Change Principle - Enable Change to Achieve the Envisioned Future State

The project manager should clearly understand the reasons for the change and also establish a clear understanding of what needs to be done to support the change, along with the associated costs and benefits. 

In case of transition from the current state to an intended future state created by the project outcomes, this principle will set the framework for the project manager to prepare stakeholders impacted by the changes for the adoption and sustainment of new and different behaviors and processes required. This article explores some of these concepts in greater detail and uses real-life examples to illustrate their implementation in real-world projects.

The change is a project management principle, and it brings to light the importance of not only introducing a new and different environment in which those impacted by the change must survive but also providing a step-by-step process to keep these individuals on track.  In order to achieve successful project execution, it is important that we plan on how we will achieve change across all stakeholder groups during all phases of a project life cycle. By doing so we can make sure that there are minimal obstacles that could potentially cause our project not to meet its objectives or have negative impacts on other related projects.

A Structured Approach to Change 

A structured approach to change management is for making and sustaining changes, within the context of an organization’s culture. Most successful programs use structured programs for change management. This provides predictability. By planning and executing a structured approach to change, we can anticipate issues and mitigate risk while giving teams the best possible chance to succeed. The most useful artifacts to do this are;

Managers can't be expected to transform a team or business unit with just vision, inspiration, and motivation; there has to be an element of predictability and structure too.

The Sources of Change

In order to manage and lead through change, project managers must have a thorough understanding of what is driving change and how it will affect their projects. Some changes to an organization can come from inside, like a need for a new capability, or it can be a result of performance evaluations. There are also external forces like catching the technology, demographic changes, or socioeconomic pressures. These, along with other factors can also spur organizational change. When any sort of change takes place, the people undergoing it have to put in effort, and those they are interacting with have to do the same.

Challenges of Change in Projects

Managing change can be difficult. In order to better deal with change, project managers need to keep a few things in mind. First of all; you won’t always be able to control change. Part of a project manager’s job is preparing for changes that occur during a project. Keep your stakeholders updated and make sure you have a contingency plan for when things go wrong. Then, stick with it. Don’t take yourself out of a project just because things get difficult or frustrating. It can be hard, but stick with it, and use past experience as an indicator of how far you can push yourself through tough times. This means using your personal strength to help you get through challenging situations.

Project Manager's Role

The project manager’s role in introducing and facilitating change is critical. They must ensure that all impacted stakeholders are aware of changes before they occur, identify those who will be negatively affected by a particular change, develop a communication plan, determine if existing systems need to be changed, and manage any resistance to adoption and sustainment of new behaviors. 

Check also:

Change Log

Stewardship Principle

Systems Thinking Principle

Team Principle

Leadership Principle