Operational Owner

When you identify impacted stakeholders, there’s an important nuance to consider — somebody may not only be impacted, but may also own the operational aspects of the change.  They may not only be responsible for implementing the change, even if they are not the sponsor, they will be responsible for ongoing business operations.

The operational owner needs to be included in the planning and formulation of the change, even more than the impacted stakeholders.  The operational owner should have valuable information at their fingertips about how to implement new processes or technology within their department.  They will also be the people who can weigh in on whether or not the current staff has the needed skills, or if they’ll need training of some sort to be ready for their new responsibilities.  They can identify if current staffing levels will support what they are being asked to do, or if additional people will be needed, or if current staffing levels can be decreased.

The operational owner may be a great person to set up as the designated point of contact for continuous improvement suggestions from within their department.  This will work if that person is open  and welcoming of new ideas and willing to act on the suggestions that are within their span of control, or is willing to advance on other suggestions outside of their span of control.

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