The OCM Framework – Integrating OCM into Your Project Workplan

OCM Framework
An infrastructure for OCM

Organizational Change Management (OCM) is managing the “people side” of change, ensuring a return on investment (ROI) and meeting the organization’s objectives.  One of the challenges of OCM work is integrating into the master project work plan. As an OCM Team, it would be easy to work completely independently to the project work plan.  However, teamwork implies interdependence, which in the case of OCM, means that the OCM Team must align its work to the project plan.

A great tool for this integration of OCM work into the master project workplan is called the OCM Framework.  The OCM Framework is an infrastructure that is both a conceptual model and a planning model.

From a conceptual perspective, it allows a client to digest all of the high-level categories that could be within the scope of responsibility of the OCM team.

OCM work can seem vague and difficult to plan for; so, it is really helpful to have a visual with you during early client (sponsor) conversations. The benefit here is that you have an opportunity to explain the plan’s infrastructure, the categories, and subtasks; and, the relationships between them, including what might be optional vs. necessary on a given project.

Think of the OCM Framework as a menu of options for the client. Clients need to make informed decisions about the scope of OCM work, which enables them in their role.

At a high level, the categories that are numbered are groupings of activities. The categories are all necessary, but the sub-categories (lower-level tasks) of work can be customized to the nature and scope of the project itself. Organizational Change Management Infrastructure

Let’s take a deeper look

1) Change Strategy and Plan represents the initial discussion and planning for OCM work.

2) Stakeholder Management & Communications needed to optimize communications.

3) Organization Design & Workforce Planning, especially important with transformational changes.  The future state of the organization may be much different than its current state.

4) Skills & Knowledge Management, aka Training & Development, a necessary component.

And finally, in the center, the guiding

5) Project Organization/Objectives for the OCM work and the project.

Planning for OCM success

From a planning perspective, the OCM Framework allows the OCM Manager to plan work that aligns to the master workplan. For example, if there is a single Go Live date and all system users need to be fully trained prior to a given date, then that information gives the mandate within the Training Plan that all training development and delivery needs to be done prior to the single Go Live date. However, if it’s a phased Go Live, the Training Plan accounts for the delivery for end users based on the phased approach.  This may seem like basic stuff, but it’s important when working on large IT projects that have lots of moving parts!

The lesson here is to use early client conversations to convey the scope of possible OCM work, allowing customization and choice.   We know that Sponsor engagement is critical for project success, and having early conversations about the scope of OCM work saves time later. And, builds a common lexicon around OCM work, which helps everyone on the project.

Sponsors who are informed and understand the level of effort for OCM tasks are better prepared for their role.  This clarity in the tasks and level of effort for OCM work then is more-easily integrated into the master workplan and ensures better project outcomes.   Using the OCM Framework is a good way to keep your sponsor and your project manager informed (and happy!).

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