The mission of the IFMP is to improve the financial, physical, and human resources management processes throughout NASA, as stated in the IFMP Change Management Strategy (Office of the Chief Financial Officer, NASA, Revised July 2001; http://ifmp.nasa.gov/programoffice/changemgmt.html). Bringing online new agencywide processes, systems, practices, and structures for these activities is a challenge, and NASA has recognized the importance of applying change management techniques to make IFMP a reality. Change, as expressed in the IFMP Change Management Strategy report, refers to organizational change, both in the sense of changing the organization itself (its assets, structures, systems, etc.), and in terms of changing organizational behavior. Organizational behavior refers to the individual behavior of people in the organization and the collective behavior of the Agency.
According to the IFM Program Office website (http://ifmp.nasa.gov/programoffice/changemgmt.html), IFMP change management is the process of aligning NASA's people and culture with the impending changes in the agency's business strategy, organizational structure, and systems. IFMP is taking a two-prong approach to change management. First, consistent change management efforts at the user level are being supported. In this manner, according to the IFM Program Office, "NASA managers and staff will be ready to work with the new systems and processes, and they will understand how their jobs have changed." The second part of the IFMP change management program is focusing on facilitating change at the leadership level and helping leaders articulate how they will use IFMP to drive fundamental change in their organizations (http://ifmp.nasa.gov/programoffice/changemgmt.html).
The NASA IFMP team is looking at change management as encompassing many different activities, but it is concentrating on communications, training, and transition activities. The IFM Program Office is serving as the central change management office and a key change agent for the program. Part of the Program Office is the corporate change management team. The NASA Centers also have IFM steering committees, project implementation teams, and implementation support teams.
The Transition Strategy deals with those activities, outside of training and communications, that are necessary to align people and culture with changes to systems and processes (NASA IFMP Change Management Strategy Report). As such, these activities relate to the transformational level (strategic) and the transactional level (tactical). Activities and actions are being developed to design change activities, implement change activities, and sustain changed behavior.
The Communications Strategy is critical for delivering the program vision and strategy to all essential stakeholders. According to the IFMP Change Management Strategy Report, the IFM Program Office is incorporating a number of "industry" communications best practices, including:
Establishing concise, attainable objectives in support of the business case
Identifying key audiences as those who can make or break the effort
Creating a few clear, concise, and repeatable messages
Delivering messages via many messengers and a range of vehicles
Creating content that shifts perceptions, spurs actions, and achieves results
Gathering feedback on the impact and effectiveness of the communications effort
Using feedback to refine and adjust the effort on an ongoing basis
According to the IFMP Change Management Strategy Report (http://ifmp.nasa.gov/programoffice/changemgmt.html), the Training Strategy involves the education and training of NASA staff—to perform new tasks, apply new technology, fulfill new roles, and engage in new work behaviors as related to the IFMP. The IFM Program's mission with respect to training and learning is to (http://ifmp.nasa.gov/programoffice/changemgmt.html):
Develop and articulate a comprehensive learning strategy for IFM
Coordinate and monitor execution of the IFM learning strategy
Develop learning interventions to support agency-level transformation
Support and offer guidance to implementing centers and their projects
Establish standards and procedures for instructional methods and learning technology approaches
The change management program will greatly determine the success of the IFMP. NASA has recognized up front the importance of change management, and by applying the right change management strategies, IFMP should be successful.