Background and Challenges
Between January and March 2019, we worked with a county council in the West Midlands with a workforce of approximately 5,000 staff to map out their current change activity and implement a corporate change management framework.
Although a corporate team was in progress developing an organisation wide transformation programme, departments across the council had initiated their own projects, and there was a lack of central oversight over the resources and activity around change. It was unclear if projects were aligned to strategic objectives.
Projects were managed differently in different areas and there was little to no corporate oversight.
During this time, the council had a significant restructure of senior management, where senior staff had moved positions, and some had left. It was time to take stock of change and transformation activity.
The key challenges were:
- Due to the recent restructures and general evolution of projects over recent months, there was a lack of corporate oversight of activity.
- The council was embarking on a significant transformation programme and using interims/consultants to drive the work as they were unclear what change/project resources they had available internally.
- There were over 200 people across the organisation engaging in change activity of some kind. There was no holistic overview of this, creating a risk that work was duplicated.
- A lack of consistency in how projects were managed and reported made it difficult to track progress.
- There was a lack of corporate governance structure in place around change and transformation.
- There were skills gaps across the organisation around project and change management, a range of different methodologies used and often people with little/no project management experience leading projects.
Trueman Change Involvement
Trueman Change were commissioned to conduct a full review of change activity and launch a corporate Change Management Framework for the Council. Our work impacted four areas:
1. Focused Project Activity
Our review of change activity revealed 180 ongoing change projects and enabled us to produce a single organisational change plan for review by senior managers. This allowed them to prioritise the activity aligned with strategic objectives.
2. Increased consistency
To improve consistency in how these projects were managed we produced process maps for new governance processes and a handbook for the change management framework – ‘How do we change’ . We oversaw the introduction of Verto cloud-based software to manage projects and create a consistent approach and visibility on progress across the organisation.
3. Skills audit
Due to the lack of consistency in how projects were managed, there was also a skills gap in terms of project management skills. We reviewed roles and responsibilities in project management, and identified what skills were required for each.
4. Future plans
As our audit came to a close, the organisation was considering building a corporate programme management office to better control the activity which they now had more visibility of. We worked with leaders to map out processes for how this could work and develop a resource model if they chose to implement this option.
Outcomes and Solutions
- Increased consistency in how projects were managed
- Better resource allocation of project staff
- Increased skills in project management
- Increased visibility of project activity
- Implementation of project management cloud-based software