April 2021

OCM: Placing the Person Center-Stage

By Adam Hayden

“Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes, turn and face the strange” -David Bowie

Introduction to “OCM”

You’ve heard that the only constant is change, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy, especially when implementing new solutions for your workgroup or organization. Enter: Organizational Change Management. Organizational Change Management, or simply “OCM,” includes the processes, tools, and techniques to manage the people side of change to achieve business results. Change Management places people center-stage to inform and encourage team members, and as a service, change management increases project success. At Briljent, we think change management is an essential component to the success of any new business solution.

Change Management places people center-stage to inform and encourage team members

To offer a straightforward definition: Change management aids in the adoption and ownership of new systems and solutions, while lowering the chances for project failure, eliminating confusion, expediting changes, and improving morale by increasing communication between team members and stakeholders.

Change management usually includes training, but it can also include a wide range of other activities directed at many different audiences in an organization, from the executive suite to front-line workers. A key differentiator for Briljent is that we get involved as an extension of your teams, when large companies offering OCM services often build the plan but don’t stay engaged to ensure its success.

“I like being a part of the action!”

-Marilyn Cobb, Senior OCM Specialist

When asked about her experience, Senior OCM Specialist, Marilyn Cobb, celebrated her hands-on role, “I like being a part of the action!” Marilyn exclaimed. Marilyn’s decades of experience in change management have taught her to focus on relationship building and consultation. This relationship-building approach is part of Briljent’s Non-Negotiable Items, or NNI’s, specifically, our commitment to Impeccable Integrity: “Briljent’s goal is to have genuine, transparent relationships with our clients—and with each other. We feel the best way to do that is to be honest, work hard, and earn trust.”

The components of OCM activities are mixed and matched to tailor our OCM support to meet client needs. The general change management activities are broadly grouped into four sequential phases.

Graphic showing four circles, each connected by an arrow from left to right, with text in each circle: Prepare > Plan > Execute > Sustain
The four phases of organizational change management

Prepare

Preparation includes several exploratory activities to define the scope of the change, identify the people who will be affected, assess its potential impact, and determine potential risks. Preparing for change begins with defining the change scope, rationale, and timeframe. Preparation also includes identifying OCM stakeholders and their roles.

Plan

After preparing for the change, the planning begins. Planning for change includes developing an overall vision and strategy, as well as more detailed implementation plans for the various activities that may be needed.

It is important to note the distinct roles that belong to project management and those that belong to change management. Project management considers the complexity and degree of change to processes, systems, organization structure, and job roles. Change management depends on the amount of disruption created in individual employees’ day-to-day work and organization traits like culture, values, and a workgroup’s history with past changes.

Planning activities may include developing thoughtful and clear plans for leadership and key stakeholders. You may also develop a risk mitigation plan and a plan to measure success metrics. The good news is, you’ve already uncovered potential pain points during your thorough preparation!

Execute

You’ve prepped, you’ve planned, you’ve assessed, and evaluated, it’s time to execute the change plan to support successful implementation of the new business solution! Plan execution may be client-driven, or you may require support from external partners. Briljent can provide support in many areas, including training, communication support, and project management.

When executing, be sure to engage and support leaders, follow communication and training plans, and be sure to monitor, manage, and measure risk and resistance. These components of the planning phase are now returning on your earlier investment of time and resources. All of that preparation and planning pays off! While a successful execution is what we’re after, don’t think the job is done at “go live.”

Sustain

A successful execution leads seamlessly to sustaining the new solution for the long-term. Sustaining involves ongoing monitoring, measurement, and additional recommendations as ownership of change management is transferred from those external partners to the process owners. A successful solution requires leaders to reinforce new behaviors and continue measurement over time.

Conclusion

Change management focuses on the people side of organizational change and involves both an individual and an organizational perspective. A successful OCM plan requires action and involvement from leaders and managers throughout an organization. Both project management and change management support may be required.

Do you have a new business solution on the horizon? Be in touch to discuss developing a robust OCM plan with our change management professionals to improve the success of your next implementation.

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