Change Management and Your CAST of Characters

There is a simple truth about projects. All projects result in change.

Some projects bring about small modifications to the status quo, and others introduce a large-scale transformation.

Many people in many roles will be affected by and instrumental in the change you’re promoting.

It’s important to tend to their needs throughout the change journey.

Here’s the CAST of characters you will meet:

Champions: These are people who want the change and work to gain commitment and resources for it.

Agents: They implement the change. Agents have implementation responsibility through planning and executing. At least part, if not all of change agent performance is evaluated and reinforced on the success of implementing the change.

Sponsors: They authorize, legitimize and demonstrate ownership for the change. Sponsors come in at least two varieties. They possess sufficient organizational power and/or influence to either initiate commitment of resources ( Authorizing Sponsor) or they promote the change at the “local” level ( Reinforcing Sponsor).

Targets: They are called on to alter their behavior, emotions, and practices. (During the change process, everyone is a Target at one time or another.)

People in different roles have different needs. Staying aware of those roles will help you with your messaging, coalition building, and every other aspect of your change work.

Here are some character rules to help your change to be effective and fast.

> Agents must have trust and credibility with the Sponsors and trust and credibility with the Targets

> In major change, there will always be overlap in the roles. When roles overlap, treat the individual as a Target first. This includes Sponsors.

> Building a cascade of Sponsors at each level of the organisation who each demonstrate commitment by what they Express, Model, and Reinforce is the single most important factor in getting swift implementation and value realization for your change.

> Your change is accelerated when the other three roles ( Agents, Sponsors, and Targets) are also Champions.

> Project teams should recognize early on the importance of building the network of Agents and ensure these individuals have the skills and knowledge to be successful in this important role. After all, it’s not the Champions that will have implementation responsibilities — it’s the Agents.

In a nutshell: Many people in many roles will be affected by and instrumental in the change you’re promoting. It’s important to tend to their needs throughout the change journey.

Originally published at https://www.henricodolfing.com.

Written by

I help C-level executives in the financial service industry with interim management and recovering troubled technology projects.

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