Where does change management fit?

Positioning change managementInside, outside, alongside

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.

Prosci’s four models are:

InsideModel A: Change team inside the project

In this model the change team resources are inside the project and under the control of the project. The sponsor sees the world through the project mechanism and the project manager. In these circumstances change priorities would be subsumed into project priorities.


alongside supportingModel B: Alongside but supporting the project

In this model the change team is outside the project and reports directly to the Sponsor. It is however still supporting the project so the project sets priorities and the project manager would expect to be in control.


outside but beneathModel C: Outside and below the project

In this model the project team has a small component which is part of the project resources and a further team outside the project which is doing most of the change work in the business. Presumably the business has some control over this outside resource. The change resources are firmly in the control of the project manager and the Sponsor sees everything through the project process and the project manager; as in model A.

combinedModel D: Combined

The project and change resources are one and the same. This looks like a properly integrated approach: except that it confuses change with technical work; confuses responsibilities about change to the business and technical development. It means technical people should do change and change people should do technical work; which usually means technical people do it all.

So what do you use?

In their recent survey Prosci asked their respondents which model to they use with the following results:

Prosci-structure-chartAlthough model A was the most popular, all of the models are well represented across the respondents. This suggests no particular model works well in most situations so local change and project managers need to consider what are the risks they face and which model will best help them to meet those risks. This is the advice provided by Prosci as a result of the survey. However, can you spot a missing model? Think about programme management.

A fifth model: Lead with change

Change leads projectModel E: Change leads the project

This is the model I feel is missing. Change leads the project with the sponsor seeing the change first and the project as supporting the change. This should provide business led change. This is particularly important if the project is in IT (a common situation). Prosci are usually very aware of the need to have the business leading change, I feel that in this case their governance structures are working against them.


What do you think? Which of the five models do you use in your change? Do you know why that model has been chosen, or even if it was chosen and not just an assumption that there is no other way? Post your feedback.

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