Did you know that organizational change management is specifically designed to help projects succeed? It solves the puzzle of why, when project managers do everything right, employees still struggle with the change.
The missing piece? You must expand your focus beyond the technical side of things, and bring the people side into the equation. Because at the end of the day, it’s people that must change. Not just the systems and processes and programs and so forth that you’re in charge of changing.
Your project sponsors and people managers can help your project succeed, and so can frequent, open communication with employees. Leverage your key messengers and communicate often to influence impacted employees for better project outcomes.
Our in-depth research reveals that employees prefer to hear important messages about forthcoming changes and changes underway from company leaders and their direct supervisors, rather than project managers.
Your project sponsors are critical to project success. It’s important to equip them with the strategies needed for effectively engaging with and influencing employees about the change.
Organizational changes are far more likely to succeed when your primary project sponsor builds a coalition of support among important stakeholders in the organization.
People managers are closest to the front-line employees who must adopt the new processes and systems you’re implementing. It’s important that managers understand the roles they play in making your changes happen.
Whether you add change management skills to your project team, partner with a change manager within your organization, or leverage an external change management expert to help, you’ll want to integrate project management and change management for better project results.
These disciplines bring important structure to the technical and people sides of implementing change. They vary in terms of focus and approach, yet each is essential to moving individuals through change and your projects succeeding.
Consider this: Project management prepares the solution for the organization. Change management prepares the organization for the solution. Working together, they help the organization bring changes forward.
(From PMI’s Virtual Experience Series 2021, October 6-7)
Project management and change management align and intersect at various stages of a project. For effective integration, you need to align people, processes, tools, methodologies and results.
Project management and change management are complementary disciplines with a shared objective: success of the project or initiative. But to work most effectively, project teams must integrate these approaches early in the project lifecycle and even before kickoff.
An integrated approach enables project managers and change practitioners to work toward a shared definition of success, more effectively align and sequence activities, and avoid duplicating efforts by integrating common tools.
Change is hard, so you will always see a certain amount of resistance to any change you’re trying to implement. But the good news is that change management can help you plan for that resistance, minimize the level of resistance, and help move individuals forward when resistance occurs.
We surveyed practitioners and others involved in implementing changes about types of resistance, the importance of planning for resistance, and the top tactics used in resistance planning.
Both organizational context (e.g., an organization’s culture) and personal context (e.g., an employee’s career plans) are important in identifying and mitigating resistance to your project.
I’ve been in IT for 20 years, and IT projects often focus on the technology component. Prosci helps us to be more intentional about understanding and addressing the impact our IT projects will have on each and every individual.
Kim Holman, Senior Project Manager, University of Virginia School of Medicine