Business Center

CDOT Works to Promote Change Management Throughout State Government

By Shalice Reilly, Office of Process Improvement Intern
October 4, 2018

Participants and trainers

Picture: Participants and trainers from the 16th Cohort of the 3-Day, Prosci Change Management Practitioner Course.
Instructors: Laura Zamora and Michelle Malloy.
Participants: Leslie Chase, Kimberly Ferber, Johannes Tai, Casey Hensley, Hana Sayeed, April Shelton, Lindsay VanDusseldorp, Bridget Clawson, Charlotte Olsen, Laura Koenenman, Mark Ceja, Erik Garris, Toni Myles, Erin Hayes and Nakia Collins (in no particular order).

The 16th cohort of state employees participated in the 3-day, Prosci Change Management Practitioner Course, facilitated by the Colorado Department of Transportation’s (CDOT) Office of Process Improvement (OPI) from August 21st through the 23rd. The course was led by Michelle Malloy, Senior Program Manager of Strategy & Change Management Services, and Laura Zamora, an Area Engineer at CDOT.

Collaboration with Other State Agencies

OPI works to improve change management practices not just at CDOT, but at other state organizations as well.  In 2012, CDOT began an organizational change management program in an “effort to become a more responsive organization, and to foster the development of successful stewards of change,” explains Malloy. When correctly applied, change management techniques negate the negative impacts of change and instead create offices that operate with high efficiency and effectiveness when implementing change, and that has drastically less employee resistance to change. So, when thinking of the Colorado State government as a collection of organizations that are reliant on the success and efficiency of the others, it is easy to see why having trained change management practitioners and professionals within each and every organization should be a high priority.

As a part of the implementation of CDOT ’s organizational change management program, CDOT began to offer role-based change management training courses for employees, managers and supervisors, business project managers & change managers, sponsors and CDOT’s Change Agents. CDOT invites individuals from other state agencies to audit their courses in an effort to share the benefits of having an organizational change management program.  CDOT hopes to have more agencies throughout Colorado begin their change management journeys in order to realize the benefits of their planned organizational changes.

“Through these courses, we teach our employees and provide awareness to those outside of CDOT on the benefits of incorporating the people side of change with their business projects” Malloy explained, “If change management is adopted at an organizational level and  incorporated into business projects, there is a higher degree of success on projects, we capture the people dependent ROI, we actively manage resistance and we build competency into the organization as a whole”.

CDOT quickly recognized the importance of offering employees beyond their department the opportunity to audit their change management courses, due to the collaborative nature of CDOT’s work with other State entities. If the functioning of Colorado’s state departments can be thought of as interlocking gears that work together to create change, then creating efficiency in only the CDOT gear would not truly be enhancing change practices of the entire State.

How did this training create positive change?

In the 16th cohort of this training program, there were 15 participants. CDOT staff, staff from the Governor’s Office, Health Care Policy & Financing, and the Colorado Department of Human Services all came together to learn about improving how they implement change.

the Colorado Department of Human Services

Toni Myles and Erik Garris, employees of the Colorado Department of Human Services, were two of the participants in the 16th cohort of Change Management Practitioners. Myles and Garris signed up for this course together because they are co-leading their department in transitioning the way their employees' process applications to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The department recognized that the current process was wasting a lot of paper, as well as employee time, so they are working to transition the current paper forms to a digital process instead.

awareness of the need for change
desire to support the change
knowledge of how to change
ability to demonstrate skills & behaviors
reinforcement to make the change stick

Over the course of three days, Myles and Garris learned about Prosci’s ADKAR model, where ADKAR represents the pillars of successful change management (awareness, desire, knowledge, ability, and reinforcement). They were also able to identify key individuals who would need to be involved in this change, as well as create a variety of essential tools that would help to ease the difficulties associated with enacting change. “I think the course provided solid information and great tools to ensure that all staffs are prepared for significant changes in the workplace,” explained Myles, “It was helpful to practice the concepts and to interact with others outside my team, as it offered a new perspective I had not previously considered.” Overall, the course allowed them to fully realize the potential of this change while limiting resistance from their employees or other leadership positions.

According to Myles, the department has not begun their change effort due to other high priority tasks coming up, but they do plan to begin in November of 2018. “We are using many of the tools and concepts we learned as we prepared to launch the change,” assured Myles.

Change management is essential for any organization that hopes to grow and adapts with the changing technological and sociological needs of their workplace while minimizing the negative effects of doing so. Without change management practices, organizations often experience lower returns on investments, less benefit realization, and often do not achieve their projected results. These organizations also exhibit signs of social conflict, unnecessary time wastes, and turn over of valued employees.

Want to learn more about Change Management at CDOT?
Check out our improvement efforts at the Office of Process Improvement’s website! Or, for CDOT employees, stop by the Change Hub on our Intranet!