This client applied for and gained an interview for a role in State (SA) Government in the capacity of a Senior Change Management Consultant. A total of seven selection criteria required addressing; all were well addressed in a three-page document. Following are part excerpts from three of the criteria.

Proven experience to initiate and foster strategic partnerships and networks with stakeholders within and external to SA Government, and negotiating and influencing stakeholders to effect change.

An example which demonstrates my skills in effectively negotiating and influencing stakeholders to effect change was when I developed a tool to assist case managers and their supervisors to deliver an evidence-based practice, and to guide supervisors when coaching and mentoring practitioners on the use of the tool. This involved utilising the services of participants across the state undertaking an internal Diploma to survey and audit case managers to gain a current understanding of evidence-based practice. Change involved the implementation of this tool and several case managers were initially resistant as it meant a possible change to their existing practice or perhaps even leaving them vulnerable to having their practice critiqued for the first time in their careers. I needed to influence and persuade them to use the tool as an effective measure of their performance and in using evidence-based practice. In doing so, I conducted visits at each location across the state to deliver practical demonstrations on how to use the tool and to answer questions and enquiries. I also set up a trial for the objective of assisting case managers in learning its use, and a platform for them to provide feedback on its further development. By showing them how the model/tool worked and by engaging them throughout the process by seeking their feedback, case mangers felt more valued and involved. Subsequently, this significantly reduced initial resistance. Also, the audit conducted prior to the tool’s implementation was an invaluable process which provided data on building the tool in line with case managers’ existing knowledge and pitched to their competency levels. As a result, a high take up of case managers and supervisors commenced using the tool, and it was adopted as a standard practice throughout the DXX and continues to be developed and improved upon with input from case managers and the case management training coordinator.

Experience in developing, managing, communicating and delivering projects that effect organisational change.

Across all projects, throughout their entire life cycle from conception through to completion and roll out, I utilise methodology based on ‘A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge’ (PMBOK Guide), and PRINCE2 methodology. Within the DXX, evidence-based practice mandated that interventions and resources should be targeted towards high risk prisoners and offenders, while lower risk offenders were diverted to community-based organisations to address their criminogenic needs. I led and managed a 12-month implementation project – Making Changes project – which centred on introducing a longer criminogenic program and removing the existing shorter programs within the DXX. The project involved organising and delivering training to the facilitators of the program, collaborating with staff both in the community and custodial environment to explain and help them understand the reasons for removing the shorter programs in favour of a new longer program. I also conferred with senior managers and front line staff to prepare them for the cessation of the shorter program and to educate them on what evidence-based practice actually meant. To effect the process and completion of tasks, I developed detailed plans: project, communication, and change management plans. I used and combined the principles and processes form the PMBOK Guide and PRINCE2 methodology to develop the business case, schedule tasks, work breakdown structure, allocation of resources, and time needed to liaise with external stakeholders. As a result, the shorter program ceased, and the Making Changes program was adopted and rolled out to custodial and community settings. The new program was more aligned with evidence-based practice which improved safety in the community and provided better outcomes for offenders. Moreover, the program is presently being evaluated to measure recidivism rates – one of the main objectives of the program is to reduce rates in this regard.

Demonstrated experience in critically analysing and evaluating information to provide advice on complex issues.

I was recently tasked with conducting an analysis, evaluation and review of the DXX’s Risk Management Framework and to compile a comprehensive report outlining findings, recommendations and action steps moving forward. This involved reviewing a number of documents including the existing risk management policy, guidelines, procedures, and risk management registers across the department. I immediately identified the existing framework lacked alignment – large gaps were identified – on how particular elements of the framework did not align with each other. Also, analysis revealed the department’s RR Group was working in line with an existing constitution/guideline which was misleading in terms of what their specific roles and responsibilities entailed – this area needed to be clearly defined. I outlined the key issues in the report and provided recommendations on how to align these elements. The report was sent to the Principal Auditor who then presented the findings outlined in the report to the Chief Executive for XX. The report was accepted and the Principal Auditor plans to table it at the next auditor general meeting. Furthermore, based on my recommendations, the Principal Auditor has now rewritten the RR Group’s charter to clearly define roles and responsibilities.

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Annie Cerone