Megan Nehr Hutchison

Presentation 1 of 2: Swimming Upstream: Delivering project success in non-project-centric environments

Abstract: Organizational change management and project management are key skillsets leveraged in the management consulting space. Many consultants have achieved certifications and have the requisite ‘book knowledge’ to manage projects and facilitate organizational change, but a large number of efforts fall short and fail to achieve objectives. A major reason for this is the gap between theory and practice. Knowing that a project plan is an industry best practice and delivering one that works in a non-project-centric environment are two different things. Recognizing that training and communication are critical activities for large scale change and overcoming cultural barriers takes art and flexibility. Long-term sustainability of project results is possible, but difficult to achieve, particularly on a larger scale.

This presentation will review critical change management and project management methodology staples and present lessons learned from working with major clients that do not embrace these skills as part of their culture. Participants will also take away routines and practices they can employ to tailor industry best practices to unique projects and situations.

PMI Talent Triangle: Technical Project Management (Ways of Working)

Presentation 2 of 2: The Disaster Resource Library: Change Management in a Decentralized Environment

Abstract: The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Interagency Coordination Division (ICD) is responsible for collaborating and coordinating across Federal agencies to ensure information and resources reach the places they’re needed most when recovering from disaster events. ICD also collaborates within the agency to bring together key divisions like Preparedness and Mitigation with Recovery to ensure that mission support and information is well-rounded when delivered to the field. This work-scape is vast and complex, making rapid and effective coordination a major challenge.

For many years, FEMA has worked with subject matter experts in various disaster operations and Departments/Agencies across Federal government to collect and organize important information that can help State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial (SLTT) governments plan and recover more quickly. Activities include facilitating knowledge about federal and non-federal funding, technical support resources, and making available information that helps to build capabilities within SLTT organizations directly.

Historically, information was housed in separate documents and spreadsheets. Later, an Access database was developed. In 2018, ICD made a key decision to move the Disaster Resource Library to a web-based, collaborative technology customized from Atlassian’s Jira platform. This project has been a great success and has accelerated access, improved information quality and transparency, and increased effectiveness for this important mission delivery activity. Four years later, the library is one of the more comprehensive data sets about Federal government programs available and is consistently leveraged to provide quick access reports and information to various levels of leadership both federally, and at State and Local levels.

Participants will take away:

  • A history and evolution of a major Federal initiative
  • Some lessons learned from a significant technology implementation
  • An understanding of change management strategies that worked in a decentralized environment

PMI Talent Triangle: Technical Project Management (Ways of Working)

Biography: Megan Nehr Hutchison, Managing Director

Expert in leadership development and driving organizational change using adapted communication, project management, and process development techniques.

“Our dominant consulting strategy is strengths-based, bringing a focus to what is working well in your organization, and how to get more of it, instead of exclusively focusing on what is wrong and how to fix it.”