The ability to navigate a complex project is not something I expected to learn to such a high level of detail when I first planned to work toward my graduate degree. When I first learned that this was the plan, I thought it was a good idea; but I can’t say that I fully appreciated the impact this would have on my ability to actively engage others in change management. I deal with projects quite a bit. I am not the project manager and am always grateful to be paired with a person who loves this side of change management. I would like to share a couple of moments that have happened during the time of this class.
The first challenge that I was able to address occurred a handful of weeks ago when I was assigned to transition one of our sites from a fully functional express care to a designated COVID test site for pre-surgical patient testing. Without diluting the purpose of this post with too many details, the site leadership had significant concerns regarding the requested change and so I offered to conduct a SWOT analysis to help the team understand if their concerns were valid or an emotional response to a stressful situation. In the parking lot of the facility, the entire team participated in a brainstorming activity to complete the analysis. What resulted was a well-thought proposal where the team was able to outline a plan to achieve the critical elements of the request while acknowledging local weaknesses with shifts in how the plan was executed.
The next example happened one week ago. One of my projects is evolving beyond expectations. Some of the work will be shifted into a distinct phase that can be temporarily backlogged. A great deal of work needs to be done to ensure that the team is addressing the true root of the problem. We had just completed the work breakdown structure and so it was fresh in my mind. Despite an awareness of how complex the document can become, I offered this as a way for the team to navigate the growing number of project tasks. Only a few sections are completed because there is so much discovery to be done. Even with that, the team is finding clarity, direction, and an awareness of how this intimidating number of tasks can be organized in a way that makes them achievable.
I feel empowered by these experiences and look forward to finding more opportunities like the two I have mentioned. On one hand, these forms are taking more time and increase the work. On the other hand, they are improving communication and contributing to the way the team perceives the work. From my perspective, that is a win.