Saturday, October 27, 2012

Project Management and Change Management Go Hand in Hand

Statistically, both project management and change management effort have 70%+ of failure rate, it also spurs many provocative debates on how to manage projects more smoothly, such as: How do you view the disciplines of change management and project management? Complimentary, Redundant, or Conflicting?



  1. Project Management (PM) & Change Management (CM) are Two Sides of Coin

 Without surprise, most industry experts think PM and CM are complimentary with each other; PM without CM, is one of the key reasons why so many projects have failed and why so many organizations have not embraced project management in their culture and operations. The lack of CM, has brought skepticism to organizations as business rarely be able to quantity the benefits originally stated in the Business Case – which is where Change Management comes in. This is not the only reason though; there are a few more as important such as leadership, strategy., etc. 

  • CM means a lot of things: Change Management is the discipline of assessing for, planning, and mitigating risk. If you mean Change/Release/Validation processes, then they would seem to be a natural extension of a project; if you mean Human and Organizational Change Management, then, that too would seem to be a natural result of every project - the point of all projects and all system is change;           
  • PM & CM are Two Sides of Coin: A properly designed and implemented CM & PM system are a "must have"; Change management and project management are two sides of the same coin. Either one without the other, results in an incomplete transaction. Change Management is one of many components of a project, and they go hand-in-hand. Projects follow change management processes and adhere to the policies in order to implement required design, new, and/or changing implementations. 
  • CM and PM are complimentary Ying & Yang. The interaction of these two objects causes everything to happen in any project environment. Furthermore, the size of the organization will influence the level of debate. In large enterprises, change management has a purpose in assuring that operation of the business is not disrupted by a single change, or a few changes. Project Management is a plan to make changes; and to destabilize the current situation. In a large enterprise,  PM should (must) account for operational readiness, yet there are so many changes, that CM is required to funnel and manage a large number of changes to the operation. In a small business and many medium size businesses, there are fewer operational elements, systems, or players, so that PM and CM tend to blend together into project management.
  • CM is Subset of PM, or PM is Subset of CM?  Many PMs don't consider CM as part of PM, but without a doubt if you neglect Change Management you are at risk at having a failed project, especially if it affects users. On the other hand, some think PM is a discipline within Change Management, other components include Stakeholder Management and Communications Management. So PM is a subset of CM.
  • People are Key in CM: Change management that addresses the 'people change' aspects of a project is more important than ANY 'really cool' technology deployment.
  • Best Practice: Both CM & PM should work complementary for each project, a change from the as-is situation will move to a "to-be" situation. In practice, you can map "Kotter" (8-step Change) with Project Management. Big projects typically fail because "change" is not taken seriously. Change management practices are supportive of project management. They aid in control of "feature creep" and help to maintain scope and deliverable stability across the project lifecycle.
  • Some Argument: Change Management can exist without Project Management, but Project Management cannot exist without Change Management. Well, if we think Project Management is beyond managing IT or software project only, treat Change Management itself as project, such as culture change, it may also need the set of change principles to sustain the changes.  

  1. Change Management is the necessary pre- and post-requisite to Project Management.

 Change Management is the necessary pre- and post-requisite to Project Management. If a project is not changing something, then why do it?

  • PM should integrate with CM into the project planning. Make sure the business understands this, and that it is built into each of the plans and estimates. If it needs to be modified, then manage it under Risk Management. Changes in scope are inevitable on any project. In dealing with them effectively, Change management and Project management go hand in hand.
  • Change managers must select an appropriate project management process. At least they need two stages, plan and implement; Change management is the most important part of the overall project. This may be the physical, technical and is always the psychological/cultural changes that are required when any change is made in a business of those who will be at all affected from the results of the project. . 
  • Complimentary/intricately linked. The change management process should initiate project management and complete with the scheduling change. A robust change/project management process will ensure proper design, acceptance criteria etc., 
  • Ensure your projects don’t cannibalize testing, user training and learning: mandate comprehensive testing, extremely well resourced, continuously available training and learning, then the change will happen.
  • Consistency A well designed CM & PM system will ensure consistency in the use of established processes, ensure compliance with agreed policies and enable all reporting required for management of KPIs, SLAs and other audit related issues. 
  • From Good Project Manager to Great Influencer: No matter how well the project manager managed the project, came in under budget or time, she/he may not have achieved the cultural change required to adopt any changes in process or operation that the project was all about implementing. She/he may in fact be a great manager of a project team, but not a good influencer of people to embrace change after the project is implemented.

  1. Change management is core discipline and strategic Policy in Project Management


  • Project Leadership Discipline: Leadership must work hand-in-glove with PM throughout the project life cycle to ensure all the necessary elements of success are in place; and intervene if/when they are not, it's because creating and sustaining change is a leadership responsibility requiring strong governance  /sponsorship on both the IT and business side; PMs define & implement the mechanics of the change while Leadership must create the need/culture for change (Executive support, alignment, incentives, understanding, communication, policies & procedures, etc.) which ensure the success of the project. 


