Successfully managing a business initiative requires a surprising amount of diplomatic acumen. The inherent challenge is that the Project / Relationship Manager is attempting to influence the actions of individuals over whom they have no inherent power or direct control. It is virtually inevitable that at some point, your stakeholders either: a) don’t agree, b) don’t comply, or c) otherwise have conflicting interests, any of which ultimately works against that which you as the Relationship Manager are responsible for executing or facilitating.
This is why professional training and expertise are critical to the functional activity of change management. True Relationship Management Experts operating in this space are able to preemptively identify these potential conflicts (before they arise) and reconcile the situation accordingly, such as to mitigate the risk of their impact – either prior to or immediately upon the initiation of the situation.
Depending on the nature of your initiative, there are several stakeholders who can either make or break your effort, including, but not limited to:
- Top Management
- Middle Management
- Project Team Members
- HR / Resource Managers
- Internal Customers
- Government Agencies
- Contractors & Subcontractors
- External Customers
- General Public
And, at the end of the day, if all of a project’s deliverables are completed and objectives are met (on time, on budget and in scope), but the key stakeholders aren’t satisfied, the project itself may be a success – however – the capabilities of the Relationship Manager (project manager, account manager, etc.) could absolutely be called into question.
There is 3-step process that any Change Management Expert (in this case assuming the role of Relationship Manager) will go through at the very beginning of their engagement:
- Assess the Environment
- Define the Problem
- Establish the Goals
1 – When assessing the environment, the Relationship Manager must identify all of the key players / relevant stakeholders, in order to ascertain who has what authority over what – both officially and unofficially.
2 – Defining the problem is all about finding out what the real situation is, in terms of actual facts. What is the unstated challenge that this organization is facing? What are the key stakeholder’s unstated concerns? Understanding the problem behind the problem is the true challenge of a Change Management Expert.
3 – Identifying the goals isn’t about the project, it is about the people. What drives the key stakeholder’s decision making? Are there hidden agendas? Identifying and prioritizing the goals of the key stakeholders who hold the fate of your project in their hands is of critical importance.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Leveraging the expertise of our Change Management Consultants will better position you for success as you seek to grow your business, for two main reasons:
- EXPERIENCE: The change management consultants at JD PALLAS have experience navigating the inner workings of some of the most complex organizational structures, across varying industries and disciplines. Our team has the acute awareness that the initiatives themselves aren’t the agents of change within any company or organization, the people are.
- CREDENTIALS: Projects vary in size and scope, but the principals remain the same. JD PALLAS team members hold PMP, Agile, Six Sigma, and other certifications – each of which revolves around facilitating organizational change in some form or another. Education and training, in combination with the right experiences, create an environment conducive for the most seamless possible execution. All project have their challenges, but having a Change Management Consultant on your team that understands how to maneuver through these obstacles, will always prove their worth.