A unified approach to deliver results

There are many reasons for integrating Change Management in project management. It:

  • Enables a shared objective, as both disciplines focus their efforts on improving the performance of your organisation;
  • Facilitates proactive steps, because, when you implement Change Management you implement tangible actions to identify and mitigate risks, address resistance and build commitment;
  • Allows sequencing and alignment, because you integrate the technical and people activities and change managers can take the right action within the project lifecycle to speed up and support adoption of new processes and activities;
  • Enables an exchange of information, as integration ensures that your employees receive the appropriate messages and the project team receives feedback on adoption and reactions to better gauge their effectiveness and take the necessary steps to improve their efforts.

The value of integration is supported by research data: according to Prosci®’s Best Practices in Change Management – 2014, global participants who integrated Change Management into project management were more likely to meet or exceed project objectives than those who didn’t integrate the two (over 60% versus 40%).

Dimensions of integration

You can integrate Change Management and Project Management across different dimensions. Prosci® reports that the most common dimension of integration is the People dimension, which creates a structured and mutually supporting relationship between the project team and the Change Management team or resources.
Other important dimensions of integration are the:

  • Process dimension: coordinating and sequencing the technical side activities with the people side activities;
  • Tool dimension: identifying tools that include both approaches;
  • Methodology dimension: creating processes and procedures that facilitate the coordination of the technical and people-focused activity.

We will explore the Prosci® Dimensions of Integration in our next Change Diary, with more details and insights.

What to do before integrating Change Management in project management

Applying both approaches to any change doesn’t mean they are integrated. There are some prerequisites for effective integration:

  1. Focus on results and outcomes: both the project team and the Change Management resources must be focused and be responsible for project results and outcomes;
  2. Role and value of Change Management: everyone involved in any change process must be aware of and acknowledge the role and importance of Change Management for delivering the project objective and optimising the expected project ROI. This requires demonstrating how Change Management helps deliver the success of the project or initiative;
  3. Structured and rigorous approach to Change Management, to increase the credibility and accessibility of Change Management and cement its integration with sponsors, project teams and project managers.

Can Project and Change Management get along? Read more about it in our Big Theme.

Photo by Maarten van den Heuvel on Unsplash