American Electric Power

Organizational Change Management Strategy

AEP Data Center Migration

Background

Navigator led the development and roll-out of the organizational change management (OCM) strategy to support AEP’s New Albany Data Center (NADC) move from the headquarters building to a remote location. The organizational change management strategy addressed the unique dynamic of multiple, complex, and effort-intensive migration weekends. This was akin to planning for multiple rollouts of a new technology or cultural initiative, each rollout with different stakeholder groups and impacts.  The strategy included an extended reinforcement phase to keep attention focused on the migrations and ensure that the organization was prepared for impacts unique to each migration.  The objective was ‘business as usual’ on Monday mornings following a migration.

Approach

The organizational change management plan relied on strong relationships with key business subject matter experts, as well as close collaboration with the integrator, EMC, and the testing partner, Capgemini, to ensure consistency of approach and messaging across all communication channels. Additionally, a targeted validation readiness plan was designed to prepare the business for participation in application validation; information sessions, communication tools, and a closed online community were leveraged for business readiness.   

Additionally, gaining and maintaining executive alignment to foster strong collaboration between IT and the business was critical to building engagement and support across business units and operating companies.

Results

Planning was anchored in results from an enterprise-wide readiness assessment survey as well as executive assessments.  Key success factors in the organizational change management approach included developing targeted communication plans for each migration, specific to stakeholders and impacts, in conjunction with a broad awareness campaign informing all employees about the migrations, potential impacts, and information and support resources. Key tactics leveraged in the organizational change management approach included targeted manager communications and tools, a leadership forum, a change management forum, an online presence, a monthly newsletter, and live Q&A at departmental meetings.

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