Greatest contributors and obstacles to successful change management

Prosci - sound familiar? Prosci is a 20-year leader in providing change management research, methodologies, tools, and training programs. In fact, 80% of Fortune 100 organizations are Prosci customers.

As a change management professional, I find Prosci's research into managing the "people side of change" to be incredibly valuable. Since 1998, Prosci has conducted benchmarking studies, surveying change management team leaders, external consultants, project team leaders, and more - from all across the world. Combined, these eight studies represent the change management insights of over 3400 practitioners - the largest body of knowledge that I've encountered in my 25+ years in change management.

In February, Prosci released the latest Best Practices in Change Management Report. The 2014 report is the largest to date, with 822 participants from 63 countries sharing lessons learned and best practices in change management. I was particularly interested in the greatest contributors and obstacles to successful change management, as identified by the study participants (Prosci, 2014, p. 13).

  1. Study participants identified the greatest contributors to successful change management:
  2. Active and visible executive sponsorship
  3. Structured change management approach
  4. Dedicated change management resources and funding
  5. Frequent and open communication about the change and the need for change
  6. Employee engagement and participation
  7. Engagement and integration with project management
  8. Engagement with and support from middle management

This is the eighth consecutive study in which active and visible executive sponsorship was identified as the most important success factor. This is consistent with my own experience in working with sponsors on a wide range of change initiatives.

Participants also identified the greatest obstacles to successful change management:

  1. Ineffective change management sponsorship
  2. Resistance to change from employees
  3. Insufficient change management resourcing
  4. Division between project management and change management
  5. Middle management resistance

Beyond contributors to and detractors from success, the study also covers many other change management topics, including: top trends in the discipline of change management, recommendations for seven unique change types, and justifying change management to project teams and senior leaders. If you are a change sponsor or practitioner, I encourage you to read the study and apply the findings to increase the change management capability of your organization. If you are interested in having Navigo present an overview of the study results to your senior leadership team, please contact me.