Change mgmt trips over skills gap

CIOs and IT managers in the U.K. believe skills gaps in the IT department are hampering businesses’ change management programs, research has revealed.

Nearly three quarters (73%) of 135 IT leaders surveyed by CIO Connect felt that change management programs in their organizations were being impeded by a lack of skills in their own IT department. Nearly two-thirds (64 %) said they had to introduce new leaders into projects to ensure that programs were successful.

“This research highlights the important requirement for increased training for IT leaders and their teams in the field of change management,” said Glyn Evans, CIO of Birmingham city council. “IT departments are today at the heart of successful change management programs but the leadership and communication skills required to achieve success has, until very recently, not been emphasized enough.”

Just over half of the respondents said they would be increasing investment in training over the next 12 months to ensure staff could contribute more in change management programs. Less than 4 percent said investment in training was being cut.

The survey also asked IT leaders to rate their organizations’ ability to tackle a range of specific change management challenges. The most widespread problem identified was “overcoming the restrictions of any silo-based business process,” with half the respondents saying their capability to deal with this was at the low end of the scale.

The next most difficult issues were “winning over sceptics by selling the benefits of a proposed change” and “communicating the nature of project changes to stakeholders.” 077544

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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