Overview: This task gathers multiple disciplines together. Change teams or change groups are formed for specific purposes. Many changes require cooperation between multiple departments and groups. Stakeholder involvement also affects the degree of resistance during change. This task provides an opportunity to address the risks associated with change and creatively derive practical solutions.

Business and technology changes require active participation by multiple disciplines to realize maximum benefit to the organization. This task primarily corresponds to the design and development stages of a business or technology change, but may also apply to the very early stages of conceptual discussion. It provides an opportunity to stimulate cross-functional participation of multiple skills and disciplines.

Considerations: Include multiple support services areas: Facilities, Procurement, IT, HR, Administration, Security, Call Center, and Finance & Accounting. Include multiple line functions as well.

The timing of this task is important. Getting more people involved too early has risks – and certainly, involving people too late has even greater risks. Once the timing of when to bring additional people to the “creative table” is established, it is also important to bring a representative cross-section of talent. Who might have great ideas about the initiative? Who will definitely be able to isolate problem areas that need to be addressed? Who should be part of the selection process to decide upon the additional extended team members? Is there a particular protocol that should be followed?

Practices:

  • State to the Farmers and Scientists “This task leverages the talents of support organizations to clarify the degree of commitment and support they can provide, or not provide.”
  • State to the Farmers and Scientists “This task reduces rework later in the project by getting everyone aligned earlier in the process.”
  • Make a list of groups, people, areas, and departments affected by the system or business change.
  • Make a list showing groups capable of adding a different perspective or area of expertise.
  • Contact managers of each group. Convey the nature of the initiative. Identify specific individuals to participate in project.
  • Form one or more groups, review teams, advisory committees, or multidiscipline teams.
  • Appoint a leader for each team.
  • Conduct an overview/introductory meeting with the team members. Provide a synopsis of each person’s proposed responsibility.
  • Gain estimated level of participation commitment from members.
  • Guide each team in the development of a team objective. Objectives should complement the change initiative objectives and blend with project methodologies.
  • Schedule specific dates for the groups to meet and work each other. Document findings, results, suggestions, and plans.
  • Use teams to plan for actual implementation of the new processes or systems.
  • Set up a team-member communication strategy using combinations of voice-mail, internal mail, memorandum, and other methods.