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Maximizing Project Success Through Effective Change Management

Authors: Dave Lozinger and Dawn Mahan

Dave Lozinger Dawn Mahan live discussion Change management project managers projectland

In our previous article, we began exploring the people side of change, and offered practical tips to help project people integrate professional change management techniques into their plans.





In this article, we will share additional tips to help you ensure your project is a success. After all, most projects are started with the express purpose of introducing change. Per the Project Management Institute (PMI) definition, every project is temporary, unique, and creates a product, service or result.


What changes do you need people to make for your project to be successful?


If you are creating a new product, you want people to buy it, and you need a customer service team to develop new skills to support it. If you are offering a service, you want people to use it, and you need personnel who can provide it properly. If your aim is to deliver results, there is usually some change in behavior required to achieve them.

Let's continue our journey up change management mountain, with three more practical tips.


1. Ensure your entire team has a stake in the change.


Military lessons in business project management
Business People Don't Line Up Perfectly & Enthusiastically Follow Orders

In the military, everyone knows that if each and every person doesn’t do their job and work as a team toward the common goal, someone’s life could be at risk. In the Industrial Age, the military significantly influenced how companies operate. Even the word company is derived from the military.



The culture in today’s business environment is moving farther and farther away from the “do as you’re told” and “yes, sir” or “thank you, mother; can I have another” culture we experienced even just twenty years ago. Newer companies are much more collaborative, much less likely to be led in a “command and control” style, and more likely to embrace the idea that good ideas can come from everywhere and everyone, regardless of experience level.


To ensure that key stakeholders do not sabotage your project, you must engage them in the planning and implementation of it. You need to make sure that everyone involved understands why the change is happening, what will be affected by it, what their role will be during the project life cycle, and how they can contribute positively to its success.


Some examples of stakeholders could include:

  • Business process owners (BPOs) who understand how their processes fit into your organization's strategy and where they need improvement

  • Operational people who maintain or execute these processes on behalf of customers or other departments within your company

  • People who will need to follow this new process when it becomes available for use within their department or work area


2. Don't forget about training and documentation.


Your team members need to have the time and space to ask questions. They also need training. You should take care of these things before launching a process change, but it's worth noting that when you're making a large-scale process change, these things should happen before and after your official launch date.


If you don't get this right, then your entire endeavor could be doomed from the start—so make sure you're communicating with your team about any new processes or procedures they might be using!


Gears represent system thinking and a detailed project plan
The Change Gear Is Critical To Your Project Running Smoothly

3. A carefully planned and executed change management plan can have a positive impact on your business processes, so don't overlook it as part of your next project.


The change management plan should be completed before any work on the project begins in order to set clear expectations for everyone involved with the change: from stakeholders to users and even other teams who will be affected by this new process.


Some common goals of a change management plan include:

  • Communicating about changes in a timely fashion

  • Keeping all stakeholders informed about how they should communicate with each other during the transition period

  • Minimizing disruption, confusion, and resistance among users as they learn new systems or procedures

7 Change Management Summary Tips to Help You Succeed in Projectland

  1. Change requires leadership, as most humans resist change, even if it is going to make their lives easier.

  2. Change is an organic part of business and often a necessary component of growth. Don’t avoid it. Embrace it.

  3. Project managers don't need to lead the change alone. Assign a talented Change Team Lead to focus on proper planning, scheduling, impact analysis, deliverables, and support for the change.

  4. People resist change and may perceive it as a threat, so be sure to consider all factors involved when designing processes and systems.

  5. Be sure to engage stakeholders in the planning and implementation of your change. People are more likely to embrace the changes they helped create.

  6. Change deliverables often include effective communication, training, and documentation like job aids or Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).

  7. Have a Change Management Plan to set clear expectations for everyone involved with the change.

 

Additional Resources to Help You Succeed in Projectland


Dave Lozinger Dawn mahan Change management project manager

Dive deeper into several of these tips inside our previous article: The Critical Role of Change Management in Project Success.



For more practical tips on change management in Projectland and to watch Dave and Dawn’s LinkedIn Live conversation, visit PMOtraining’s YouTube channel (be sure to subscribe!).


To learn more about how to manage projects using pro techniques like managing risks, check out our course! Dawn spent a year working with the pros at Udemy to distill over 20 years of experience into 5-minuteish videos to help project people navigate Projectland with ease. If your employer offers UDEMY BUSINESS, get the course here. (It’s free for you!)


If your employer doesn’t offer Udemy Business, don’t worry!

Use our special REFERRAL Link here to check it out. The first few videos are free!

 

About the Authors:


Dawn Mahan PMO Professional Project leader projectland

Dawn Mahan, PMP is an award-winning consultant, international speaker, coined the term “Projectland” a Top 3% trainer on Udemy and founder of PMOtraining, LLC. Her work preparing young professionals to work inside major corporations through YearUp has been featured in MarketWatch, Morningstar, Yahoo! Finance, and more.


To book Dawn to speak inside your organization, contact Beth Montgomery at bmontgomery@pmotraining.com.


Dave Lozinger PMP PMO project manager projectland

Dave Lozinger is a superstar project change leader, former Navy fighter pilot, and an award-winning flight instructor. Using his military training to lead extensive and impactful projects, Dave is a wealth of knowledge.


Learn more about Dave in our blog HERE.


 

Get more tips! For bite-sized tips to help you succeed in Projectland and in-depth opportunities to learn from Projectland experts via LinkedIn Live, follow us on Project Guru Academy. Project Guru Academy is a brand new division of PMOtraining.com.

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