How does embedding change management deliver successful outcomes for business projects?
A critical way to ensure that IT’s value as a business partner is acknowledged is to successfully deliver business projects.
While project management is a vital part of successful project delivery, embedding change management into the delivery of projects can increase the chances of a successful outcome by up to six times.
Why Change Management Matters
While project management focuses on the discipline of delivering the technical, administrative and functional aspects of business projects, change management focuses on the people (business) side of project delivery.
Embedding change into projects prepares the business for the transition from “how we do things now” to “how we will do things in the future.” Engaging people in the process of change is critical to ensuring a successful outcome.
Why are Projects Approved by a Business?
Projects are approved by organisations to achieve improvements in performance (in one way or another) by making changes to processes, systems, tools, job roles and organisational structures which ultimately require individuals to change how they do their jobs (in almost all cases).
If the people within the business are not engaged and encouraged to take this last step, then the opportunity for success is lost. According to Posci’s change management learning centre, the number one obstacle to success is employee resistance.
There are several ways that IT departments risk their existence by ignoring business partnering opportunities, rather than becoming a key enabler and business partner. Failing to bring people on board for the project is tantamount to risking its success.
Embedding change requires a strategic outlook from the get-go to ensure that the most vital cog of change – people – is brought along for the journey.
Steps to Embed Change
According to Prosci, the steps to ensure IT projects engage the business (people) through change management and deliver the benefits to the business (as a strong strategic partner) are listed below:
- It starts from the top with strong and effective sponsorship from senior leaders.
- Get the right people in the right places to ensure appropriate and fit-for-purpose resourcing.
- Engage the business with “what’s in it for me” through clear articulation and communication on the benefits for individuals, teams and the organisation.
- Get engagement/buy-in from individuals, teams and the organisation by listening to and supporting the business concerns from all stakeholders across the business.
- “Show, don’t just tell’ – Excellent communication in all its forms (actions, behaviour, spoken, written, group and individual) need to demonstrate how change will benefit the business.
- Be aligned – strong alignment between project managers and change managers is essential to ensure they are rowing the same boat.
- Facilitate action and feedback by hearing concerns, taking action and soliciting continual feedback.
As a strategic partner to your business, IT cannot afford to overlook the need for change management in projects. Embedding change using the above 7 steps will start you on the road to successfully engaging the business (people) and set your projects up for success.
As project specialists, we develop fit-for-purpose strategy. Contact us here to find out more about how we work with your teams or call 02 9098 6300.
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