Project Management

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Topics: Change Management, Consulting, Leadership
Cultural change
I must confess I don't consider myself an expert, I want to keep learning till I die. During my career as a practitioner and participant in projects, as a Project and Program manager, as well as a sponsor of some projects, I have seen many good ideas, efforts and project not getting the expected results...

Although the reasons for not getting what is expected, are several and come from a wide spectrum of sources, a lot of projects in which I have been involved struggle to deliver what is expected because of the resistance to change.

Now, in my humble opinion, the PMBOK Guide does not address cultural change measures to increase the probability of project success, although the manage stakeholders knowledge area seems to be the place to take care of this, I think it does not fully address the complexities of human and social behavior in organizations.

My questions for you are,

How are you addressing the cultural change in your projects?
Do you include activities to address cultural change within the scope of your project and why?
What approaches, tools or techniques are you familiar with to take care of this aspect of the project that it seems to be beyond of PM?
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First of all, project manager is not accountable for deliver was expected. It is accountable for deliver what is defined as the solution. Business analyst is accountable for defining the solution. Then, thanks to run project quality process, you deliver what defined you have not problem in this point. Second, culture is one component inside the organizational architecture then is a matter of business administration not a matter of project management. Again, if you what to put it inside a role, business analyst is accountable to consider the whole architecture before a project exists. Culture can not be change in isolation. As Ortega y Gaset wrote "uno es uno y sus circunstancias".
While relevant to project management, this is primarily the focus of organizational change management. With more complex changes, having a dedicated change lead to work with the sponsor and PM is helpful as they will be able to guide the development of a change strategy, plan and specific tactics which lead to sustainment of the desired changes.

As far as HOW the changes can best be implemented, Kotter, ADKAR and other models can be leveraged...

There are aspects of OCM in project management - stakeholder analysis, communication planning, training planning... but as Kiron noted, having another person to run the People Change side of the project really is optimal. Especially if you are running multiple projects. You need someone else to understand where those affected by the change are currently at on the change curve, to manage resistance planning and resolution, to get executive engagement, among other things.

How do I address these things? Sometimes the business sponsor has managed it. In one case, the sponsor was the Director of the organization. It was in his interest to get his organization to adopt the changes. His efforts continued for several months AFTER the project ended

On smaller projects, OCM doesn't always get as much attention.

I've also seen HR brought in to lead OCM efforts, but they've typically focused on training and, occasionally, layoffs, unfortunately. They've also helped with redefining roles that are changing because of the change.
This is an interesting topic Jorge.

If I define a project as "delivering some sort of change" and that for full realisation of the benefits a cultural change is required, then I would suggest culture change actually could be considered a required project deliverable.

However, I can also see that depending on the degree of cultural change required:
a. there could be a need for another parallel project or business OCM piece to deliver the organisation wide cultural change which would be a dependency for the "technical" project to go-live, or
b. knowing that the degree of cultural change required to fully realise the benefits is too large and too long term, that the project needs to deliver a detailed benefits realisation plan that can help the business deliver on the larger, longer term cultural change?

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