Changing Roles: Project Manager or Change Manager?

Insights | 03 September 2018

Did you realise that having effective change management produces a 6 times greater likelihood of achieving project outcomes?

(Prosci 2016 Benchmark Data).

Programmes and projects mean change, at the organisational, team and individual level. Change is typically neither entirely ‘good’ or ‘bad’: for one person the change may be a great opportunity whilst for another it may be perceived as negative. Change management may be embraced at one level but resisted at another.

Yet it is not necessarily the change itself that is resisted, but rather the perceived loss of power, direction, competence or even overall job security.

Tips for Effective Change Management

  1. Focus on the truth

Change leaders are open about the change strategy, their roles and how changes will unfold. Be clear that emergent issues or concerns that may block success are expected, accepted and will be addressed. Trust and transparency are key; be open about the purpose and expected impacts of the change effort. Be realistic.

  1. Involvement

Involve people – remember typically people don’t like a fait accompli presented to them when it materially affects them. Actively and directly seek the input of people and functions involved in the change. A collaborative relationship should exist between business as usual and the change team. Individuals, teams and organisations all play a part in the change process.

  1. Explain why – What’s in it for me?

Everyone should understand the need and the required business results from the change. Adequate two-way communication forums need to be in place and actively used. Communicate constantly. Reward systems should directly reinforce support for the change process and the future state. Ensure adequate training and coaching for everyone at all levels; encourage learning. Help people discover and understand the part they will play in the new ‘world’.

  1. Break down into incremental steps

Change can seem daunting, especially if it is a major transformational change that dramatically redefines an organisation, its systems, boundaries and expectations. Start small, consider incremental steps, expect challenges, expect changes to the plan. Ensure sufficient resources are made available to the change effort. Suitably qualified and well-respected people need to be involved throughout – not just brought in near the end.

  1. Time and patience

Ensure appropriate time is granted for understanding, designing, planning, and implementing the change. Resist the urge to just rush ahead. Recognise that people react differently to change and people need time to process, respond and adapt to change.

There is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to change. The techniques suitable for change vary from organisation to organisation depending upon size, change culture, political climate and the position of key players and change roles. There will always be those who let change happen, those who make change happen and those who wonder what actually happened.

Tell us, how does your organisation cope with change?

If your company requires assistance with organisational change, contact us today on 1300 70 13 14.

About The Author

Tracey Copland, Head of Best Practice at PM-Partners group

Tracey has been involved in management, finance and business consulting including Portfolio, Programme & Project management for 20+ years. Together with her skills and experience, Tracey is a flexible professional seeking to achieve a high work standard, focussing on value-add.

Having been with PM-Partners group for 15 years, Tracey has held roles including Consultant/Trainer, Head of Training and currently, Head of Best Practice. Tracey has provided training and consultation services to clients in both the public and private sectors, across various disciplines and at all levels including Project, Programme, Portfolio and Change Management, and Agile practices.

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