Change Management from a Project Manager's Perspective

Rao Bandla, PMP, CPHIMS-CA, a Senior Project Manager with the Provincial Health Services Authority, joined us at our September 21 meeting to share a presentation on integrating Project Management and Change Management.
Rao led the IT team of province of BC on a Canada-wide project coordinated by Canadian Blood Services called the Highly Sensitized Patient (HSP) program. The program is intended to exponentially increase kidney transplant opportunities for patients who are at a much higher risk of rejecting a kidney. Previously the wait lists for these hard-to-match patients had been provincial and patients only had access to the organs of donors from their respective provinces.
Change: Move HSP kidney transplant wait lists from being province-focused to national-focused and enable sharing of donor kidneys across Canada for these hard to match patients.
Reason for change: Increase the chances of finding donor organs for hard-to-match kidney patients.
Top three effective change management practices used:
  • Ensure you have an effective sponsor coalition – In Rao’s case, it was critical that he had, among others, nephrologists on his sponsorship team who were visibly and actively championing the change with their colleagues
  • Link the project objectives to patient health – If you’re trying to influence people to care about the change, show them the link between people adopting the change and improved health care outcomes
  • Create a sense of urgency – The sponsor made BC’s participation in the HSP program a priority and conveyed that commitment throughout the organization.

Audience suggestions
Rao also asked their audience for their feedback on additional CM techniques. Responses included: sharing transplant patient feedback with project team and people who needed to change processes; creating communications materials which explained how process changes would directly impacted a patient’s life; and making the case for having dedicated change management support in similar projects in the future.

Thank you again to Rao for sharing his insight with us.