The overall object of change management is to ensure a smooth transition from current state to future state with minimal disruption to campus business operations while fully leveraging the capabilities of the new or enhanced system/application. The primary focus is to proactively support the impacted users through outreach and training efforts that effectively communicate the drivers and related benefits associated with the new or enhanced system/application and its impact on daily operations and activities. In addition to these proactive support objectives, the support staff must be prepared to provide comprehensive, timely, and consistent support. These objectives are met through four key components of a change management effort — communication, outreach, training, and support.
"All too often, organizational changes meet requirements without delivering expected results. They deliver the necessary outputs without delivering on expected outcomes. The focus of the change effort is on the solution rather than the benefits of the solution. The gap that exists between requirements and results, between outputs and outcomes, between solutions and benefits is the people who bring the change to life in their day-to-day work. Change management enables the closing of this gap by effectively supporting and equipping those people impacted by a change to be successful in bringing it to life in how they work." — Prosci
In addition to change management execution, the implementation phase includes Project Manager preparation and execution of a Rollout (aka Cutover) Checklist (opens in a new window), which documents the detailed steps (and business/IT owners of each) necessary to take the system/application "live," in other words, into full, real-world use by campus users.
Projects of all sizes must have the following:
- A rollout, aka cutover, checklist, which has been defined well in advance of the planned start of production code migration activities and should be circulated among all of the Managers and Directors with personnel involved in those activities for their input and approval. The best practice is to use a Smartsheet checklist. A Smartsheet cutover plan/checklist template can be found in the UIT PMO Resources Workspace (opens in a new window). Using a Smartsheet checklist for the cutover plan offers several advantages over the legacy Confluence table approach:
- Update Requests can be used to prompt the next task owner to action.
- Notifications can be sent to the whole team, all task owners, or others, e.g., whenever a task is completed, if a task is "At Risk," or other conditional notifications.
- Tasks related to cutover that exist on the main project plan can be linked in for viewing and/or completion in the cutover plan.
- The Smartsheet cutover checklist can be embedded in a Confluence page in either edit or view only mode.
- A Support Plan to transition from the project team to the support team. The creation of this document must be listed as a task in the project plan. Transition procedures vary depending on the project technical area and the clients. Listed below are sample support plans that can be used as reference.
- The Project Manager and Development Lead must complete required code migration Change Requests in ServiceNow (for more details, please see the UIT Change Management System page) and attend the Change Advisory Board meeting to get approval to migrate code to production on the desired/planned date(s).
- The Project Manager and Development Lead must complete the Support Strategies Planning (SSP) form(s) (for more details and form downloads, see the SSP web page) and request a time prior to go-live to discuss the impact of the project on UIT support teams.
Projects of all sizes must have the following:
- Specific project plan sections and tasks defined for training, communications, outreach (labs, etc.) to ensure accountability for those activities. Change management-related activities are often given short shrift in planning and Project Managers must also work closely with their project teams to be sure these functions are adequately resourced.
- A Communication Plan must be created, with key tasks from that plan defined/tracked in the master project plan. The Paging Services Changes communications plan provides a good example of how this plan template is used.
- A Training Plan, with key tasks from that plan defined/tracked in the master project plan.
- For more details and guidance, refer to the ServiceNow Communications and Training Toolkit.
- For very large projects, it is helpful to document a Change Management Plan to create an overall assessment of the change impact and the impacted client's organizational readiness as well as document the agreed strategic approach to all aspects of the change management effort.
- Traditional methods of emailing communications and delivering classroom or online training can fall short of delivering on the intended results of the project, even if perfectly executed. It is strongly recommended that specific outreach efforts, including town halls, presentations at periodic meetings such as UMG, open labs, etc. are also planned, resourced, and executed, as appropriate, as part of the project change management phase. Note that this phase may extend up to six months after go-live and, while the Project Manager may not have an active role during post go-live, the Project Manager should continue to monitor and expedite progress to be sure the proper activities are taking place and delivering the intended result. For more details, see Status Tracking. Note: UIT communications should be consulted by the Project Manager during creation of the project charter to explore what change management activities they may be able to support or even take ownership of, depending on project timing and UIT Communications workload.