Business Center

How the Change Agent Network has transformed CDOT

By Cynthia Case, Process Improvement Intern
May 17, 2018

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Back in 2012, CDOT was in the middle of a large change where boundaries were being redrawn between regions and planning areas.  This large change was in addition to many other changes happening at the time. While the boundary changes were implemented with good intentions, many felt left out and did not have a good experience with the change. This illuminated a problem within CDOT, and to help bridge this gap CDOT implemented an Organizational Change Management Program, which included CDOT’s Change Agent Network.

Establishing the Change Agent Network

The Change Agent Network (CAN) was established as a platform to bring together and bridge the gap between the internal business Project Leads and Change Managers, Sponsors of Change, and Change Agents, who are assigned to 100% of all managers and supervisors throughout CDOT.  Change Agents work to support the manager and supervisor role in change by supporting them so that they can help their employees adjust to and adopt changes. The goal of the CAN is to connect the technical side of internal changes with the people side of the same internal changes through a common platform that is accessible to everyone involved.   

Managing Change Before the Change Agent Network

Gary Vansuch, Director of Process Improvement, points to the restructuring of boundary lines as a great example of how changes were carried out before the CAN was established.  When asked to describe the change process prior to this date his response was, “chaotic”. This is the general consensus when I asked people their recollection of changes in CDOT prior to the CAN.  Paul Jesaitis, Regional Transportation Director for Region 1 (Denver Metro Area), said, “change was ad-hoc and large changes often had the result of making employees feel that they had no voice in decision making and that their views were not important.”

Managing Change With the Change Agent Network

Now that the CAN has been established for going on 6 years, people are seeing better results in managing changes across CDOT.  According to Paul Jesaitis, “things are better because when an employee hears something through the rumor mill or even through the Change Agent Network they now have a representative to voice any thoughts or concerns to.”  Through talking with people across CDOT there was a recurring theme of how the CAN helps with many aspects of change, including: transparency, better decision making, a stronger CDOT team, better situational awareness, a feeling that people’s opinions count, an opportunity for everybody's voice to be heard (even anonymously), less rumors, and the facilitation of process improvement projects that have a lasting impact.  Quoting Gary Vansuch, “everyone should be successful, we don’t want to leave anyone behind.” Each member of the CAN plays a significant role in ensuring that managers and supervisors throughout all of CDOT have the needed support to help everyone that is impacted by the many changes that occur at CDOT be successful.

“We are getting starting our 6th year of the Change Management Program at CDOT and the Change Agent Network has been a big part of that. Looking back, we have come a long way and I continue to see how the CAN adds value to our workforce - managers, supervisors and employees.” -- Michelle Malloy, Program Leader - Change Management Services

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!