How to keep programmes on track and teams inspired during periods of change

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Posted by APM on 5th Mar 2015

The following slides encompass the presentation and discussion notes from Martin Taylor’s and Elisabeth Goodman’s 24th February 2015 seminar for the Midlands branch of the APM.  (Martin is the Chair of the Enabling Change SIG, and Elisabeth leads the Methods and Capabilities theme within it.) About a third of those attending were managing change programmes, another third were supporting programmes in some way and most of the others were being drawn into change whilst addressing their day to day responsibilities. 

We were impressed by how some of the people we spoke to were doing what they did because they enjoyed the challenge of change. They were often dealing with continuous change, rather than discrete periods of it, had multiple change programmes on the go, sometimes juggling equal priorities, whilst at the same time coping with change within the programme itself.     

Some of those present mentioned how they would like now and then to have just a few change programmes to deal with at a time.  They'd like to see some joined up thinking between programmes, especially where they are affecting the same stakeholders.  They'd also like the decision makers to remember why individual programmes are happening in the context of the bigger organisational strategy.  All of these and more formed the basis of a check list that Martin and Elisabeth developed with the delegates for how they could proactively keep programmes on track during periods of change. The delegates’ and our own version of the checklist are included in the slides.

In the seminar we also discussed how managers can help their teams to be 'inspired' during the changes that affect the team. These changes can 'hit' the team at any stage of its development: whether newly formed, already storming or in full high performance flow.  We discussed how the programme manager can and should adopt the situational leadership approach: being highly directive during periods of uncertainty and ensuring that members of the team have one-to-one time to discuss their concerns and explore their ideas.  In this way, programme managers can help their team members to become ‘navigators’ rather than ‘victims’ or ‘stoical survivors’ of change, and so take on more of a leadership role within their own domain of responsibility, and ultimately be more creative and inspired!

The presentation can be viewed below.  Previous presentations held by APM can be viewed here

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