Why CIOs need to be Organisation Change Leaders

As CIO you are a catalyst for change within your company, but if your team thinks change management is a method of controlling software releases you could be missing the most important capability your organisation needs to be successful.

Your company has aggressive goals, more growth, new products, more branches, lower costs and do it quickly. IT’s role in achieving the company’s goals is vital, without the new systems, streamlined processes and new services, the corporate strategy fails. IT is the driver of change across the company and the CIO is expected to be the champion of that change. At the same time the IT Organisation needs to adapt to these changes, there are new technologies, legacy systems being replaced, new processes and increasing pressure from business partners to do more.

A significant percentage of all IT projects are considered failures by the business post implementation, not because of any technical failures but because of change management issues such as inadequate training, poor processes, poor fit to business needs. Bearing Point, for example, report that up to 70% of change management projects fail due to internal politics and personnel. So, even when you’ve got mature requirements and project management disciplines and can deliver on time on budget, projects will still fail to deliver the expected business value.

Organisation Change Management best practices such as creating a compelling vision of the change, communicating, empowering action, and above all else having the key stakeholders involved in planning for change and owning the outcomes, significantly increase the success of change projects.

If IT is central to the company’s strategy then CIOs need to be champions of change. If IT projects are to become business projects and deliver business value, they need to encompass the business change required to deliver value and must adopt Organisation Change Management best practices.

CIOs need to develop Organisation Change Management capability within their organisation. How ready is your team for the changes to come? How ready is your team to sponsor good change management throughout the organisation? How well do you score on this quick and easy Organisation Change Management Capability Assessment.

This article is part of a series exploring the essential capabilities all CIOs and IT Organisations need to drive transformation and deliver enduring business value.
Joan Dobbie is the Founder and Principal Consultant at Beyond Strategy Consulting. Her company offers a wide range of IT Strategy and Transformation services to IT Organisations of all sizes.