5 mins

Global Manufacturing Company Equips Managers and PMO With Change Competencies

Oshkosh built internal solutions to address business opportunities, but fell short on end-user adoption. It was time for a formal approach to change management. The company turned to Prosci to help build their change capabilities and developed a core change team to bring them to life.

Global Manufacturing Company Equips Managers and PMO With Change Competencies

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Oshkosh Corporation is a global manufacturing company that designs and builds the world’s toughest specialty trucks, truck bodies, and access equipment. A Fortune 500 Company with manufacturing operations on four continents, its products are recognized around the world for quality, durability, and innovation.



Over the years, project leaders recognized that Oshkosh was good at building solutions to address business opportunities but could improve its approach to end-user adoption.

After a few major initiatives encountered program restarts, there was a realization that in order for change to flourish, people must be engaged in change along the way, not just at the end. This recognition paved the way for a formalized change management approach.

Since 2013, dedicated resources have taken the application of change management from one-project-at-a-time to integrating change management practices within existing methodologies (IT PMO, Lean/Six Sigma) and teaching team members how to lead and engage in change throughout Oshkosh Corporation.

The Challenge

To harness the change management capability and momentum generated by a large process transformation initiative to create and socialize a formal internal change management practice.

Prosci’s approach to change management fosters end-user engagement, positioning managers to lead their people through change by engaging the intuitive ADKAR Model. This flexible, scalable methodology has been a game changer. The synergistic partnership with Prosci and their innovative edge supports the journey of change management capability.

— April Hershman, Director of OCM at Oshkosh Corporation



Partnership with Prosci

The change management team had a few Prosci-certified change management practitioners, but they recognized the need for additional change management tools and training with the flexibility to customize and cobrand. So the change management team acquired a license to the Prosci methodology and sent two of their team members through the Prosci Train-the-Trainer Program.

The Solution

  • Acquire a Prosci license to build standard, co-branded training programs and change
    management solutions
  • Train a team of in-house change management practitioners in the Prosci methodology
  • Deliver role-based change management training
  • Integrate change management with the IT PMO and Green/Black Belt programs
  • Listen to project managers and offer simplified change management plans to begin addressing the people side of change


Applying change management on medium- to high-risk projects

The change management team began meeting with project managers of medium- to high-risk projects to understand the scope and scale of the change management efforts needed by these projects. They recognized that some project managers were hesitant to add change management to their work. And they identified that many of these projects
were already past design and into or about to start implementation. These realities heavily influenced how the change management team approached these meetings.

The change management team asked project managers if they had any concerns about adoption or if they anticipated any resistance, using questions provided by the Prosci Change Management Certification Program. Recognizing that there wasn’t time in some of these projects for the robust five-part change management plan recommended by change management best practices, the change management team worked with project managers to create modified change management resources that were scaled to fit the project timeline and team capacity. At times this meant providing only a communication

This approach was very positively received by the project teams and resulted in more project teams asking for support.

Integrating with the IT PMO

As part of this project-by-project support, there was a recognition that the change management approach ushered in end-user engagement like never before. This success broke boundaries and enabled a partnership model between IT and the change management team, eventually leading to an integration of change management into the IT department’s project management office. This integration included:

  • Resources on how to scale change management to a project
  • Customized change management deliverables that were required on all projects
  • Decision guide on when to bring in the change management team for additional support

Building capabilities in change management

The change management team began to expand their focus from project-to-project change practitioner work to investing in a formal internal change management practice. The team began by customizing Prosci’s role-based trainings into a sequence of change management programs that progress from introductory to advanced change management. This series of programs provided a clear learning path for managers needing to lead people through change to individuals wanting to better understand their role in change. The first programs have already seen over two hundred attendees.

These role-based trainings will continue to expand change management competency across the organization. They will produce additional team members fully trained in Prosci’s methodology to support project teams as needed and ensure that project managers are confident in the vital people and change aspects of their role as project leaders.

Deciding Where Change Management Should Live

Part of the journey to establish change management as a strategic capability for Oshkosh has been a dynamic evolution of where change management should live in the organization. Because the change management team originally worked closely with IT, change management was originally housed as part of the IT department. However,  leaders of Oshkosh Corporation recognized change management as an enterprise competency, and so the team moved to Talent Management under Human Resources. The series of moves has helped established change management as its own practice
yet connected to people processes within the company. Change management is now helping many functions within the business from manufacturing production to engineering to human resources to entire business units.



Successful integrations with IT PMO

All IT projects require certain change management deliverables, and IT project managers are becoming more and more familiar with change management and the role it plays in project success. Of the templates and resources that the change management team has leveraged in their work, one of the most useful has been the use of the Prosci ADKAR® Model. If a group’s ADKAR score is a three or lower, the project team knows to expect some resistance to the change. They use this metric as a trigger to further investigate what is keeping the group from embracing the change and how they can resolve it.

Result Highlights

  • Reduced project restarts and delays, resulting in increased ROI on projects
  • Integrated change management into the IT PMO, plus Six Sigma and Lean practices
  • Equipped leadership, project teams and others for their roles in change success
  • Created a pull for change management throughout the organizatio

Increase in Communication and Decrease in Project Delays

Early conversations with employees demonstrated to the change management team that employees are hungry for more communication. The change management team worked with project managers and resource managers to produce an impactful increase in the frequency and timeliness of project communications across the business. A tangible result of this increased communication is being realized in fewer project restarts and delays.

Change Management Requested Across the Organization

Thanks to the successful integration of the IT PMO and the delivery of the new change management trainings, more directors, project managers and people managers recognize the value of change management and are requesting change management support. One leader shared, “This model causes leaders to reflect on and deliberately consider their roles in preparing our workforce for change in general (and we are always changing).” This recognition of the value of change management now extends all the way up to Oshkosh Corporation executives, who recently announced change management as an enterprise capability.

Better-Equipped Managers

While the ADKAR Model helps project teams ensure that they are ready for go-live, it has also demonstrated to people managers how they can best support their individual employees. Using ADKAR assessments, managers now have a tool to discover exactly what their employees need and inform how they can tailor individual coaching to each employee.

Opportunities for Growth Revealed

An unexpected benefit of building a change management capability at Oshkosh Corporation has been to reveal what other opportunities exist for improving overall team effectiveness. Change management requires excellent communication, high emotional intelligence, and other skills that do not always come naturally. Because open and forward-thinking leaders were willing to recognize and act upon the opportunities revealed, change management has helped increase these skills in managers and revealed an opportunity to cultivate them further so that every team at Oshkosh is the best, most effective team it can be.

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