At CMC Partnership, we deliver more than 50 three-day Prosci Change Management Practitioner Certification Programmes every year worldwide. Participants love them because we all interact, share, learn and have fun together. As instructors, we also learn a lot about the day-to-day challenges participants face in implementing successful changes and new ways of working in the unique cultures of their respective organisations.
Prior to course involvement, we always contact participants with feedback about the project they propose to work on. This is to prepare them in using Prosci's methodologies and tools to their change during the training. This pre-work feedback that we provide frequently addresses common weaknesses.
This post aims to advise prospective participants who are coming for CMC-Prosci Change Management Practitioner training on how they should prepare for their pre-work project summary. As this is the foundation for successful learning and application of Prosci's methodology and tools after the course has finished, it is vital that prospective participants coming for the course approach and complete their prework seriously and appropriately.
Follow our 4 simple steps and you will be well prepared to optimise your learning during the course!
Step 1: Define the Business Outcomes of your Project
At the end of the day, all business change projects boil down to money. More money earned, more money saved or more money better spent. Therefore it is vitally important to quantify how the business will improve as a result of the successful adoption and use of your project's new capabilities, by the people who are directly impacted by it.
Why? Change management is not free. At some point, you will need to fight for dedicated resources (time, people, money) for your change management effort to succeed and if you have a strong financial case, you improve your chances of getting what you need for your change management strategy.
Step 2: Answer the 3 Why and 2 What Questions
When we were little children, we always used to ask our parents why, why, why we needed to do what they were asking. It is the same with projects. In preparing for the course, consider the business purpose of your project and answer the following questions as comprehensively as you can (Remember to emphasise the financial benefits!).
- Why do we need this change?
Why do we need to change now?
Why can't we stay as we are?
What is the nature of our change? (i.e. the size, complexity as well as the technical and people side of the change)
What is not changing?
Step 3: Complete the Assessments Honestly
In the pre-work, we ask for data about your project. Data on how well defined your project is and data on the health of your project on three dimensions; leadership/sponsorship, project management and change management. The calculation of project definition is somewhat subjective but clearly a project where the business outcomes have yet to be agreed or communicated cannot be at all well defined. Similarly while your executive sponsor may have signed off the project budget and timeline and attended the kickoff meeting, what other actions have they taken recently?
The reality is that the majority of sponsors do not know how to sponsor the adoption of a change effectively until you coach them. Many of them sponsor too many projects (2-3 is optimum) as they confuse activity with results, so its ok to rate them a little low early on in the project lifecycle. Also if you can't have access to, or produce, the project definition documents or project plan how can project management score so high? Be critically realistic.
Step 4: Read the fictitious case on "Finesta Financial".
Upon receiving access to your Prosci Portal a week before your course, log into your account and go into "Practitioner eToolkit".
Next, you will see "Finesta Financial" on the far right of your screen. "Finesta Financial" is a fictitious narrative created by Prosci® to help you see how change management may be introduced and applied in a real scenario.
Once you have clicked on "Finesta Financial", you will see the page below and we recommend that you read at least till
1. Completing the Preparation Assignment.
After receiving our feedback and reading "Finesta Financial", you should have a better awareness and knowledge of the areas that you can improve on in your prework. You may even realise that there may be additional work that you will need to do with your colleagues before you introduce change management. Nonetheless, do not feel discouraged if you realised that there are still many major components missing from your project. On the contrary, you should be relieved that you now know what you need to work on. We always say, "Do not let perfection get in the way of better!"
In the classroom, as in this blog, our time together is brief, so we hope you find this post to be helpful in ensuring you maximise your personal Return on Investment (ROI) from participating in a CMC Partnership Certified Prosci Change Management Practitioner training program. If you have any questions, please reach out and we'll be happy to help.