As a Project Management Professional (PMP) and a Prosci Change Management Practitioner, I have led the development of a Project Management Office and a Change Management Office as separate entities for one organization. The next step was the integration of both teams into one team and I’m excited to share some thoughts on the importance of this integration as I have experienced it! It really is all about people!
Two Sides of Change
The Prosci methodology emphasizes that introducing a change with a project or initiative requires effective management on both the technical side and the people side. The discipline of project management focuses on the technical side to ensure that the change is developed, designed and delivered effectively. Project management provides the structure, processes and tools to make this happen. The discipline of change management focuses on the people side and provides the structure, processes and tools to ensure that the change is embraced, adopted and utilized by the employees who have to do their jobs differently.
Goals of Project Management and Change Management
The goals of project management and change management are to increase the likelihood that projects or change initiatives deliver the intended results and outcomes. The most effective approach is to integrate change management and project management to create a unified approach to implementing change, although each discipline can function independently.
WHY INTEGRATION PROJECT MANAGEMENT AND CHANGE MANAGEMENT?
VALUE: Following are some reasons that integrating change management and project management creates value on a project or change initiative for a number of reasons.
- Shared objective
The efforts of both project management and change management, when integrated, can focus toward a shared objective to improve the performance of the organization by successfully implementing a change that delivers the intended results and outcomes.
- Proactive steps
Integrating change management into the project management steps supports the efforts to manage the people side of change through the identification and mitigation of risks in a more proactive manner, address barriers and resistance and build commitment and buy-in for the change.
- Sequencing and alignment
Integrating technical activities and people activities helps to ensure that the right steps are taken at the right time in the project plan to help employees embrace the change and produce the right outcomes for the project.
- Sharing of information
Sharing information on the front end and the back of a change initiative is enhanced when change management and project management activities are integrated. The integrated approach, on the front end, helps ensure that impacted employees are receiving key messages. On the back end, integration provides the project team with effective feedback on adoption, usage and reaction to the change.
What does the research tell us?
According to Prosci’s Best Practices in Change Management-2014 Edition, 62% of the participants met or exceeded their project objectives who integrated change management and project management in their project or change initiative.
What Contributes to Effective Integration
Successful integration of change management and project management only happens when the following elements are in place:
- Results and outcomes
A shared focus on results and outcomes is the foundation for the successful integration of the technical side and the people side of change. Meaningful integration will occur when the project team is focused on, responsible for and held accountable to deliver results and outcomes on the technical side. On the people side, the change management team must define its own success through the achievement of project results and outcomes. Success for the change management team is not simply executing change management activities (such as number of communications delivered or number of employees trained).
- Recognition of the role and value of change management
Without an acknowledgement of the role and value of change management, integration will not occur. Change management must be valued and viewed as a crucial component of project delivery. The change management team must show how great change management will enhance the success of the project or initiative. It’s all about return on investment and demonstrating the direct impact on realizing benefits and achieving the desired results and outcomes when change management is applied to a project.
- Change management is structured and rigorous
A structured process and set of deliverables must be applied from the technical and people side of change…project management and change management. It is difficult to integrate change management activities into a project delivery approach without structure and rigor. Credibility and accessibility with sponsors, project managers and project teams is increased with a structured and rigorous approach to managing the people side of change
Success for a project or initiative results occurs when an effectively designed, developed and delivered solution is embraced, adopted and utilized by impacted employees. Project management and change management have a common objective—when integrated in the delivery of a project or initiative, together they provide a unified approach for achieving the desired results and outcomes of organizational change.
Do you agree?
As a Project Management Professional (PMP) and Prosci Change Management Practitioner with ten years experience, I would love to hear from you…please leave aquestion or comment! Here is a link to my profile.
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