At the “How does change management enhance project success” webinar on the 26th May 2021, Donna Unitt from the Enabling Change SIG presented some top tips to 87 people.
The audience was widespread, logging in from the UK and India, but our experiences of why change fails were aligned to unclear visions, poor or missing leadership and limitations on communications.
Donna talked about what change management is and is not. Explaining the purpose of change management is to bridge the gap between the traditional focus on delivery of project outputs and the cultural and behavioural needs of the stakeholders associated with the project to help them through the change curve to acceptance and embedding of the change.
Donna explained there are numerous change models, each as valid as the next, so when selecting which to use think about the vision for the change and the audience you are working with. By starting with the end in mind it is easier to plan change into all aspects of the project lifecycle at the start of the project.
There are several roles who are key to embedding change – the Project Manager, Change Manager and Change Agent. While it may not always be appropriate to deploy the roles separately it is important to consider how the functions of each will be made available. For example, the change agent may be the local managers who can liaise between those the change is happening to and the project team, this way communications will feel more personal and feedback loops can be established for two way communication back to the project.
Within projects we are all used to managing stakeholders and gathering lessons so enhancing these with the key factors of successful change will help to deliver a shared purpose, improved communications and ultimately the desired project outcomes. The key to remember is that Change x Acceptance = Effectiveness.
Change needs to be thought about and planned for all the way through the project and should not be an after thought.
Nina Hartley, SWWE committee member
Donna Unitt is the APM Enabling Change Specific Interest Group (SIG) Chair. Her day job is as Head of Delivery with experience in managing business relationships across an array of levels and cultures through large IT, organisation and process change projects and programmes.
Donna has a proven track record of successful project delivery and management in large multi million pound projects.
Donna is a change management practitioner and has over 25 years of IT solutions implementation experience, including multi-implementation lifecycles across the supply chain industry to the SIG.
Donna has very kindly allowed her presented material to be made available for viewing. The slides on APM Slideshare and the webinar recording on YouTube are available in our APM resources area and also embedded below for your reference.
This event is suitable for professionals up to an intermediate level of experience.
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APM Body of Knowledge 7th edition reference
Preparing for change