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How Change Management Fits into Projects

Project management and change management are two different dimensions, but they coexist and are always intersecting. In fact, many people are expected to play a hand in proper change management these days. In a post for A Girl’s Guide to Project Management, Elizabeth Harrin discusses the role of change management in projects today.

Change Permeates All

Harrin explains that change management is largely embedded into other roles and processes these days, and distributing it in this manner is intended to allow the business to pivot faster when needed. In her new book on the topic of change management in project management, she defines change management as “[t]he way we facilitate the shift from current practice to new practice in order to achieve a benefit.” So its purpose is to enable changes without hiccups or without losing momentum. (That is the lofty goal, anyway.) Its value on a large scale is to enable the business to future-proof itself, and on a smaller scale it is to ensure that projects align and provide the intended benefits.

Harrin makes a few notable distinctions between project management and change management. Among them, project management is focused on “installation” and plans, whereas change management is focused on “implementation” and people. It is easy to see how the two complement each other.

Five tools are ultimately recommended for conducting proper change management:

  1. Readiness assessments
  2. Project sponsorship
  3. Coaching and mentoring
  4. Training
  5. Communication

These ideas mostly speak for themselves, but about readiness assessments, Harrin says this:

These help you understand where the organisation and individuals are in their preparedness for the change. They act as the beginning of the journey and are key to helping you uncover the gap that you have to close in terms of helping people end the journey with their new behaviours.

For a longer discussion and more compare/contrast of project and change management, you can view the original post here: https://www.girlsguidetopm.com/how-change-management-fits-into-projects/

About John Friscia

John Friscia is the Editor of Computer Aid's Accelerating IT Success. He began working for Computer Aid, Inc. in 2013 and continues to provide graphic design support for AITS. He graduated summa cum laude from Shippensburg University with a B.A. in English.

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