Change Hurts! But You Can Prepare

By Mimi Dionne posted 08-03-2010 12:48


Records and information change management. It hurts. Records projects are a tough sell when senior management doesn’t care. I looked through Tom Kendrick’s “Results without Authority: Controlling a Project when the Team Doesn’t Report to You” (AMACOM: 2006) which I found through the wonderful virtual library at Essentially, Mr. Kendrick acknowledges five, familiar operating styles of power in organizations: power of position; power to coerce; power to reward; power of expertise; and power of personality. Unless you’re a paragon of pheromonic virtue and controlling a project comes easily to you (and more power to you if it does), any one of them will do…to an extent. You will need tools to accompany your approach. While communication is the best leadership tool on a project, followed by motivation, it is the barter system that is the most effective and oldest path to success.

Mr. Kendrick describes three types of project control: process, metrics, and influence.

Control through process reflects traditional project management phases—but note the last piece (nice to see it here):

  • Life cycles and methodologies
  • Project definition
  • Contract and procurement management
  • Project planning, execution, and tracking
  • Change management
  • Risk management
  • Quality management
  • Issue management
  • Decision making
  • Information management

Control through metrics, which we should see mentioned more in the study materials for the ICRM test:

  • Resource allocations and cost estimates
  • Project deliverable benefits and value assessments
  • Complexity
  • Forecasted volume of output
  • Measures of risk and uncertainty
  • Project duration

Finally, control through influence. It is a ten step process, but note how much you will still depend on documentation:

  • Document the objective.
  • Identify who could do the work.
  • Evaluate options and select the best person.
  • Consider the other person's perspective.
  • Possibilities for exchange.
  • Meet with the other person.
  • Verify assumptions and determine what to exchange.
  • Request a commitment.
  • Document the agreement.
  • Deliver on the offer and track the work to completion.

Considering the heavy dependence on documentation even under the guise of influence, review the MOSS 2007 governance plan carefully. Change management usually isn’t mentioned there, but in the case of a Records and Information Management project, it should be. Check out the questions below.

  • What records and information management problem are we trying to solve?
  • How sure are we of the scope of this implementation? How can we verify it?
  • Where are the origins of these information sources?
  • Has this situation occurred before? How did we deal with it (or similar situations) in the past?
  • Can we quantify what we are hearing? What are the measurable aspects?
  • What is the maximum tolerable project impact of this governance plan?
  • What is the overall business case for what is being proposed?
  • What are the risks associated with the plan?
  • Is the plan consistent with our overall priorities?
  • What are this plan’s benefits? How can we verify their value?
  • Are there possible unintended consequences of the plan that could affect others?
  • How will we evaluate success? Who will be responsible for verifying successful closure?
  • What might we have overlooked?

Once questions are answered, craft a paragraph or two to address these concerns and commit to them in the MOSS 2007 governance plan. Don’t let easy end user adoption be the driver. Enough MOSS 2007 implementation stories are out there; you know better. Your project will stand out.

Influencing a project without authority is a ridiculously tough road. I’m serious. It hurts for everyone. But think about the above. Answer the difficult questions in your SharePoint 2007 Governance plan.

#records #Management #Management #SharePoint #change #ElectronicRecordsManagement