Business Center

Changing the Way We Learn: Managing Virtual Courses During a Pandemic

#Prosci #ChangeManagement #ADKAR #StateGovernment #VirtualTraining

By: Victoria Farberov, Process Improvement and Change Management Intern

May 3, 2021

 Cohort 25 Coffee Mugs

March 2021 marks one year of Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) employees working from home. The past year has been a learning curve for all of us. We had to quickly learn how to adjust to a fully virtual work environment. But, over the past year, we have learned and adapted to this. On February 23-25 CDOT held the fourth fully virtual 3-day Change Management Practicator course and workshop. Thankfully, course leaders Michelle Maloy and Laura Zamora were able to reinvent this course to work virtually. 


The course and workshop takes place over 3 days, providing plenty of time to learn the material and to learn from the other participants, such as their successes and failures with change. During breakout sessions, participants have the opportunity to collaborate with state employees from different agencies, providing a unique experience. For the first time, the 25th cohort included members from the Colorado Department of Law. 


The CDOT 3-day Change Management course provides participants with the ability to learn about change management topics, tools, and practices, such as how to manage resistance to change,how to sustain change in the workplace, ADKAR, and the Prosci Change Triangle (PCT). As part of the course, participants bring a project they are currently working on to the workshop, allowing participants to apply what they’re learning to an actual project. This cohort projects some diverse projects to the class, projects covering topics such as PROLAW Utilization Expansion, Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) Firewall Migration, and Real-time Billing Change Management Considerations. 


To be successful in these efforts, the change management course walks participants through the necessary change management steps and helps them understand some of the challenges they may face when doing change management projects. This included learning about Prosci’s change management process and three phases for managing change: Preparing for Change, Managing Change, and Reinforcing Change. 


After taking the course, participant Patricia Nord, Budget Director at the Governor's Office of Information Technology (OIT) said, “I was able to present the slides we created in the course to my supervisor, and "plead my case". I was able to gain traction with her and our CFO to make some workload changes to allow me more time to dedicate to Change Management for my project! I also took some Prosci slides from the library on the various types of and most effective project/change management structures to our Deputy CIO to help with the strategy for us to incorporate/implement Change Management organizationally.”


When asked about the course Tony Gherardini, Interim Director, Division of Community Behavioral Health at the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) said, “This course helped me understand the deliberate process required to effect collaborative, meaningful  change. The structure provided and the emphasis on communicating and achieving buy-in was immediately beneficial to me in my role. I've spoken with my executive leadership about my positive experience in this training and as a result, additional leaders from CDHS will be attending this training in the near future.” 


When asked about this cohort, instructor Michelle Malloy said, “I can't believe that we have taught this course 25 times already! Cohort #25 in February of 2021 was a blast! With participants from five different agencies the participants were exposed to a wide variety of change issues throughout the state. Each of the Cohort #25 participants brought so much to the table to share, which allows all participants to get not just a class, but an experience - one that will stick with them for the rest of their lives.”


As we continue to run this course virtually for the foreseeable future, we hope to see you join us and learn more about change management. Don’t forget to bring your favorite mug! 


Want to learn more about Change Management at CDOT? Check out our improvement efforts at the Office of Process Improvement’s website! Read about past success stories from participants in the course and other employees who have had success in their own change management efforts.