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How to Control Change Requests

How to Control Change Requests
By Dave Nielsen

Changes are an important part of any project. There are 2 factors at work that guarantee the generation of change requests: changes that happen to the marketplace the project is aimed at and an unclear understanding of the goals and objectives of the project. The first factor is immutable, we can’t stop the world outside our door changing whether we like it or not. Successful projects are agile enough to respond to those stimuli and re-invent themselves so that when the product or service of the project hits the marketplace it’s the right thing delivered at the right time.

Change requests that are a result of a stakeholder’s unclear understanding of the goals and objectives of the project are easier to avoid. Clear communications about the project’s overall goals and objectives will place the project on a firm footing. Ensuring that the right stakeholders review project requirements and that the right decision makers approve them is also helpful in avoiding change requests that arise from an unclear understanding of project goals, objectives, and requirements. Read the Complete Article

How To Maximize Change Management Success

How To Maximize Change Management Success
By Daniel Lock

Managing a change initiative through to a successful conclusion is fraught with pitfalls. Here are three key change management techniques that help make the road to your desired conclusion far easier to navigate.

Leverage the power of rational self interest

At a key level, corporate business and change management are not too far removed from the relationship between parent and child. When a parent wants their child to do something that the child really doesn’t want to do, the most effective method of successfully making the child come into line is to appeal to their self-interest. We all take this basic approach to self-interest throughout our life. Understanding this element of change management leads to three key methods to strategize using rational self-interest to successful adoption of change initiatives.

  • Bring experts on board early

    A poorly designed change initiative is a major reason for failure.

Read the Complete Article

Change Management for Project Managers

Change Management for Project Managers
By Michelle Symonds

Projects that focus on the needs of the customer generally have more successful outcomes than those that focus on the product itself. So the desire to keep a client happy is paramount to most project managers – they know that the client will have to sign-off on the completed project and if they are not satisfied with the end-result then the project will not be deemed a success.

But on the other hand a project manager also has to keep a tight grip on finances and the project schedule, which naturally means controlling requests for change. If the scope of the project starts to diverge substantially from the original requirements then the client may be happy with the end product but they will certainly not be happy with the budget and/or time over-run.

So how does a project manager put the client’s needs first when they want to change details of the project part-way through the schedule but still manage to deliver a quality product on budget, on time and within scope? Read the Complete Article

Common Project Manager Mistakes: #3 Overlooking Organization Change Impacts

Common Project Manager Mistakes: #3 Overlooking Organization Change Impacts
By Samuel T. Brown, III, PMP, Global Knowledge Course Director and Instructor

This article is part of a series. The previous article can be found here.

All projects, by their nature and definition, are undertaken to change the organization. Think about it. Why would you or your organization decide to invest resources in doing something if you are satisfied with the way things are? This means that all projects, all of the time, are about changing an organization — making it better, more efficient or more profitable. Projects are about attracting new customers; updating or upgrading the tools, equipment and infrastructure needed to do business, etc.

Now, when we combine this recognition with the reality that people tend to resist change most of the time, we easily see why well-executed projects still have difficulty succeeding. As project managers, we are often so focused on managing the project constraints and stakeholder expectations that we lose sight of the organizational impacts our project have, or will have, on the current environment and culture. Read the Complete Article

Coaching Lessons from Change Management

Coaching Lessons from Change Management
By Kiron D. Bondale

Dr. Kotter’s eight-stage process provides a whole lifecycle model for implementing successful transformational change.

But could it also be applied to coaching for performance and development? Let’s review a few of the stages and find out…

  • Establishing a sense of (personal) urgency

    If you are unable to ignite and sustain the need for change within a team member, you’ll likely experience the old adage of leading a horse to water but being unable to make them drink. The same sins of complacency and a false sense of urgency which throttle change efforts within organizations also exist within individuals. How many times have you heard a team member say “I think I’m doing a good job” or “Look at all the work that’s on my plate!”?

