Change management is a responsibility of the program manager. It is a role that is underappreciated, underutilized, and not performed well by some program managers. Change management is complex, and there is no cookbook recipe to apply.

Our 9 part Guide to Change Management will focus on how to prepare the customer, stakeholders, and team for change.

Part 1 of 9: Change Management-What Is It?
Part 2 of 9: Fear
Part 3 of 9: Change Models
Part 4 of 9: Change Management – Evidentiary Strategy
Part 5 of 9: Change Management – Vision, Goals, and Objectives Strategy
Part 6 of 9: Change Management – Segmentation Strategy
Part 7 of 9: Communication
Part 8 of 9: Training
Part 9 of 9: Mentors

Part 9 of 9: Change Management Mentors

Training is necessary, but training alone doesn’t always make change acceptance happen. Formally identify change management mentors to support the change. The sooner change management mentors are identified, the better. It is best when they are involved early and throughout the process. Also, change management mentors don’t have to start out knowledgeable; they can be designated as mentors and required to come up to speed on a schedule that allows them to be able to serve others as required. Think and strategize about the best way mentors can be effective as the change is rolled out. Don’t forget that part of the role of mentoring and training is to instill confidence in the organization by reducing fear. Even if people don’t access training and mentoring and use it to the degree that you think they should, it’s still available.

I would say the value to the organization from a change management perspective of having mentors and training comes more from the psychological aspects of its availability than from its actual use. If it is not used, it becomes an excuse. When people attend a class in which I teach the critical path method for project scheduling, it can be overwhelming for some to learn the process with a high degree of confidence in a short time. I always make this mentoring promise to participants: If they have any questions any time after the class about how to calculate or understand the critical path for whatever reason, they can contact me and I will mentor them. I can literally see relaxation on the faces of the participants who have concerns as they write down my contact information. After years and years of doing this with thousands of participants, I have had only a few people contact me. The fact that I am available gives those who need the reassurance the confidence to start, and once they start, they usually don’t need me. Do not underestimate the power of having mentors and training available and don’t feel disappointed or feel that money was wasted if the training and mentoring don’t appear to be used much. Their availability serves most of their purpose.

Once your team has decided on their plan and process, PPM software can help you execute that process. WorkOtter helps you successfully execute your program process strategy for project success. Get a demo of WorkOtter and see how we can make your program management effective.

“The Handbook of Program Management: How to Facilitate Project Success with Optimal Program Management, Second Edition” by James T. Brown is a copyrighted work of McGraw-Hill and McGraw-Hill reserves all rights in and to the Content. ©2014 by McGraw-Hill Education. Purchase the book on Amazon.

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