From a change management perspective, a project is deemed small when it represents incremental or evolutionary change. Continuous improvement projects and upgrades such as improvements to products, processes, systems generally represent incremental change. This change can impact the department, the business unit or the organization as a whole however, the impact and complexity of the change on the organization is not significant in terms of the adaptation required. When change tentacles reach beyond the department, they are easily identifiable and the impact elsewhere is readily known and managed.
The change can be internally or externally driven. When internally driven, the desire is internal improvement for the betterment of the organization. When driven externally, the change is most often undertaken to keep up with the competition or when the organization implementing the change is playing the role of the follower. The small project often has a duration of only 2-3 months. Change management for the small project will often be supported by one organizational change expert whose role is to assess the degree of change to be imparted by the project and make recommendations to the Project Manager regarding change management planning and activities. An informal approach to change management suffices and change management planning and monitoring are usually minimal.
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