3 Tips to Move an Organization to Change

project integration management Jun 07, 2020
3 Tips to Move an Organization to Change

Organizational change can be a difficult topic.  It is also an important topic, as many times, project managers work on projects that organizations are not prepared to receive.  Project managers may need to create organizational change, but the organization believes "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." This mindset is perhaps one of the most difficult to overcome. Here are three things you may consider to get things moving in the right direction:

  1. Identify change agents that would be willing to help adopt, support, or promote your idea. When I wanted to see PMI make scholarships available for professional development and not just academics, it took me three years to get them started on the change.  I spoke to Educational Foundation representatives personally whenever I could, usually 2-3 times a year.  When students asked if there were such scholarships, I gave them the phone number and email of the Educational Foundation and told them to ask. I brought it up as a topic with other PMI volunteer leaders whenever I could.  It was more than three years from the day that I started that I received a call from the EF director suggesting we meet to define such a scholarship.  Depending on the magnitude of the change and where the organization is in its development, getting an organization to enact change may take a long time.
  2. Create a "pitch" for your idea. Make it a 1-2 page document or a presentation of no more than 8-10 slides.  Keep it simple, fill it with data and facts.  Do your homework - be sure you are solving a critical management problem and showing the biggest benefits.  Get one of your change agents to review it, then ask for a meeting with your manager to share your idea. This approach helped me land my first management position after I explained how expanding the mission of my project would benefit the organization.
  3. Timing is everything.  Sometimes a well-crafted email at just the right time can create the change if the organization is ready for it.  I was once denied funds for a proposed project that I knew would be beneficial.  The reason was the product I wanted to change was free, so there was no revenue to support development.  I talked to a friend in the accounting department and found that two-thirds of all revenue was as an indirect result of that product. In a short email, I was able to explain that the product was essential, needed updates to retain customers, and would onboard revenue-generating customers faster.  Mission accomplished!

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