Project Management

Turn on Your Force Field To Reduce Project Risk

Joe Wynne is a versatile Project Manager experienced in delivering medium-scope projects in large organizations that improve workforce performance and business processes. He has a proven track record of delivering effective, technology-savvy solutions in a variety of industries and a unique combination of strengths in both process management and workforce management.

During a gloomy period, when a project deployment was going badly, you may have wondered why so many of your projects are a struggle. Perhaps you need to assess your change management strategy. Decades ago, Kurt Lewin proposed that change could be fully enabled only if "restraining forces" were eliminated to make way for those forces that promoted change, known as driving forces. This strategy can help you improve change management in any initiative.

Let's say you have prepared to make your project change-ready. You plan to communicate often through existing channels. You have stakeholder involvement. You have established an effective reporting and accountability system. Your plan is approved and realistic. (Don't laugh, this is just hypothetical).

According to Lewin, the success of your project is still at risk unless you identify all restraining forces and add tasks in your project plan to reduce or eliminate these forces. Of course, many corporate project management processes include some type of analysis to identify critical input that, if not received, will cripple the project. This typically includes getting specific cooperation from stakeholders or SMEs by a certain date. These analyses leave a lot of problems uncovered, however, and can be made more robust.

Minimize risk by doing a better job of identifying restraining forces. Two change …

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I'd rather be a failure at something I love, than a success at something I hate.

- George Burns