| John Spacey, August 15, 2017 updated on September 09, 2022
Project change management is the process of leading change in the context of a project. Project management is too often viewed as a purely systematic process of planning, scheduling and implementing. In reality, projects are a social process of people working together towards common objectives. As such, projects require leadership that can influence and motivate people. The following are common examples of project change management.
Strategy ValidationSanity checks such as "Does this project have any chance of achieving its current objectives?" It is the responsibility of project leaders such as sponsors to stop a project that is doomed.
Communication PlanningDesigning communications to sell the project to stakeholders. Some stakeholders may have a tendency to resist change and may seek to derail a project they don't buy into.
Mission & VisionMake the urgency of the project clear by explaining the competitive pressures the firm faces. Paint an a compelling picture of the future and explain how the project gets you there.Some leaders are able to make communications interesting and compelling using storytelling techniques. This is a good example of why change management isn't a process or system but a leadership capability.
EngagementEngage stakeholders early and often. Involve them in strategy and planning. People are less likely to resist things when they have been consulted.Set expectations at the leadership level. For example, make it clear that concerns will be noted but that everyone is expected to fulfill their role with appropriate levels of diligence.
Make it clear what the project will and will not deliver. Anticipate objections and handle them.Take stakeholder concerns seriously by managing them as risks.
Knowledge SharingContinue the momentum of communications throughout the project with initiatives such as knowledge sharing. Work to improve your organizational culture such as your norms, habits and expectations.
Clear IssuesClear issues and continually identify and reduce risks to the project.
Tell people immediately if they aren't performing so that they have chance to correct. Support and reward those who actively move the project forward.
CelebrateStructure the project for regular milestones and releases that get something out the door. Celebrate successes small and large.
This is the complete list of articles we have written about project management.
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