Managing organizational change is one of the big, hairy elephants in the room when we manage projects. It is one we all recognize and know about, but that we struggle to deal with effectively--or even sometimes to discuss. Why this is, and why this should be, is a bit of a mystery.
Organizational change management should begin with a systematic evaluation of the current state in order to determine the need for change. Organizations must also consider the appetite for change and the capability to change.
It should come as no surprise to project managers that the organizations most adept at responding to change do so in a structured, planned and actively managed manner. However, this is only one of the necessary elements that need to be brought together in order for an organization to implement change successfully.
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Far too many project management professionals tend to be more task oriented than positive organizational change oriented. So what does it take to be a “Change Master”, to tame the two-edged sword of change?
The alternative to embracing change doesn’t have to be completely rejecting it. Are there ways we can introduce more flexibility to waterfall projects without losing control of change? Can traditional project execution approaches learn anything from the agile approach to change?
The importance of change management is recognized, but if it will benefit large projects it must also follow that smaller projects--where dedicated resources aren’t supplied--will also benefit from the concept. That’s where project managers come in.