficiencies include a lack of communication skills and of proper CM training. Time management in an already change saturated environment is a real issue … as is the understanding of their role and, above all, the fact that they have to “own” the change before they can cascade it. Managers are both agents and recipients of change, a delicate in-between position that needs to be acknowledged.

# Employees.

Employees are first in line when it comes to adopting and making use of a freshly implemented change. When faced with a sudden change, they can easily slip into the category of victims or targets. This is the bedrock of resistance and the number one reason for project failures. To take full control of the change, employees must have a good grasp of what the process involves for them and why it takes place. Being fully engaged certainly means asking questions and looking for answers…something that you should anticipate. Don’t be the one caught unprepared!

If you are interested in delving deeper into the topic or want to be certified, we invite you to embark on a transforming journey along with our team of experts. Make sure you browse our public training schedule page to join upcoming sessions in Paris, Brussels, Luxemburg, Lausanne or Zurich!



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