Charatered Institute of Project Management, Ghana

CHANGE MANAGEMENT IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT

Change management is the process, tools and techniques to manage the people side of change
to achieve the required business outcome.

Change management incorporates the organizational tools that can be utilized to help
individuals make successful personal transitions resulting in the adoption and
realization of change.

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The Goal of Change: Improving an Organization by Altering How Work is Done

When you introduce a change to the organization, you are ultimately going to be
impacting one or more of the following:

1. Processes
2. Systems
3. Organization structure
4. Job roles

While there are numerous approaches and tools that can be used to improve the organization,
all of them ultimately prescribe adjustments to one or more of the four parts of the  organization listed above. Change typically results as a reaction to specific problems  or opportunities the organization is facing based on internal or external stimuli.  While the notion of becoming “more competitive” or “closer to the customer” or  “more efficient” can be the motivation to change, at some point these goals must be
transformed into the specific impacts on processes, systems, organization structures or  job roles. This is the process of defining the change.

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Change Management and Project Management Planning Activities

As an example, think about what activities occur during the planning phase of
a project between both teams.

Project managers are:

Identifying the milestones and activities that must be completed
Outlining the resources needed and how they will work together
Defining the scope of what will be part of the project and what will not be

Change managers are:

Crafting key messages that must be communicated

Working with project sponsors to build strong and active coalitions of senior leaders

Making the case of why the change is needed to employees throughout the organization,  even before the specific details of the solution are complete

As a project manager, you no longer have to look at project plans, work packages, processes, milestones etc. only from the perspective of project management. You have to switch to the perspective of change management. Among other things, this will help you to take  into consideration the human aspects of the changes within your organization, which originate in your projects.

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Your activities in change management accompany all involved members of the organization from the present to the future state. This is the only way you can succeed in obtaining the actual benefit from your projects. What is more, this approach goes far beyond what you could achieve with project management alone.

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Unfortunately, however, organizations are ready to invest money in training courses  concerning project management methods and tools. But only in the rarest cases will change management be considered financially. The result is thus a deficiency in knowledge regarding change topics. This in turn often leads to project delays, incomplete project results and in some cases even to project aborts.

Once again, put in a nutshell: Resistance, apathy and lack of commitment have a substantial impact on the project output and the project schedule. They can only be minimized, or even eliminated entirely, if the people concerned come to the fore once again.

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