About the Author – Managing Organizational Change

About the Author

Linda Mattingly, a certified Organizational Change Specialist. While I have used organizational change principles in various roles throughout my career, I became a full-time organizational change specialist in 2005, when I was hired by Siemens PLM (formerly UGS) to join a team tasked with developing a best practice organizational change management (OCM) methodology to improve outcomes on client services deployment projects, primarily (but not exclusively) in the aerospace, automotive, and high-tech industries. To ensure strong support throughout the client services group, the Siemens PLM OCM development team worked closely with the services manager, project managers, and solution architects through every phase of the project. This allowed us to implement a framework for integrating best practice organizational change principles that were specifically designed to both support and enhance the existing project management delivery methodology.

The Siemens PLM OCM team created an extensive library of training materials and online, self-paced training courses to develop strong OCM skills throughout all levels of the client services organization, but with a focus on the project managers and senior systems analysts. To maximize long-term benefits by providing a way to link the principles that were covered in the training materials (conceptual) to the actual, day-to-day project implementation tasks (tangible), we did not limit our work to simply developing training materials and leading training workshops. We created a significant number of OCM-related tools and templates that were added to the project management document library. These materials gave the client services teams the additional support needed to effectively implement OCM in their projects. Having these tools and templates made it much easier for our services project teams to put into practice the OCM theories that they had been taught. The ultimate goal was to integrate organizational change principles into all client services project plans.

In addition to the organizational change specialist role for which I was hired, over time, I was given the opportunity to fill a variety of roles as part of the on-site product lifecycle management solution delivery team for client projects. All of the work I was assigned on these projects had a strong OCM focus, and included developing role-based, end-to-end process maps; creating and delivering client-specific end-user training courses; and creating user-acceptance test scripts. Over the course of my time at Siemens PLM, I worked on client projects from a number of different industries, some of which may be familiar to you (Lockheed Martin Space Systems in aerospace, AM General [the manufacturer of the Humvee] in automotive, and Intel in high tech).

The experience I gained while fulfilling these different role responsibilities on client services projects was invaluable. It gave me a unique opportunity to see the positive impacts associated with executing best practice OCMs throughout a project from a variety of perspectives. Because of my own, previous experiences, as well as all of the data available on the subject, I expected that implementing best practice organizational change principles would lead to stronger stakeholder engagement, more effective project communications, reduced delays due to unexpected risks, and an end-user community ready and able to accept the new change solution. And, I expected that together, these improvements would result in better long-term change adoption across all end-user groups. But what I did not anticipate was that by implementing an OCM component to ensure all project activities included a focus on the people side of change, there would be a substantial, positive impact on how each of the groups involved with the change implementation would alter the ways in which they worked together to achieve success. I saw an improved willingness by our clients to provide the right business resources at the right time to support critical requirements gathering and solution testing activities. In some cases, I saw groups that began with an almost adversarial relationship transform into strong partners with shared goals and visions for success. This change in how individuals fulfilled their individual role on a project, as well as how they interacted with others was not just seen in a few, isolated incidences. This was taking place over and over, and was resulting in appreciably improved working relationships between business and technical groups; manufacturing and engineering groups; and most unexpectedly, at the leadership level of Siemens PLM and our clients.

Seeing this level of transformation as a result of implementing proven OCM principles had a profound impact on how I would think about the actual value of OCM going forward. Based on what I saw take place on numerous complex change projects, I now had a much clearer understanding of how effectively planning and executing a robust OCM plan would provide very real business advantages; advantages that would reach far beyond successful change implementation on a single project. I saw individuals at every level of an organization expand their definition of successful change implementation beyond merely “successful delivery of a technical solution,” to “successful delivery of the right technical solution to a stakeholder community that is fully prepared to implement that solution with minimal disruption to productivity and maximum value to the organization.”

In 2009, I left Siemens PLM to become an independent organizational change specialist. Since that time, I have supported various complex organizational change initiatives that span functional, business unit, and even global boundaries. The clients I have supported include Rolls-Royce Plc., United Launch Alliance, Siemens PLM (as a subcontractor), and Solar Turbines (a subsidiary of Caterpillar Inc.). As a consultant, my role on each project is defined by the unique circumstances of each ­client. At times, I have worked closely with the project manager in the role of OCM lead. As the OCM lead, I have been responsible for defining the project sponsorship development and communication plans, building integrated stakeholder engagement roadmaps; designing role-based, end-to-end user-acceptance test plans; and putting in place a process that would ensure organizational risks were included in the overall project risk management plans.

At other times, I have been imbedded in the program management office (PMO) or center of excellence (COE) groups to design and implement a customized organizational change methodology that would work within the organization’s existing project management approach (waterfall, Agile, 6 Sigma, and so on). While the roles defined earlier describe the majority of my consulting work, I have also had the opportunity to provide short-term consulting services to smaller businesses. On these projects, I have been brought in to focus on addressing specific change issues that have arisen due to business growth, changes in the market sector that require changes within the business, changes to processes, and even mitigating the impact of the loss of key employees.

In addition to my consulting work, I have had the great pleasure of presenting at numerous industry-sponsored conferences, at which I deliver audience-specific presentations or small group workshops. Sometimes, the goal is to provide a general overview of the meaning and value of organizational change, and at other times, the goal is to do a deep dive into the actual steps that the attendees can take to ensure success as they implement organizational change on complex technical projects within their own organizations.

Over the years, every project I supported and every conference at which I presented has had the same basic requirement: that I develop a customized approach to ensure maximum results. Whether I am responsible for OCM activities as the change lead within the project team; working with an organization’s PMO or COE leadership team to identify and address existing organization change issues and helping them institute a customized OCM methodology, supported by an internal team of change agents; providing employee mentoring and general OCM support to small business owners; or presenting OCM principles, models, and examples to help an audience understand and implement OCM principles more effectively, one thing remains constant. My success is always tied to motivating individuals to make a conscious decision to do something different after working with me than they did before we met.

And this, in a nutshell, is the ultimate definition of successful organizational change: moving individuals to take the actions needed to achieve a stated set of goals so that change can be realized. Frankly, that is the ultimate definition of success for this book as well. If the information, instructions, and tools that I have included in this book provide the reader the knowledge, desire, and incentive to actually take action, then this book will have met its purpose, and I will consider it a success.