Three things popped into my mind this week: a paper in the recent Sloan Management Review about the basic question every project should answer; a graphic in a book about project types due to Eddie Obeng; and recollections about reviewing projects. They all revolve around the question ‘why are we doing this project?’. The answer for a change project is the list of benefits! But obviously tackling the question is harder than you might think.
In a recent tutorial, Prosci proposed some models for organising a change team with a project team. They came up with four models described below. I think they missed the most important model. Read through the article and see if you agree with me.
Is Managing Change the same as Project Management?
A recent tutorial from Prosci identifies three critical areas of activity needed for change success. The model is both simple and elegant. However, it opens the question about where should change management professionals go for their support. The three areas are: project management; sponsorship; and change management. Not only does each activity have to work well, they have to work well together for change success. The schism between the three areas is becoming more evident as change failure continues, see how the model can help.
I am sure you are aware of the philosophical problem about a tree falling in a forest; if there is no one there to hear it, does it make a sound? Which amounts to the issue of if we don’t experience something then how do we know if it has happened. I propose the same thing applies to benefits arising from a change.
Making decisions in a fast moving change initiative with deadlines and issues is very hard. Making the best decisions is impossible. Yet most managers in a change are hung out to dry for their bad decisions (with hindsight).
A re-think about decision making and the culture around it is needed to improve decision making and thus produce better decisions.