Change Management


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Change management is a responsibility of the program manager. It is a role that is underappreciated, underutilized, and not performed well by some program managers. Change management is complex, and there is no cookbook recipe to apply.

Our 9 part Guide to Change Management will focus on how to prepare the customer, stakeholders, and team for change.

Part 1 of 9: Change Management-What Is It?
Part 2 of 9: Fear
Part 3 of 9: Change Models
Part 4 of 9: Change Management – Evidentiary Strategy
Part 5 of 9: Change Management – Vision, Goals, and Objectives Strategy
Part 6 of 9: Change Management – Segmentation Strategy
Part 7 of 9: Communication
Part 8 of 9: Training
Part 9 of 9: Mentors

Part 1 of 9: Change Management-What Is It?

Change management is often correctly associated with getting the customer or external stakeholders in a position to accept the changes a project or program delivers. It also applies to getting the internal stakeholders, the team, and the PMO or support organization to accept your leadership style and direction. Change management encompasses the strategy you will employ to get everyone to adapt to a new situation.

Change management plans must be created to address both individual and organizational aspects of change. Monte Koenig, an experienced change management leader, recommends that 8 percent of an information technology project’s budget be allocated for change management. This is nontrivial, and even if you are providing physical or service-oriented project deliverables in your program, a portion of the budget needs to be set aside for change management. It is not just for information technology.

Always keep in mind that your organization is composed of individuals: human beings. Organizations improve when the people in the system embrace the tools and processes that are part of the system. Change management involves wooing your customers to accept the change. You have to create an emotional attachment to a future state, because there is already an emotional attachment to the current state. Obviously, this means you want to have a good understanding of both the current state and the future state. Without understanding their current state, it is difficult to create a strong emotional attachment to the future state

If organizational change is not adequately addressed, projects can fail even if the deliverable meets the time, cost, and scope requirements. Have you put the stakeholder in a position in which he or she can accept the change? Has the stakeholder been wooed? Stakeholder satisfaction involves more than the quality of the deliverable. The physical characteristics of the deliverable must be managed. The stakeholder’s perception of the deliverable must also be managed. Poor perception management can ruin a project deliverable. Perception management is part of change management.

It is normal to expect resistance from stakeholders and team members. The amount of resistance from stakeholders and the amount of planning you will have to do are proportional to the magnitude of the change. Be prepared to invest a significant amount of time in change management if the change is significant.

Once your team has decided on their plan and process, PPM software can help you execute that process. WorkOtter helps you successfully execute your program process strategy for project success. Get a demo of WorkOtter and see how we can make your program management effective.

“The Handbook of Program Management: How to Facilitate Project Success with Optimal Program Management, Second Edition” by James T. Brown is a copyrighted work of McGraw-Hill and McGraw-Hill reserves all rights in and to the Content. ©2014 by McGraw-Hill Education. Purchase the book on Amazon.