Change management methodology: one size does not fit all

The application of a structured approach is essential to any change management program. As a change management professional who has experience with a wide range of methodologies, I wasn’t surprised to see that the use of an established, customizable and scalable methodology was identified as a contributor to success in Prosci’s Best Practices in Change Management Report (read about the #1 contributor in another blog post).

Why is a structured approach helpful? It provides a framework to help ensure the effective application of change management on a project. A structured approach also encourages change management practitioners to build a solid foundation for their project. How? Checking for alignment with corporate strategy, ensuring the desired results are clearly defined, and integrating the change management and project management plans.

When selecting a methodology, I recommend that you consider the following factors:

  • Ease of use and scalability Is the methodology easy to follow?
    • Is it flexible and scalable? Could it be used both now and in the future, when the size of your organization has changed? Does the methodology use business language as opposed to buzzwords? Will it be easy to explain to others, such as sponsors and front-line managers? (Prosci, p. 36)
  • Methodology certification or training
    • If change management practitioners in your organization are already trained in a particular methodology, it can make a big difference to the success rates of your change initiatives. Not only are they familiar with a specific approach, they’ve likely also experienced previous success with the methodology, and can apply lessons learned to new change projects. (Prosci, p. 37)
  • Recommended by an outside source
    • We often turn to business peers for advice, and for good reason. Consider asking other practitioners you respect about experiences with a particular methodology or for a recommendation. (Prosci, p. 37)

There are many different methodologies available, and it’s important to select one that’s a good fit for your particular project, company, culture, and industry. Participants in the Best Practices in Change Management benchmarking study recommended selecting a “credible, well-known, and recognized” approach (Prosci, p. 37).

In 2011, Navigo selected the Prosci methodology for use in our consulting practice, and we also became a Prosci Authorized Training Provider. One of the main factors in our decision to adopt Prosci was the fact that the methodology and tools are derived from best practices research. The use of extensive research data to drive methodology and tool development gives us confidence in recommending Prosci’s structured approach to our clients. If you’re interested in bringing the Prosci change management methodology into your organization, please contact me.