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Managing the People Side of Business Transformation

Imagine a project where staff from across campus are engaged from start to finish to address the technology, process, business and people needs. Imagine UC San Diego as a highly change-ablecommunity.

That's our vision, and the Enterprise Systems Renewal program (ESR) is a good test for fulfilling this vision.

ESR affects nearly everyone at UC San Diego, from financial systems users to those who help students track their degree progress, those who participate in the faculty review process to those who receive a paycheck. ESR is a business transformation that requires:

  • Executing the right strategies
  • Choosing and implementing the best-suited technologies
  • Redefining business processes
  • Doing all of this with people and the organizational culture in mind

Strategic Organizational Change Management (SOCM) is the framework we’ll be using to round out this recipe for success. SOCM is both the name of the function within the ESR program and a field of practice that will help us achieve this business transformation in a holistic manner. 

Everything Through People

ESR is all about change, and managing change is essentially about people. People, collectively, cultivate a culture.

Therefore, a mindset of “everything through people” drives ESR’s approach to managing change. Knowing that individual and organizational psychology is at play, we're acting on it.


Project sponsors are active and visible throughout a project, letting us know this is happening and providing direction.

Project timelines account for people’s need to process and react to new information. Individual and group meetings are built in.

People managers will be trained to effectively support employees through the change process.

People undergoing the change- faculty, staff, and student employees - will be able to ask and answer questions such as:

  • What's this all about?
  • Why are we doing it?
  • When will it happen?
  • How will this impact me?
  • What's in it for me?
  • How will this make me feel?
  • How will I, and can I, do this?
  • What support will I have?
  • How can I help?

UC San Diego Staff Create a Change-Able Community

Each ESR project is staffed by programmers and developers, a project manager, business process professionals and subject matter experts. We've also added specialized roles to lead and manage the process of change.

Change Leads set a vision and strategy for change, while Change Practitioners make change happen in their projects and impacted areas. They've completed specialized training. They are your colleagues who work alongside you.

For the duration of their project, Change Leads and Practitioners will take a very visible role - asking questions, assessing needs, creating communications channels, setting up training, and more. 

Learn More About Strategic Organizational Change Management

Check out the SOCM approach, definition of the key roles and more.

Begin reaching out to Project Change Leads and Change Practitioners to learn more and get your questions answered.

Category: ESR Behind the Scenes