Most organizations are experiencing multiple changes at the same time and this trend will continue if not intensify.

Many organizations are experiencing “change overload” and have been in overload for almost a decade. In a recent survey of over 1700 organizations nearly 75% of employees stated that they are at or near change saturation… and this stat has been consistent for nearly 8 years![1]

Here 3 things to consider to manage a portfolio of multiple projects…

1. Change is both individual and organizational

Change happens as part of a process. There are many models that describe this but here is the six-stage model we use.

People experience each stage in their own way with their own needs, fears and motivations. We can never forget that the “program level” or portfolio is made up of individuals going through this journey.

2. Ripple effects

The stage and impact of one change will influence the stage and impact of other changes that are happening simultaneously.

A person’s perspective of their change journey is a combination of all of the changes they are experiencing at once.

The diagram above illustrates this cumulative overlap effect for Jamal. He is at Jumping In for the Blue Change project but he is at Rock Bottom for the Yellow Change project. The result is that he may be exhibiting the emotions and behaviours of being at the Long Slide.

When designing readiness surveys, focus group sessions and other change activities design them to allow for this cumulative effect. For example is when surveying, allow people to express how multiple changes are influencing their change readiness.

“When you think about all the changes happening in the organization, which one impacts you the most?”

3. Keep it Simple

We have all heard the acronym KISS…Keep it Simple Silly. Juggling multiple projects can get complicated so set up a dashboard that tracks the people side of change in a simple visual way and one that can be rolled up or drilled into as needed. Here examples of dashboards that we use…

The first shows a snapshot of a team of individuals going through a particular change.

The second shows the impact of each project. Each coloured icon represents a different project. The number in each icon is the number of people for that project at that stage.

This shows the cumulative effect of multiple changes across an organization.

Finally

Managing a portfolio of change initiatives is a challenge. Remember change is experienced by individuals, one change influences another and measuring in a simple way will help you stay on top of everything.

[1]. Prosci, 2018, Best Practices in Change Management – 2018 Edition