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Why Projects Succeed: Organizational Change Management

Why Projects Succeed: Organizational Change Management
By Roger Kastner

Is change management or project management more critical to project success?

Before you answer, let me tell you about two examples that might impact your response.

Like many of you, I’ve been on a few projects where I was able to appropriately set and deliver on expectations on scope, schedule, and budget (“on time, on budget, high five!”), only to have the end product of the project be a big fat zero in the marketplace.

One project I successfully led to an on-time and on-budget release had to be turned off six hours after being launched. The features in the newly released product generated such negative reaction in the marketplace that our company experienced a huge spike in complaints to the call center. The call volume was so high that it triggered a rarely used company policy allowing our customer care team to remove the new release from production without conferring with our product owner. Read the Complete Article

Basics of Change Management

Basics of Change Management
ByBruno Collet

When an organization undergoes change, people are at the same time the subject and object of change. Updating structures, processes and tools facilitates changes but does not lead changes. People lead changes. The difficulty comes from the fact that we can’t change people willingly; we can’t say “now I will change you”. Change requires making people want to change and nurturing an environment where change can occur. Because change involves people taking initiatives and that the optimal solution is not known at the beginning (uncertainty), we can’t direct change. But we can and should manage it.

Models of Change Management

Lewin’s change management model depicts three phases that apply to any change. First we need to unfreeze, which means removing the constraints and generate the will to change. Second we have the change itself, where people reposition themselves according to the new objectives. Third there’s the refreeze, where the new situation becomes stable. Read the Complete Article

Change Management In Projects – 10 Success Factors

Change Management In Projects – 10 Success Factors
By Michael L Young

According to change guru Peter Senge (1999), most change initiatives fail simply because they fail to produce hoped-for results. Given that project management is all about changing the status quo, effective change management is critical to project success.

Whether this is the latest ‘flavor of the month’ programs that senior management rolls out, implementation of an IT system or an internally-driven team initiative, it is important that the change and expectations are effectively managed.

Current thinking indicates that good managers are the key to successful change management. In general, managers who see the need for change are usually correct in their assessment. Senge (1999) says: “companies that fail to sustain significant change end up facing crises. By then their options are greatly reduced.”

It can be quite difficult for managers to view their work on change in a holistic fashion. Read the Complete Article

Securing ROI in Break-out Strategy – A Review of Execution Methodologies

Securing ROI in Break-out Strategy – A Review of Execution Methodologies
By Gail Severini

Most organizations have developed internal processes and capabilities for executing strategy. However, most of these are built for the transitional strategies that organizations face in average years (familiar improvements that modify systems and processes).

The break-out from the recession of 2008 – 11 created market disruption and seismic opportunities and threats. Strategies that take advantage of these shifts are typically transformational in nature (i.e., the nature of the change and the inherent risks are radically different).

The first execution choice that organizations face is, “Can we really ‘muscle through’, or do we need to change the way we change?” When the risk of failure, or consequences of short-fall are too high, then organizations suddenly get very serious about governance, processes, and capabilities.

What is transformational change? We screen for several characteristics that include:

  • The future state must be so different as to be almost unrecognizable (think Nokia, Kodak)
  • Modifications in behaviors, beliefs, and assumptions (culture shift) are essential

  • There are multiple interdependent components to integrate

  • There is likely to be a shift in the politics of the organization

  • A significant number of people will be unwilling or unable to complete the journey

Furthermore, such initiatives often take on the “do or die” proportions of business imperatives. Read the Complete Article

An Integral Approach to Project Management

An Integral Approach to Project Management
By Brad McManus and Ron Cacioppe

Projects are an important management approach to improving organizational effectiveness. This paper describes how project management can contribute to achievement of an organization’s strategy and sustainable success by adopting a more holistic, ‘integral’ approach to a project and the leadership of people during the stages of a project. An integral four quadrant framework for project management is presented that includes a practical and comprehensive approach to change management. The levels of project excellence framework is also described as a way to measure the overall success of a project.

