Staying the same is not an option! Enabling change capability in Universities

With student expectations growing, the higher education industry is under increasing pressure to perform.  The industry is becoming even more transparent in terms of how success and satisfaction is judged, with this and many other external factors including funding and new legislation, universities and colleges need to continually innovate and evolve to ensure they have the competitive edge. Staying the same is not an option!

In this blog, we take a look at the further education industry and share a little of how we’ve worked with over 30 Universities and colleges here in the UK to help this specific community to build their competency to lead and implement internal change successfully.

What types of common changes are our universities and colleges facing?

We reviewed the many change projects we’ve seen in this space - they range from I.T system transformations, timetabling changes, admin process change, office moves, staff restructure and financial programme to name a few: 

In preparation for attending the Prosci change management training, we ask participants for some specifics about their own change projects, and they carried out a series of assessments to analyse the state of the change. The sample projects cited in the word cloud is representative of those projects brought by university participants to CMC's change management training.

How change ready were these organisations?

Using the Prosci PCT™ (Project Change Triangle) Model - a simple and powerful model, we've noted some common trends in the assessment scores from a sample of further education change projects brought along to CMC training.

From our sample we identified that whilst about 76% of the projects indicated good leadership/sponsor engagement, approximately 50% of the projects had good project management but fewer, around 42%, had good change management application. It was clear that planning and implementing change management was only applied to relatively few projects - despite the fact that evidence showing that with application of change management to change initiatives that these are likely to be up to 6x more successful.  By and large, the sample projects demonstrated that leaders understand good change leadership is important; but interestingly with deeper analysis in this area, we find that in some organisations there is still be a gap between the leaders knowing that sponsorship is important and putting this into practice - being active and visible, working with peers and communicating clearly. 

So with the change management practices at a low maturity level, organisations felt they needed support to make their change initiatives a success, and so they turned to CMC Partnership and the Prosci change management methodology for help.

Here’s just a few different scenarios of the support CMC’s Prosci change management experts have provided:

1. Equipping programme teams through Prosci® Certification

  • Armed with the 70+ Prosci tools and templates and equipped with the practical application of the methodology, change professionals from universities and colleges attend a public Prosci Practitioner certification programmme offered by CMC Partnership. They walk away with solid change management plans to effectively manage the people side of change. 
  • Some establishments invite CMC Partnership to deliver Prosci change management training to upskill a team of colleagues.  By running the course on an on-site, this offers a fantastic opportunity for project teams to work together on a common project or change initiative and potentially to involve their leaders during parts of the programme, and it can offer a per person cost saving too!

And to date we’re proud to say that in the further education industry CMC has to date certified over 200 Prosci Practitioners enabling and equipping them with a best practice approach based to change management!  

2. Role based change management development for Sponsors and Managers

It’s not just the change project and programme teams that can benefit from change management training, we’ve run several workshops within the further education sector for employees at all levels. 

  • For one university, we organised a series of workshops for their Managers who were going through an office move and co-location of teams for improved collaboration. The impacted teams spread across the organisation and it was important that the Managers were initially prepared for the change themselves. This group embarked on a Managers workshop to create a clear and shared understanding of what the change entailed (with the help of Prosci ADKAR assessments). They discovered through techniques such as coaching, communication and managing resistance, they were able to better lead their employees through change.
  • CMC also worked with another university who were installing a new finance system that would impact the entire university. Due to the nature of the change, they wanted to engage their Executive team. As the Prosci Best Practices research has repeatedly indicated “Active and visible sponsorship is the no. 1 contributor to change management success”. The engagement of sponsors is critical to change delivery success. This organisation has continued to build change management capability based on the Prosci approach and has adopted this as common vocabulary and language to support this and future changes. 

3. Advisory and coaching support
Building change capability doesn't just begin and end with training. CMC has provided expert coaching support based on the Prosci to Certified Prosci Practitioners to ensure that the application of change management is optimised.  Our Advanced Prosci Instructors with many years of senior change management experience have continued to guide and coach teams on their change management journey. 

What they said... 

Enough from us! To conclude we'd like to hand you over to Alice Trethewey's from University of Plymouth who shares here experience of becoming Prosci Change Management certified with CMC.  Just click to hear her story!

Plus a couple of testimonials.. 

“Very enjoyable, good food for thought and reflection and plenty of practical applications. Already have ideas for how to improve change management techniques and help my current project" Cardiff University.

“Brilliant, really enjoyed it and extremely valuable. Delivery will improve return on investment for my project” Imperial College, London.

"Brilliant course, takes you through the methodology in great depth and detail, showing real practical applications for live and future projects" Nottingham Students Union.

Would you like to help with building change capability in your organisation?

If you're working in the education sector and would like to have a conversation with a member of our team, get in touch.

Find out more about CMC's Prosci Change Management Practitioner Certification programme, Sponsor briefing and Managers workshop