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“Change” is in the Public Financial Management Air


October 10, 2013

Doug Hadden, VP Products

“Change management” is one of the disciplines of the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK). There seems to more to change management in Public Financial Management (PFM) reform. It’s cited as a critical factor for successes and failures. There must be something beyond generic “Change Management 101” at play in government reform.

FreeBalance has a higher success rate in Government Resource Planning (GRP) implementations than competitors. (On-time, on-budget, meets benefits, financially sustainable.) We realize that change management is a discipline on the critical path for PFM reform. That’s why we have partnered with Evans Incorporated whose CAARMA™ methodology goes far beyond typical organizational change management. Consultants from Evans have hands-on government change management experience. They know PFM. And, the methodology enables sustained change. This is one of those cases when deep specialization from a focused consulting firm is more critical to success than service breadth from a multi-national systems integration firm.

The Reality of Change

Technology enables reform when there is effective change management. There is a crucial period of time when change is introduced and performance drops. The longer the disruption and the deeper the drop of performance increases the odds that the change project will be dropped. Those resisting the change gain more influence. And, those supporting the change lose confidence, particularly in information technology projects because IT is meant to improve performance. The approach of phases of “small wins” handles this change dynamic much better than a long “big bang” technology implementation.

Organizational change management and technical change management are key disciplines for Government Resource Planning (GRP) projects.

Organizational Change Management

Organizational change is difficult in the public sector. The purpose of change and the impact to public servants are change challenges. I’ve encountered more and more discussion of organizational change management including:

Technical Change Management

Technical change management for GRP systems is much more than a logistical function of change orders. This is particularly true in government where legal constraints can require reconfiguration of software. And, operational issues encountered also challenges software customization – to what extent should the software reflect current processes or should there be “business process re-engineering”? (Where any process re-engineering requires organizational change management.) And, when the system is operational, how and when should there be reconfiguration?

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Doug Hadden

Doug Hadden

Executive Vice President, Innovation at FreeBalance
Doug is responsible for identifying new global markets, new technologies and trends, and new and enhanced internal processes. Doug leads a cross-functional international team that is responsible for developing product prototypes and innovative go-to-market strategies.

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