    Taking staff out of their comfort zones by exposing them to objective feedback from stakeholders outside of their immediate circle or defining performance targets which require a real stretch are just a couple of ways of creating that true sense of urgency required for personal growth.

Read the Complete Article

Change: Before, During, After

Change: Before, During, After
By Christian Bisson

When planning to move forward with a change that will impact your colleagues, it is important to remember that you must manage what comes before the change, during the change, and after the change.

  • Before

    Before you proceed with changing a process, a tool, or anything else, you have to keep in mind that the more informed the others are, the better. In times of change, people need to feel safe in what’s coming and the more unknown their is, the less safe they will feel. Therefore, explain the reasons of the change, the plan, and how they will be supported not only throughout the change, but after.

    Make sure people can ask questions or talk to someone to express their concerns or their ideas. How you communicate with colleagues at this stage will give them a first impression on what’s coming, and you want to make sure they have a good first impression in order to reduce resistance.

Read the Complete Article

The Building Blocks of an Effective and Sustainable PMO – Part 6

The Building Blocks of an Effective and Sustainable PMO – Part 6
By Laura Barnard

This post is part of a series. The previous article in this series can be found here.

Successful Change Leadership

Creating Change Advocacy in Your Organization

Change management is essentially about three things: The project, the people and the people. What does that mean? The project is about the work that needs to get accomplished. Essentially, we are talking about the scope. Getting this work done, by the way, is also about the people. In order for any project to be successful, you need that talent we discussed earlier driving the changes within the organization and they must bring along those stakeholders that are a part of the change.

Secondly, successful change management is about the people side of change. That means that we must have a good change management strategy in place that looks at what needs to change (the project) and how that change is going to be implemented (through the people). Read the Complete Article

5 Tips to Help Make Changes Happen

5 Tips to Help Make Changes Happen
By Christian Bisson

Bringing change is always a challenge. The human reflex towards changes is pushing-back due to being scared of the unknown it may bring. This constant resistance could bring a halt to even the best of ideas if they are not shared appropriately with other.

From changing software, to changing process, to anything really, changes are a challenge, especially when dealing with a large team.

Here are a few tips to help with that:

  1. Explain why

    One of the top reasons people are not motivated to change is not knowing why the change is being done in the first place. Not only that, this demotivator is often worsened by giving other limited information because “They don’t need to know everything” which brings frustration and can even damage the trust they have in you.

    Changes have reasons, and people who are affected have a right to know why; let them know and you reduce a lot of resistance right at the start.

Read the Complete Article

Project Managers Can Make Change Stick

Project Managers Can Make Change Stick
By Kiron D. Bondale

Organizational change management (OCM), while not a new discipline, is receiving more air time than it used to when the focus used to be on “just do it”. Whether this is the outcome of well publicized changes which didn’t get implemented as well as planned, brainwashing by consulting firms, or an evolution in thinking on the part of leadership teams, it is a positive step.

So what does this mean for a project manager?

In most organizations, the project manager’s role begin once some financial justification has been provided to initiate a change and will end once the deliverables required to implement the change have been completed and transitioned to operational team. Viewed through that lens, a project manager might feel that OCM takes place before and after their involvement.

While this is partially true, it doesn’t mean that a project manager can’t take a leadership role in setting the organization up for change success. Read the Complete Article

A Short Guide on Controlling Changes in Project Management

A Short Guide on Controlling Changes in Project Management
By Jason Rich, Northwest University

Changes will happen, it is a fact of projects. Changes can happen because the customer requests something different, or because you have a better understanding of needs as things progress. Changes can also happen as markets change, or as technology changes. There will be change, so get used to it. All changes should be run through the change control process that was established in the project management plan. If the project is big enough, then a formal panel of stakeholders may be assigned to a change control board. Their job will be to analyze the change requests and determine the impact of the change on: schedule, cost, risk, quality, and staffing. Sometimes the change control board will delegate the authority to approve certain changes back to the project manager. For example, if the change is under a capped cost or if the change will not impact the over all schedule. Read the Complete Article

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