  • Change management is one of the core disciplines which helps ensure an IT project is "ready" to go live in production. A mature project readiness review process will include several system management control points. However, change Management is often overlooked and done poorly. An hour or two of training and then someone "checks off" change management. Successful CM requires high level consulting and people skills and every situation is different. PM has some specific disciplines. But do not confuse Project Tracking and resource management with true PM.
  • CM is a strategic policy, PM is tactical for project managers: Project Management gets you from A to B. Change Management ensures that while getting to B the business does not experience negative impact.
  • CM is everyone's responsibility. Change management is often done poorly, and left to what would be better-described as a training team., and should never be delegated to "B team" players who spend their time creating documents rather than talking to stakeholders which also requires a lot of skills to be effectives.
  • CM as Discipline to Continuous Improvement: Change management is one of many disciplines needed to deliver business transformation, or business improvement, or a program/project. Change Management could happen in an operational setting where the CM task becomes the project. Project management includes an embedded CM component. CM + PM ++ = Continuous Improvement
  • CM as Communication Guideline: Project management is focused on internal/project resources and change management is focused on stakeholders external to the project team. Software Projects are done to automate processes among other reasons, the project needs change management to ensure completion within time and budget. Once developed, the change has to be effectively communicated within the organization and that’s the real role for change management. Many times, change management is the most important, least cared field, since it is seen as a soft discipline in a world of engineers.
  • CM like GPS: Act in current operations or processes, introduction of more progressive ways of achieving the same result, normally for increased efficiency or added value. All these need a vehicle to arrive at the desired point. CM like GPS, smoothes the way, provides the route to understanding, acceptance and adoption..
 Therefore, the very nature of project management must incorporate change management elements. Change management similarly must consider project management principles in its implementation



18 comments:

Thanks for sharing the nice information regarding the project management and change management.
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Thanks.

Hello! I am glad to stop by your site and know more about organizational change management. Keep it up! This is a good read. I will be looking forward to visit your page again and for your other posts as well. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about organizational change management.
Due to the growth of technology, modern organizational change is largely motivated by exterior innovations rather than internal moves. And when these developments occur, the organizations that adapt quickest create for themselves a competitive advantage. Meanwhile the companies that refuse to change get left behind and this can result in drastic profit and/or market share losses.
What can you do to improve your odds for project success and where do you start? Collaborative can conduct a change impact assessment to understand the amount of change affecting individuals and teams based on your project. We can work with you to identify a strategy and approach to manage your organization’s adoption challenges. We utilize our experiences with process and technology implementations to collaboratively manage change during your project execution delivering expected results.

Hi friend,
Very nice and informative content you have posted. We also provide project management services which include supervision of work in accordance with technical specifications, preparation of running account bills, final bills, Interaction with the clients and contractors. We provide complete feasibility assessment, Geotechnical Investigations design and Project Management Services in all aspects of ground engineering, we are able to combine knowledge with experience to provide cost effective solutions.

Nice standard and comprehensive read for all. It's highly needed as these two strategies are parallel to each other. Thanks for sharing the precious information. project management software.

I am Project Manager and want to use software or service which is as good as Basecamp or Google wave. I want to try some new Project Management and Task Management software?
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Thank you for sharing this post. It is very informative and helpful. I am shocked to hear that 70% of project management efforts fail. I am a project manager and have been using this great project management software that has really helped me keep track of all my tasks.

Hi, just a moment back I was searching for the informationProject Management

In any organization, there's a lot of arguments and debates to reach the company objectives. Project Managers and Change Managers may be the “Yin and Yang” of the company, but they are both an essential part of the company. Although their job descriptions may contradict, implementing a fluid Project Management and Change Management system is an asset to the company. In the end, they are hand-in-hand in every project that needs to be done.

We have to remain in brain that everything won't always be flat sailing. Go at it without sufficient project management skills, and it's like on foot into a minefield blindfolded.

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I agree with you. Project management and change management are equally important. They are the driving force that makes business successful. It's important to know everything associated with your project whether it is a logistical problem like supplies and money, or whether it is a time tracking issue and also the changes that occurred in project time to time.

Its really informative, some facts and other points given here are quite considerable and to the point as well, would be better to look for more of these kind for efficient results.

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The basic aim of project management process is to bring beneficial changes and add value to the entire process that will help the organization in meeting pre-defined goals with boosted profit margins. With PM Aura Project Tracking Tool, you can efficiently track your project progress and get maximum benefits.

Some project managers seem to possess a sixth sense or intuition; in reality they are very effective at absorbing and filtering the information they receive. This information is combined with experience and industry knowledge to greatly increase the chances of it being the correct decision. You must then be able to translate this into a clearly defined executable goal which you and your team can work towards.

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The PMP Certification establishes a common language among project managers and helps each other work within a common framework. Once you have the PMP, you need to consider how you're applying the processes, tools, and techniques to projects. I took a training course for my preparation in http://www.pmstudy.com and got ready for the exam on day 5!

Hi, you explained the topic very well. The contents has provided meaningful information thanks for sharing info the best RACI services

This is one of vital info for me. Change management emphasizes the people side of progress and targets leadership inside all levels of an association including administrators, senior leaders, middle supervisors and line supervisors.

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