Friday, 29 August 2008

Change Management Training Workshop - Phase 1

Hoorah!  On Wednesday afternoon I delivered a change management (based on ITIL) training workshop to the IT managers of multiple councils as they are working in partnership to deliver shared IT services.  I spent quite a lot of time preparing the materials for it as, knowing my audience, I wanted to be sure I had things they could take away and refer to when I'm not around and to consider which questions were likely to arise that I would need to answer.  The training packs were made up of some change management basics, process framework document, process diagrams, copy of presentation slides and a little 7Rs of Change Management laminated card.

I'd originally scheduled 3 hours for the session to allow for lots of discussion (again, knowing who would be present).  I surprised myself by keeping everyone on-track so that we actually finished in just over 2 hours.  I think this was due to a few factors,  My preparation headed off potential questions and that facilitation training continuing to pay off (thank you Cathy) ;)  My agenda for the afternoon was:
  1. Purpose of session
  2. Presentation - 'Let's Have Some Change Management - with a Dash of Pragmatism'
  3. Normal Change Process (using process framework documentation)
  4. Emergency Change Process (using process framework documentation)
  5. Exercices (1: Name that change 2: Roleplay an emergency change with some curveballs throw in)
  6. Wrap-up Discussion
  7. Feedback forms (I believe in self-improvement)
I was expecting quite a hard time from some of them - so I was pleasantly surprised that each manager present was taking notes and asking pertinent questions.   The only negative feedback I had was that some of them think we should wait until we have the new ITSM tool in place before introducing change management.  As all you ITSMers out there will know it's crucial to get the process agreed, documented and tested before implementing it in a tool - so I'm not too concerned about this point (although it certainly would be great if a more appropriate tool were in place to support the process in the meantime (and no - this is not an invitation for vendor spam thanks!).

Only time will tell how effective or not the workshop was.  The next stage is rolling out training to all the IT staff.  It certainly achieved it's objective in educating them in the basics of change management, terminology, process, etc.  One of the feedback forms actually showed that they thought they knew a lot going into the session, then coming out realised how much they didn't know and have yet to learn ;)

It's times like this that I wish I would be there for the duration of the journey - letting go is never easy is it?

Sunday, 24 August 2008

All change... and introducing change

As those of you who have been here awhile will know, I've been trying to get an ITSM Programme going at my organisation for some time.  I finally get the budget and the buy-in, and submit the mandate for approval to the board only for me to go and get another job.  My timing is impeccable.  I'm finding it quite difficult to let go as I still have this wonderful vision in my head that I want to make a reality.  Anyhow, as that isn't going to happen time to replace it with a new vision - but I digress.

Some months ago I was tasked with quickly introducing change control ahead of change management as part of the approved ITSM Implementation Programme.  As you can imagine, I wasn't keen on doing this as I wanted it to be done in a properly managed way - however the business need was and continues to be there so I threw something together (through workshop with other key managers).  They specificially didn't want a lot of documentation so two sides of A4 had to suffice.  As predicted, confusion reined for people failed to understand what it was all about, how and when to use it, etc.  What did they expect without allowing time for training or enough documentation to provide the detail required?

Anyhow, one of my tasks before I head off is to train the IT managers in the basics of change management and teach them how and when to use our revised new change management process (only covers normal and emergency changes in an initially small scope).  I spent today fleshing out the document with sufficient detail to address the questions they already have and those that will be asked and preparing some training packs and little laminated cards that they can stick by their PCs.  Tomorrow I aim to finish the presentation that will go with it all because I'm delivering it on Wednesday afternoon!  I'll let you know how it goes...

Friday, 8 August 2008

All change...

Due to some changes in real life I shall be updating on Wednesdays and Saturdays instead of Tuesdays and Fridays.  That way, I really have no excuse not to post more regularly!

I recently applied for a new role and was successful so real life is somewhat busy for me at the moment as I deal with the transition.  I am still working in local government with partnerships and shall be focused more upon project management and business transformation through IT for the foreseeable future instead of pure IT service management.  No doubt, the nature of my future posts shall reflect this.

It's a wonderful opportunity to put some of that self-study for Prince 2 into practice on a larger scale than previously (although applied with a heavy dose of pragmatism!).  No doubt there shall be challenges ahead and I'm looking forward to figuring out how to deal with them - hopefully coming out the other side unscathed!