Business Center

Great Sponsorship or BUST!

By Michael Avery, Office of Process Improvement Intern
17 May 2018

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Change is inevitable in today’s world and more and more, sponsors are expected to deliver a higher return on the investment. In the coming years, no core competency will be more important than the ability to effectively implement change and respond quickly to ever-changing demands. With increasing internal and external influences, CDOT will only shoulder more elaborate and technical projects. CDOT’s ability to achieve expected benefits and outcomes will be bound directly to how effectively we engage our employees in these changes, as success directly depends on employee adoption of things like new processes, new software, and new ways of doing business.

Most organizations have multiple change efforts occurring at once, both large and small, all making demands on people. Sponsors are typically the Executives within an organization charged with the overall responsibility of the change initiative.  They are leaders in the organization and their calendars are jammed packed each and every day working to ensure CDOT is constantly working to save lives and make people’s lives better. But, to ensure that they are being dedicated and resourceful stewards of the taxpayer’s money, they must also devote energy and effort into each and every project they Sponsor.  In a nutshell, CDOT’s Sponsors of change must pay attention to the technical side of change or the RST’s of change:

RST's of Change

Resourcing each project
Scoping out each project
Timing: Determining the time frame for each project

At CDOT, we believe that we should enable those impacted by the change to be successful with that change. To do this, we educate and coach all Team CDOT members to play their role in change, including the Sponsors of change.  Therefore, all Sponsors at CDOT strive to integrate a solid change management plan in all their projects. Their role as Sponsor within each project is extensive, but can be boiled down to the ABC’s of Sponsorship:

ABC’s of Sponsorship

active and visible support of the project or change
building a coalition to support the project or change
communicate, communicate, communicate

Why do CDOT’s Sponsors work so diligently on each project or change at CDOT? Effective executive sponsorship has been cited as the top contributor to the successful change in nine of Prosci’s benchmarking research - by a three to one margin!  Sponsorship - good sponsorship - is vital to successful project, successful change and to ensure that we are spending funds in the most efficient and effective way possible.

We at CDOT routinely express, ‘organizations don’t change, people do’.  With that common knowledge, we at CDOT believe everyone at CDOT plays a role in change.  From Sponsors to Employees being impacted, we all must understand our roles and actively engage in them.  Without everyone playing their roles, the projects will struggle and perhaps fail, but without the Sponsor playing their role, the project will ultimately break down and fail.  Never underestimate the power of great Sponsorship!

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!