Establishing an Effective Change Management Office for Organizational Evolution

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Jan 29, 2024

Establishing an Effective Change Management Office for Organizational Evolution

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Written by Jennifer Martin

Category: Change Management

As health system organizations continue to evolve with the most recent updates to processes and technology, such as electronic health records (EHR) and enterprise resource planning (ERP), it can be challenging to ensure that a proper change management plan is in place to support the ever-evolving demands of the organization. More and more companies are now looking at how they can build an internal Change Management Office (CMO) to support their needs.


A Change Management Office (CMO) can:

Provide Guidance and Support with Internal Change Initiatives

Leverage a consistent methodology to ensure changes are managed in a systematic and effective manner. This involves having a structured approach to guide the planning, execution, and monitoring of internal change initiatives.

Instill Culture and Brand Internally and Externally

Cultivate and reinforce the organizational culture by aligning behaviors, values, and actions with the desired culture and brand image. The CMO plays a key role in shaping and maintaining a cohesive and positive culture both within the organization and in its external interactions.

Communicate Effectively to Build Awareness and Understanding

Provide clear and transparent communication to stakeholders. This helps to manage expectations, address concerns, and create a shared understanding of the reasons behind the changes.

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When thinking about building a CMO, there are many layers to consider, especially when it pertains to change management. Here are some key points to keep in mind when you begin your growth with a CMO.

Conduct Research and Planning

  • Understand departmental needs: Identify the specific needs of different departments or divisions. Explore existing change groups or teams within the organization.
  • Survey the organization: Conduct a thorough survey to gauge the organization’s insights on change that will help shape the CMO. This can help identify internal members with change management skills.
  • Determine the team to build the CMO: They may not necessarily be a part of the CMO, but establishing a group who can push the initiative forward is essential.

Establish Vision, Goals and Internal Brand

Determine vision, purpose, and goals: Clearly define the vision, purpose, and goals of the CMO, which will ensure alignment and secure buy-in from leadership.

For example:

  • Purpose: “The CMO’s purpose is to facilitate and manage the people side of change, ensuring that organizational initiatives are embraced and adopted successfully while aligning with our strategic priorities.”
  • Role: “The CMO serves as a strategic partner in planning, executing, and sustaining our change efforts. It provides expertise, tools, and processes to support leaders and employees in adopting new ways of working.”


  • Establish or enhance your internal brand: Develop an internal brand that aligns with the vision, mission, and values of the organization. This contributes to cultivating a change-oriented culture. Your internal brand will help employees understand a set of beliefs, behaviors and characteristics that define the organization identity. This helps influence how employees and external stakeholders perceive the workplace.

Determine Placement within the Organization

Identify optimal placement: It is always a challenge for companies to identify the best place for the change management office to sit. Common departments where organizations typically place their CMO are either Human Resources, the Project Management Office, or Information Technology. It really all depends on the structure and style of your organization. Consider asking the team, “Where can the CMO be most effective?”  Ensure the CMO can align with the overall organization’s initiatives while supporting the needs of the different departments.

Define Roles and Responsibilities

When you think of roles and responsibilities, it is important to begin with the team composition first and then determine the skillsets that you may have internally before reaching outside of the organization. This may require some restructuring.

  • Team composition: This will be dependent on the organization’s size. The team may include change managers, communication specialists, and/or training and data analysts.
  • Development: Evaluate internal talent for promotion and bring in external hires with change management expertise.
  • Leadership: The leader of the CMO should be someone with strong change management skills, who possess the right leadership and ability to collaborate across departments.

Develop a Change Management Strategy

  • Framework: Identify a change management framework/approach (e.g., Prosci) to guide employees through the change journey.
  • Communication channels: Determine effective communication channels to keep stakeholders informed and engaged.
  • Employee engagement: Develop programs to involve the organization during process or technology changes so employees’ voices are heard in the decision-making process.
  • Training: Develop training programs to equip employees with the skills needed for the changes.
  • Capacity Survey: Conduct a Capacity Survey to understand the organization’s readiness for change and address concerns proactively.

Integrate into Organization Processes

  • Embed practice: Incorporate change management practices into existing business processes and project management methodologies.
  • Collaboration: Ensure close collaboration with project teams to integrate change management into project plans.
  • Goal alignment: Align the CMO goals to the overall organizational goals.

Foster a Supportive Culture

  • Foster a change supportive culture: Cultivate a culture that values and supports change. Leadership should model the desired behaviors and mindset.
  • Feedback Mechanisms: Establish mechanisms for ongoing feedback and continuous improvements.

Celebrate Success

  • Recognition: Recognizing and celebrating milestones and successes achieved will encourage and continue to enforce the culture of change.
  • Success Stories: Use success stories to reinforce a positive attitude toward change.

By addressing these points, you can build a Change Management Office that will play a vital role in driving successful change initiatives and ensuring a positive employee experience during periods of transformation.