Achieve Better Outcomes: Integrate Your Project Management and Change Management

Prosci defines the integration of project management and change management using the following equation:

Project management and change management are complementary disciplines with a shared objective: to ensure that a change, such as a new work process or technology system, is adopted and used by stakeholders to achieve the desired business outcomes. The most successful projects are initiatives where the project manager and the change manager share this same objective and know that they must work together to achieve it.

Unfortunately, project managers and change managers often don’t work together using an integrated approach. The performance of project managers may be based on their ability to deliver solutions on time and on budget. As a consequence of how they are measured, their attention is focused on the technical side of their projects. All too often, the end result is an elegant solution that is not widely adopted and used by the individuals it’s intended to benefit. Less frequently, we also see projects where the impacted stakeholders are ready and waiting, but the solution they receive doesn’t provide the functionality they need.

Change managers may not use a structured approach and can struggle to define how their efforts are adding value to project outcomes. Pointing fingers and assigning blame when changes aren’t successful occurs all too frequently. Statements such as “nobody was paying attention to the people side of the change” or “the solution doesn’t meet end user requirements” aren’t helpful and “pit” one discipline against the other. What is required is an integrated approach to ensuring success.

Encouraging the use of an integrated approach to implementing change starts with the recognition that there are many more project managers than change managers in the world today. The Project Management Professional (PMP) is a credential offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI). There are currently over 600,000 active PMP certified individuals across 104 countries worldwide. In contrast, Prosci reports that over 20,000 individuals have completed their Change Management Certification Program, which is currently the most popular certification in the field of change management. 

Given the disparity in the numbers, a significant opportunity exists to educate project managers on the value of paying attention to the “people side of change” on their projects. Recognizing this need, Prosci recently introduced a new program, Delivering Project Results: Change Management Workshop for Project Managers. Navigo offers this one-day, hands-on program to introduce change management to project managers and team members. The program builds awareness of how change management can help them achieve the intended outcomes for their projects. The program content defines change management using language and a framework familiar to project teams: Intent, Objectives, Scope, Work Streams, Milestones, Deliverables and Timelines. Project managers and team members who attend this program will:

  • Develop an understanding of what is meant by the term “people side of change”
  • Be able to connect employee adoption and usage to their project’s results and outcomes
  • Understand how change management increases adoption and usage of a technical solution
  • Build a common framework for engaging with change management resources/practitioners

For more information on bringing this program into your organization, please contact Andrew Horlick or Heather Lehmann.