So you are looking into becoming a certified change management practitioner? As certified change practitioners ourselves, we applaud anyone who has a desire to become officially certified and who realises the ROI of taking a change certification course. There are a plethora of reasons why you start building your change management skills and competencies, and you can click here if you want to read more about the value of a change management certification. We are going to cover the top challenges that you should be preparing to face when you hold that change management certification in your hand. Like most recognised disciplines, we are not going to pretend that it's plain sailing from start to finish, so below are our top 5 challenges that may await you on the other side:
1. How well does your organisation currently approach change?
How well established is the discipline of change management in your organisation? Are there particular structures and processes in place in regards to implementing and evaluating change management? For many organisations, you may be starting from scratch, therefore be prepared to be involved in change projects that are nowhere near well designed.
It will be your role to build a strategy for improvement to ensure going forward that directly impacted line managers and front line employees are fully aware of both the technical project and people-related change outcomes and goals. We recommend that you consider a facilitated workshop with the project team, sponsor and a few influential line managers to discuss and agree the expected project and change outcomes, plus associated business results, at a detailed level before diving into the work. Starting with understanding why we are doing a change is an essential building block in gaining people's buy-in to change. Using the Prosci Change Scorecard as a foundation for this workshop is a best practice.
2. Have you considered Change Management Sponsorship?
In our four steps to ensure executive buy-in to successful change, we addressed how leadership sponsorship is imperative to the success of change management and explained how best to get them on board. Before becoming certified, it is key that you anticipate the challenge of gaining executive buy-in so you are ready if such a situation arises. For this to be effective, gaining their vital support must happen as soon the rumour of upcoming changes surface, and therefore certified change managers must be prepared to start planning the buy-in as soon as possible.
Change management practitioners must have the skills to support sponsors in executing their change leadership role - the ABC of great change sponsorship - with coaching and facilitation of different activities; helping to guide and assist them effectively. Projects with the most effective sponsors achieve their expected business results 72% of the time, if your sponsor is least effective at their role in change management you should only expect your projects to be succesful 29% of the time, according to Prosci 2016 Best Practices research.
3. Project Management Integration
Be aware that conflicts between the two disciplines of change management and project management are unfortunately common. Their differing competencies and activities can make it challenging to work together. From becoming certified you will start to appreciate that despite all these differences, they really do complement one another.
The challenge lies in understanding how both teams can effectively work alongside one another and achieve great success together. And the first step to tackling this is simply clarifying and defining project management's role and then identifying where their activities overlap. There must be a structure in place that integrates the two approaches, tools and reporting together and encourage project management teams to realise the value of change management. To make this easier, we recommend taking a look at Prosci's key success steps to integrating change management and project management.
Also think about recommending that your project managers participate in the CMC Prosci 1-day Delivering Project Results programme to familiarise themselves with the world of change management and how best to integrate the activities of these complementary disciplines.
4. Are your resources holding you back?
Are you aware of what resources are at your disposal to assist in change management? Prior to becoming certified, it would be wise to assess what resources, or lack thereof, you can easily take advantage of for your change management efforts, as this will directly impact your level of change success.
As a soon-to-be certified change manager, you must assess whether the amount of resources provided, especially in terms of funding and time, is enough to cover the critical amount of work that will be required. If it is then great; you can carry on with your work. But if not then you must consider building a case for more support through emphasising the value of change management on your organisation's longevity and competitve advantage.
5. Are you aware of change saturation in your organisation?
Has leadership effectively mapped out how many changes the organisation can handle at one time? Too many changes happening at once will result in a lack of improvement in business performance, employee confusion and line manager friction. Productivity will decline measurably.
When becoming change certified you have to be prepared to know how much change is too much change and you must understand why change saturation occurs and how to address it, helping you to advise and ensure that there are enough resources for efficient change execution.
Becoming change management certified is an excellent way to build new competencies and take your organisation to the next level in terms of weathering inevitable change. Change is unique for every organisation; therefore you may not face all of these challenges or maybe you will come across other challenges that we have not mentioned here. Whatever the challenge may be, it is how you proactively deal with it that will define the future of your organisational change management capabilities.
If you have considered becoming certified we recommend the 3-day CMC Prosci certified change management Practitioner Programme. If you are certified already consider growing your skills and market differentiation by enrolling on the 3-day CMC Prosci Experienced Practitioner Programme. For details on either take a look at our Prosci certified change management practitioner courses.