Business Center

Opportunity is Knocking: Michael Avery

By Michael Avery, Project Management and Change Management Intern
Posted: April 13, 2018

Michael Avery

Michael Avery

I'll never forget the conversations I had at my interview for a change management position with CDOT. I knew that I was interested in learning how to integrate change management into project management, a skill that would assist me with the people side of a technical change.

Life has been a whirlwind of activities for me the past nine months, as most interns with the CDOT Office of Process Improvement can attest. Fortunately, I had recently earned my MBA in project management and did not have to deal with scheduling time for work and class, a luxury some interns don't have. I'll just jump right in and get learning. My life experiences have always left me with an insatiable appetite for what is next!

I had a good idea what I was getting into when I joined the team, simply—learn how to integrate the "people side of change" into a Project Management methodology. It turns out it's not that simple, but I knew all of that deep down because if it was that simple every change would be successful and there would be no need for a change management practitioner.

Implementing Change Management

I was very fortunate to participate in CDOT's Change Management for Practitioners' course (licensed from Prosci) in August 2017, working on the Traffic Engineer's Work Zone Speed Limit project in CDOT's Denver/Central Region (known as "Region 1"). The project is focusing on standardizing the work zone speed limit selection criteria for a safe work zone without impeding the normal traffic flow. This project was small enough to feel empowered and provide a value-add to the project.

My next opportunity came when the CDOT Program Management Office (PMO) asked me to write a plan for their Statewide initiative. The project is called the Pre-Construction Project Delivery Plan, which is intended to introduce a more disciplined and systematic project management approach to pre-construction processes. Project implementation will require project managers across the state to adopt a new way of creating a project management plan.

By building organizational change management capabilities with the effective implementation, CDOT will realize a greater return on the initiatives we introduce and position ourselves for success in the present and the future.

In the coming years, no core competency will be more important than the ability to effectively implement change. With increasing internal and external influences, CDOT will only shoulder more elaborate and technical projects. I feel blessed and fortunate to have been a part of making CDOT the best DOT in the country.