Change Management Key To Project Implementation

As the Ministry of Basic Education is undergoing a massive transformation through a government-approved plan known as 'Education and Training Sector Strategy Plan (ETSSP), I feel compelled to point out a few change management aspects that I believe can be very critical in determining whether or not the envisaged product is successful.

Of the many initiatives constituting the ETSSP, this discussion will focus on the Outcome Based Education (OBE). It is my belief that Project Management should run parallel to Change Management relating to that project. The OBE will require a certain uplifting in knowledge and skill from the project implementers. It will also require a change in mindset from other stakeholders like school managers, educational officers and parents/guardian. The project will also mean a change in procurement processes and procedures to meet the resources required for quality implementation.

Common sense dictates that a project cannot implement itself. Stakeholders ought to be brought on board. They have to adopt and embrace the project. This sets in motion ownership of the project by all. Knowing this reality, we can therefore safely conclude that project management should run parallel to change management. Traditionally change management agents had a myopic approach to how managing change should happen. The emphasis was on communication so much that other aspects became very negligible. A more professional approach depicts that there is need for some engagement with relevant stakeholders, right from the planning stage. Allow me to briefly narrate the four main cornerstones that will aid change to be managed well. In my view these include; Communication: It is important that we clearly define our stakeholders who play critical role in this project. In the case of OBE, I would want to believe that they include teachers, school managers, education officers, parents/guardian and students. We need to determine the best medium of communication when reaching the various stakeholders and depending on the stakeholder, a more senior officer must disseminate the information.

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