PCMG Themes for 2020

At the last PCMG committee planning meeting, we developed some suggested themes that we would like to focus on over the next 12 months. We cannot do them all, so want to share these with the rest of the community so you can vote and let us know what would be of most use/interest to you. The theme could result in a training session, webinar, best practice guide or other publication. There will be the opportunity to vote for your favourite themes, but if you aren’t going to the Conference please vote now and let us know your top three…

We will be sharing the results in the new year and getting started on delivering what you have asked for. If there is any topic that you are particularly interested in contributing towards, either through subject matter expertise, experience or case study, please let me know and we will be in touch to discuss this with you.

Of course, if you think we have missed something really critical, please let me know and we will add it to the list!  Thank you in advance for your support and continued engagement with the community.
Best wishes,

Fiona Astor (on behalf of the PCMG Committee).

Justification of change management

We will explore the topic of justifying change, when often it is designed to deliver more than just monetary savings. The value of change management as a process is hard to quantify and build the case for staff or investment. In an environment of increasing scrutiny of investment and efficiency savings, we will look for solutions to this difficult topic. Key questions we will aim to answer:
  • What are the benefits of effective change management?
  • How are change resources justified within a project and programme business case?
  • What is the RoI of change management?
  • How can change management help drive adoption / productivity / outcomes etc?
  • How do we make sure we are making changes with defined and realistic benefits that are fully costed?

Strategic prioritisation

Demonstrate good practice in supporting the University undertake prioritisation. We will explore how the University and IT department can ensure alignment to broader strategic goals and actively manage competing demands on resources and dependencies. Key questions we will aim to answer: •

  • Who engages in strategic prioritisation?
  • What is the difference between Portfolio, Programmes and Projects and does this impact on the way they should be prioritised?
  • How is alignment to BAU and core strategic objectives maintained?
  • What tools and techniques can be used?
  • What is the ‘doablity’ and ‘capacity’ to change and how do we measure these?
  • How can you plan for, and then manage a change in priorities?

Strategic planning

Provide an overview on how to support the University translate its vision in a plan of activity. How does the University deliver on its objectives and what is the role of change management and IT in shaping the plan, assessing the impact and aligning investment commitments to strategic goals. Key questions we will aim to answer: •

  • What is the role of IT in the translation of strategic vision?
  • Where in the lifecycle should IT and change management be engaged?
  • How do you assess the impact of the strategy and design activity to meet expectations?
  • How do you ensure the skills, capability and capacity is in place to deliver?
  • What methods are there for offering assurance that the change will deliver against objectives?

Tools to deliver change

Give an overview of the tools, techniques and approaches to be considered before embarking on the delivery of change. It will aim to provide advice and case studies on the skills, tooling and methods of collaborating across change teams and the wider University. Key questions we will aim to answer:

  • How do you ensure alignment across the software delivery lifecycle?
  • What are the pros and cons of each approach, and when is it appropriate to use each?
  • How do you ensure teams are coordinated during delivery?
  • Is it just tools/software that needs to be adopted or is it ‘how’ teams work?
  • How do you manage effective and consistent communication?

Impacts of AI and automation

Explore the impact on increasing automation and the adoption of AI technologies on traditional change management approaches. With increasing awareness of artificial intelligence, we will explore what this means for project and change management in HE. Key questions we will aim to answer:

  • What needs to be considered when embarking on an AI project?
  • Does AI and automation change the traditional approach to change management?
  • What skills, capabilities or ways of working are required or need to change?
  • How do we ensure the benefits of these technologies are delivered?

Resources and skills

Provide pointers, examples and case studies relating to the ongoing professional development of staff to support change management and project delivery in an environment where efficiency and reduced cost is high on the agenda. Key questions we will aim to answer:

  • How do we ensure we understand what skills are required to meet our ambitions?
  • How do we ensure we are recruiting the candidates with the right skill to undertake digital change and transformation in the future?
  • How should we be changing recruitment and on boarding practices to attract the best candidates?
  • What approach should we be taking to upskilling staff with redundant skills and managing performance where appropriate?

Change leadership and governance

Provide examples, techniques and tools for developing change leadership and enhancing the governance of change delivery. How do we empower change leadership to effectively manage, sponsor and deliver change? Key questions we will aim to answer:

  • How do we create the right culture of change (tools, methods, approaches, best practice)?
  • How do we ensure project and programme boards have the right skills, expectations and understanding to support change?
  • Should we be inducting or training our senior management to make them better change leaders?
  • How do we approach difficult conversations where leadership is lacking and how do we overcome situations where sponsorship of the change starts to drop?

‘People deliver change’

Provide a focus for the role of change management to empower staff to plan, deliver and adopt change in all its forms. From dealing with change fatigue, building resilience, learning lessons and continual professional and personal development, we will explore the tools and techniques required to make sure people truly are delivering change at our Institutions. Key questions we will aim to answer:

  • What people-centric methodologies can be used to deliver effective change management?
  • What examples of change management being successfully deployed as a collaboration with staff can we share?
  • What is the role of change managers and how do we embed them within existing project teams and methodologies?
  • What roles and skills are required to deliver change management?
  • How do we measure whether people are being considered enough when delivering a project?
  • How do we demonstrate the value of people delivering change?

Supporting transition

We will explore what the role of projects and programmes is in ensuring successful transition from the project lifecycle into business as usual. We will identify examples of best practice, tools and approaches for ensuring operational impact is managed and the benefits of the project are sustained. Key questions we will explore:

  • Should project success be measured using service KPIs and how can this method be used to track benefits realisation?
  • Who is responsible for supporting transition and do you always need a dedicated role to fulfill this?
  • When should operational staff be engaged and to what extent?
  • How and when do you decommission the project infrastructure as part of the transition to business as usual?
  • Should you use staff satisfaction with the change as a measure of project success, and how should this be done?