Every Project Is a Change

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Categories: Best Practices, Change Management, Project Requirements


by Ramiro Rodrigues

Consider the following situation: You have worked a long time in your company and developed a certain level of expertise in their operations. You are familiar with the processes, tools and people.

One day, a consultant, hired by the board, arrives at your desk and lets you know that they are there to lead a review of the company's processes. As such, they will need some information about the way you work. It doesn't take long for you to realize that the consultant's job is to change your familiar operational format.

This scenario illustrates my main point: Every project is a change.

Organizations have an established understanding that standing still could be fatal to the survival of the business. They need to innovate and be faster than the competition. This is what motivates them to invest resources in pursuing these goals. Thus, the basis of every project is the facilitation of a change that will shift them from point "A" to point "B", which is, theoretically, more advantageous.

Everything would be perfect if our human reasoning didn't, for the most part, take us in the opposite direction. Instinctively, people do not like to mess with what they already know. (Unless, of course, they’re in situations that are uncomfortable. Even in these cases, they have their reservations.)

Our nature instinctively seeks out security and stability, which often is possible only through various mistakes and persistence. "Projects" are at odds with these principles because they are associated with the uncertainties and fears that the changes will bring.

Knowing this, if the individual in charge of a project wishes to succeed in their mission, they must develop interpersonal skills — the capacity to communicate, negotiate and intervene. These skills are part of the arsenal of resources that a good professional needs in order to persuade those involved to commit to change.

It is not easy. For this reason, professionals who are adept at these projects have gained increasing appreciation in the corporate market. This is because they take on the responsibility for ensuring that the investments made are not lost and the failure statistics are not intensified. 

But human instinct will resist. In this scenario, one of the possible strategies is to adopt Charles Darwin's evolutionist principle, which is wholly befitting to today’s frenzied corporate world. It is not the strongest species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one who can best adapt to change.

Posted by Ramiro Rodrigues on: December 18, 2017 08:43 AM | Permalink

Comments (26)

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Thanks for sharing

That's the beauty and challenge of project management - introducing change.

great points- every project is an exercise in change management

Sustained growth in any organization can only be ensured by adapting to the change to remain relevant and ahead of your competition.

Very True Ramiro - Nice Post

Good article

Informative post and thanks for sharing.

Change is one of the reasons that Project Managment is so challenging. There is always resistance to change.

Good information. Thanks for sharing.

Change is what keeps us awake.

Thanks for interesting article.

Thank you for sharing. PMI´s has published an article I wrote time ago. Here the copy into projectmanagement.com: projectmanagement.com: https://www.projectmanagement.com/blog-post/33583/Newton-s-Laws-applied-to-Organizational-change

Resilience and adaptation are the key to survival. Nice post!

Adaptation to change in project management has been experienced by me while working with high-tech mining projects in India. Because of unforesen geological problems, require Revised Project Reports with modified parameters. Application of Analytics to get the best ROI can be useful for high investment projects.

Excellent post, thank you.

Change is indeed constant and adapting to these changes is at times challenging. It's very important to maintain frequent communication on stay on the message so the team members, will in due course come around and lessen the resistance.

Thanks

Thank you for the great article. There is a Chinese saying, "The mountains would change but people would change to innovate and keep looking for solution."

Interesting

Thanks for sharing

Thank you for the thought provoking post. Coming at this time of year, the changes experienced and documented in projects usually becomes part of the organization’s performance assessment over the past year as well as highlighting positive changes that should be repeated, negative changes that should be avoided in the future, and updates to decision processes and criteria that may need to be updated. This applies equally to changes undertaken and planned for projects, organizations and employees.

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