Chantal Claes - Professionalizing The Discpline

When Chantal completed her CCMP™ we were quick to ask about her experience as the first CCMP certified change manager in Belgium.

Hi Chantal! It was great to meet you at the conference in Dallas. Tell us about your change journey. 

I have been a member of many project teams as a business/process analyst and project manager. I realized that a project doesn’t end with implementation. Implementation requires that we also help people adapt to the new situation. Beyond some communication and training, this never seemed to be part of the project. During my career I came across a number of issues on the people side of change that made it very difficult to complete a project. At some point I told myself that there must be some techniques to help me proactively manage and resolve these type of situations. That’s when I started looking for change management training.  
 
At about the same time, I was contacted to join a team responding to a public tender for a people change management position in a large organization. Another team member - Eugene Valentijn -  explained what change management was all about. I was ‘bit by the change bug’ and hungered for more. 

Why did you pursue CCMP?

Ever since I learned about change management I have worked myself into the field, positioning myself as only doing change management and getting more and more professionalized in this area. Since ACMP had developed The Standard for Change Management, getting CCMP for me was recognition that I was working in compliance with that standard in knowledge (demonstrated by the exam) and in practice (required experience and essay questions).

Being a part of the beta test group was a unique opportunity to be one of the first ones to certify and stay ahead! This for me was the ultimate certification to complete the series of certifications I already had. 

What did you do to complete the application process?

For the training, I took the 3 day ACMKC Executive Change Management and Leadership Certification Program as well as the 6 day ACMKC train-the-trainer course.  
 
The essay questions were challenging. There was very little space (500 words each) to answer them. It took a long time to shorten my answers while still proving my experience and providing sufficient information to answer the entire question. 
 
I studied and studied for the exam. I structured and highlighted the content of The Standard to facilitate studying, creating a complete study scheme with all the inputs and outcomes of each activity. I attended the webinars and read the information on the website which was useful. Finally, I also took the opportunity to submit some questions by email. Responses came in very quickly and were to the point, helping me prepare. 

How will CCMP help your career? 

CCMP is part of the professionalization of change management. The more professional the discipline of change management becomes, the more I believe customers

  • See the profession as important
  • Realize that people will not change automatically without any extra effort
  • Understand that change management is a profession that requires specific knowledge and ability instead of something that you can do on the side using common sense
  • Be more choosy in selecting people to manage the people side of change
  • Distinguish between change managers who simply call themselves change manager and the ones who have the CCMP certification
  • Begin treating the change management profession/CCMP in a similar way as the project management profession (PMP)

I expect CCMP will provide more opportunities that I can apply for. The combination of CCMP with all of my certifications and references makes my profile much stronger and increases the likelihood I will be selected as a candidate for positions.

Have you talked to anyone about your new designation yet?

Of course. I am proud of what I have achieved. At our ACMP Belux Chapter events we let members know that we have two people on the board with CCMP certification. 
 
I use CCMP as an additional credential in my communication and correspondence, job applications, website, CV, LinkedIn etc. It adds to my credibility as a change manager. This is not just something I do, this is something I know how to do. CCMP provides something I can use to show that I am able to do what I am doing to the extent of a worldwide recognized standard, completing my credentials.
 
I am proud to be one of the first 88 worldwide recognized Certified Change Management Practitioners!