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Newsletter December 2019

Have you ever funded a successful project that had unintended and undesirable consequences on the organization? Launched a new product or service that didn’t land well with the customer? Or designed an improvement to an internal system that employees then resisted using? GBMC believes it’s critical to manage not only change to the project but also change caused by the project.
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Here are three tips for doing so:

Determine the breadth of organizational change – The business case, the project charter, and the project plan must all consider what is required to successfully deliver the expected project objectives and benefits. While it’s important that your projects have efficient processes for change, they also should recognize the need for change within the performing organization, within client or supplier organizations, or even within broader stakeholder groups. The change may be temporary, while the project is underway, or permanent as a result of the project.  Some projects, like organizational change projects, have as their primary objective implementing change into the organization. Others, like a software implementation, may have product installation as their primary objective. However, regardless of the main purpose of the project, be ready to manage organizational change as part of the project scope.

news dec 2Use established change models – Project teams should take advantage of established models to help guide them to identify, plan for, and manage change to the affected organization(s).  Many change models are available to help the project team identify organizational change requirements and navigate the change management process.  These include:

– Kurt Lewin’s Change Model (Unfreeze – Change – Refreeze)

– Proci’s ADKAR® Model (Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability, Reinforcement)

– John Kotter’s Eight Stage Change Model


Select the model that ‘fits’ the project and makes sense to the team and other stakeholders.

Align project outcomes with the project executive’s expectations – We should consider the project from a business executive’s perspective because they are one of our most important stakeholders. At the end of the project, what does the executive want and expect to see? …usually a complete, successful change to the business. For example, the executive doesn’t look at a new product development project as just delivering a working product. They want to realize benefits from the working product.  For example, the executive probably wants to see:

  • happy customers buying, using and gaining benefit from the new product,
  • support by marketing, sales and advertising persons knowledgeable about the product,
  • development by persons who understand new processes and technologies required by the product,
  • use of new materials delivered on time and within budget by qualified and capable suppliers.

Looking at the whole value stream gives insight into the degree of change that is necessary if the project is to be successful and therefore helps identify the true scope of a successful project.  The example above could easily be rewritten for an internal software project, a bridge construction project, or a new school curriculum development project. But remember, all projects involve people, so all projects will require changes in what people do. Managing organizational change is not a luxury, it is a requirement for project success.


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