Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A Quick Thought on Change Management

A project achieves success by delivering suitable value to various stakeholders — the people or groups that are actively involved in a project, are affected by its outcome, or can influence its out-come (PMI 2000; Smith 2000). 

As a project manager - whether on films, events or software projects - one of my top priorities is delivering that value, and one of the keys to doing so is managing change. Sounds simple enough, but this can often be one of the toughest and most politically sensitive areas for a project leader to manage, so having strategies to deal with this is critical.

Some change of course, is expected, and project teams have to remain flexible and accommodate change if it adds value or provides a competitive advantage. But if someone is habitually making changes to a project there is often something else going on besides just making it better. 

What I will often do in these situations is ask the person to sit with me and talk about what they’re pushing up against. Is this the right thing to focus on? Is it really going to make or break your idea? Will it help us achieve the business objectives? Where are these suggested changes coming from (outside the project team)? And let’s be sincere about it.

This doesn't always work, but far more often than not it helps us discover the origin of the changes. Once we know that, we can address it, manage it and deliver the value.

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