Organizational Development Consultant and Leadership Coach

Project Teams as Transformation Tools

September 3, 2013

“I’ve just been asked to lead a change project within our company. I know I don’t have all the skills and information to achieve the expected results on my own. It’s going to be especially tricky because a lot of groups are going to be impacted by the change, and I’m sure they are going to resist. What can I do to lower my risk and improve my chances of success?”

What is it?
Most changes require significant effort to design, prepare for, transition to and implement. Forming a Project Team specifically to support these efforts is a great way of lowering risk and improving your chances of success. Project Teams are made up of a diverse group of people called together to analyze the current situation, design the elements of the change, and identify the steps to achieve it, and support implementation. Individuals are asked to be a member of a team either instead of or in addition to their current responsibilities.

When do you use it?

  • When a change is considered ‘high risk’ or difficult to implement.
  • When your change project has several different stakeholder groups involved, i.e. divisions, geographies and will involve significant changes to your existing ways of working.
  • When your organization has a history of poor delivery on previous change initiatives.

How do you use it?
Determine the skills and expertise required on the team. Be sure to consider all stakeholder groups and their required involvement.

Look around the organization for those individuals with the required skills and expertise. Look beyond your favorites. Participation on a change project is a great way to ‘grow your next generation of leaders’.

Determine if you need the team to work on your project full time or part time.

Work with proposed team members’ direct managers to gain support for their involvement in the project. Ensure that the workload of team members is distributed to someone else, or stopped.

Launch the team. Involve team members in designing the details of your project plan.

Hold regular meetings throughout the project. Take time to have fun along the way.

Celebrate the end of the project and ensure that team members are successfully re-integrated into old or new jobs.

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