The first virtual change management expert system

Professor Céline Bareil comes up with an efficient, rigorous methodology

February 8, 2012

nouv_201210_SHERPA_photoThe first virtual change management expert system has just been launched, thanks to collaboration between the CHU Sainte-Justine (and its École de gestion de la santé contextualisée), the HEC Montréal Pôle santé – and, in particular, Professor Céline Bareil – and Brio Conseils. This is an excellent example of applied research, and one that has far exceeded its initial objective of meeting Sainte-Justine’s change management needs. In the long term, the project has led to a powerful tool that can be transferred to a great many other organizational contexts.

Réal Jacob and Jean Elsliger, of the HEC Montréal Research Development and Technology Transfer Department, quickly realized the potential of the new tool, and mandated Univalor to come up with applications for the innovative methodology. A commercialization licensing agreement was signed with Brio Conseils – the second such agreement with this consulting firm, incidentally. The first, inked in 2009, was for commercialization rights for a method of assessing the preoccupations of employees faced with organizational change, also developed by Management Professor Céline Bareil.


From advancing knowledge to improving practices

The new expert system is like a virtual coach for managers responsible for change management projects, ranging from the introduction of new technology to major reorganizations, mergers or acquisitions. It provides them with a rigorous methodology integrating the best human resources and organizational change management practices.

Professor Bareil’s contribution to the development of this virtual expert system was essentially to design a five-phase methodology: Understand, Buy-in, Participate, Pass On, and Evolve. These phases directly link to the phases in project management, and to a dashboard that gives an overview of project progress and guides managers in their critical analysis and decision making. Lastly, the system includes 14 interactive tools and 3 deliverables: change management action plans, communications and training.

The system, dubbed Sherpa T.O., was launched yesterday at HEC Montréal by Brio Conseils, at a ceremony attended by managers from CHU Sainte-Justine, businesspeople and HEC Montréal professors.

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