A Project is ‘an individual or collaborative enterprise that is carefully planned to achieve a particular aim… To cause to move forward or outward’ – Oxford Dictionary

1.0 Project Management versus the Day to Day Management of Organizations

Projects management is an important management tool to implement strategy and achieve an organization’s strategic goals. Read the Complete Article

The Benefits of Change Resistance

The Benefits of Change Resistance
By Ari Tikka

The conversations about change resistance seems to be reopened regularly. Here is my contribution, practical perspectives to understand and to work with it.

Change resistance is a friend

  • Resistance has an important psychological function. It guards against things that cause too much fear or anxiety, that would otherwise undermine the ability to function.
  • Resistance prevents stupid things from happening. The more important thing is going to be changed, the more resistance.
  • Resistance buys time to learn and adapt.
  • As a leader, when I encounter resistance, I am able to work with it. No resistance – no work – no progress.

Change resistance is an everyday phenomenon. It is integral to all new; change, learning and doing my work now. You work with it when you wake up in the morning. Some people tend to resist more some less.

Many find resistance frustrating and would like just to get rid of it. Read the Complete Article

Project Management Skills: Making Change Stick

Project Management Skills: Making Change Stick
By Michelle LaBrosse, PMP, Founder, Cheetah Learning

Are you tired of hearing people say the only constant is change? I think we all need to keep saying it to remind ourselves we have to always be ready to keep changing. Here’s the rub: how do we make change stick? How can you, as a project manager, use your skills to create business processes that have staying power?

Let’s face it: sustainability today is really about adapting to change and being able to be effective in the face of change. I’ve now weathered several business cycles as an entrepreneur, and I have found my Project Management skills to be invaluable as I’ve tackled change and made positive changes in my own business.

Here are my top 7 tips for making change stick:

  1. Make Change Relevant to the People Who Need to Participate in It. Part of your job as a project manager is to make sure people not only know where you’re going, but that they also understand why they are going there.
Read the Complete Article

The Problem With Project Management in Organizational Change

The Problem With Project Management in Organizational Change
By Stephen Billing

I really think that sponsors of change projects, project managers of change projects, those involved in change project teams, business unit managers, and consultants like me all have a big problem on our hands.

Even though you may plan the project well, sign off on the risk and issues registers, conduct steering group meetings that are efficient and get through everything on the agenda, deliver the deliverables on time and within budget, and give progress reports to senior and line managers, these are all inputs, not outcomes.

Of most importance to you as a sponsor of a change project are the outcomes. Line managers are most concerned about the impact of the project on their operations and what they will have to do to make it work (i.e. outcomes for their business unit). Project managers and their teams, by contrast, become more concerned about deliverables, which are inputs. Read the Complete Article

It’s Not A Change Request, It’s A Missed Requirement

It’s Not A Change Request, It’s A Missed Requirement
By Kerry Wills

My least favorite conversation to have on a project (well, second to the “we’re not going to meet our date” conversation) is the scope conversation. This is the arm-wrestling match over scope elements which business describes as “must haves that should have been part of requirements” and the IT team describes as “not included in the requirements (or estimates).” The conversation usually goes back and forth and results in lots of blaming (see my article on blame)…you didn’t tell me…well I thought I did….we didn’t include it in the plan…but that’s what I meant….and on and on.

The way I have historically tackled these types of things is to focus on the facts and take the conversation away from blame. I tell the business partners that regardless of what should have been in vs what really got documented, the net result is that the item in discussion is not included in the estimates. Read the Complete Article

Change Management in Project Management

Change Management in Project Management
By Chuck Tryon

Process Description

Single-Time Efforts are the primary means for an organization to introduce new products and services to their internal and external customers. These “one of” projects are also needed to enhance existing products and services. Once started, dynamic business needs and technology innovation often take a project in unpredicted directions. These new directions frequently result in dramatic changes that must be incorporated into the original project intent and goals. Because of the frequency and severity of these influences on Single-Time Efforts, Change Management is a critical component of Project Management It provides a controlled mechanism to fairly and accurately alter the scope and content of a project.

Process Purpose

Change is a natural by-product of dynamic business needs and unclear early scope definition for many projects. Unless a well-defined Change Management process is in place, the demand for change often deteriorates into unrealistic demands by management and the customer. Read the Complete Article

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