Soarington created a customized change management methodology, trained management and staff, and established a means of measuring performance for a global retailer.
Global retailer with annual revenue in excess of $100 billon and close to 200,000 employees.
The Problem to be Solved/Why it Mattered
The IT department of this global retailer had embarked on a multitude of initiatives to transform the way it serves its internal and external customers. Having initiated over 70 IT projects, it recognized that it required a fundamental change in how it introduced and managed IT projects within the company.
Managing this number of projects concurrently created challenges in determining how managers and employees should spend their time, which employees were most suitable for which projects, the use of different project management approaches, and the prioritization of the projects themselves. There was also a risk of employee burnout due to the demanding timelines to get work completed.
Senior management recognized that in order for the organization to be successful, they had to introduce a change management competency to help the IT department. In response to this need, they established a change management department comprising of 24 employees dedicated to helping the organization manage change. Since most of the managers and employees within this new department had minimal experience in organizational change management, leadership urgently needed guidance in determining how to bring the new department ‘up to speed’ as quickly as possible.
Soarington met with the management team to create a change management strategy for developing an in-house competency in change management. This strategy included:
- Establishing short term and longer term ‘change maturity’ goals
- Understanding the current capabilities of managers and employees hired to manage change
- Analyzing the project and organizational landscape to understand the range of change management engagements needed to address the project and organizational needs
- How to best introduce a change management capability that would be adopted by this new change management department (this client had a ‘change management’ challenge within its Change Management department)
Once this strategy was created, Soarington engaged the client in an exercise to develop its near term and longer term goals, grounded in an understanding of what were realistic near term and ‘stretch’ accomplishments.
Soarington then created a plan to develop templates for the client’s change management team to use. After the templates were developed, Soarington trained the team on their use.
Employees were then assigned projects to apply what they had learned. Soarington provided one-on-one coaching to apply the templates and also mentored the change management team outside of project meetings to help them internalize how to think through the change management scenarios they were encountering. In addition, Soarington helped leadership develop an approach to assess employee success in applying the templates and helping the projects become more successful.
A comprehensive employee assessment was created to gauge understanding of both concepts and the application of change management techniques. Employees were asked to complete the assessment and were than ranked based on their results. This helped management determine where to best allocate efforts for further employee development.
In addition to helping the new department build its change management capability, Soarington also coached senior managers outside of the change management department on how to best navigate through complex organizational situations that were emerging in recognition of a broader ‘change management’ need triggered by the introduction of the change management department itself.
Soarington was able to successfully accelerate the learning and application of change management methods and templates by this client. As a result, the client was able to more quickly deploy their change management resources to projects and add value to the project teams, the end users of the change, and the organization overall.
In the words of the AVP of HR responsible for leading the new Change Management department: “Soarington was instrumental in helping us to develop our tools, templates, communication strategies…working as a team with various other divisions of the company and helping to develop our employees. Their knowledge and prior experience was a huge benefit to myself, my management team, as well as the employees.”
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