When you have clarified the business outcomes for your project as outlined in this first post and have a plan to engage your project sponsor through active listening as outlined in this second post, you may be tempted to believe you are ready to lead change. However, you are missing a third change management fundamental practice for supporting the “people side of change“ – teamwork.
PROSCI provides a compelling picture of what teamwork between project management and change management looks like for any initiative to successfully drive successful business outcomes.
Source: PROSCI’s Unified Value Proposition of CM and PM Integration
While change managers look at how a solution can be “embraced, adopted and used proficiently” – the people side; a project / program manager typically focuses on how a solution is “designed, developed and delivered” – the technical side. A critical step for establishing a genuine project team is keeping the change management activities in step with project management efforts.
In other words, if technical solution moves forward without staying in sync with the change management efforts to help people understand how they will benefit from using the solution, the final business outcome will suffer. You can’t have users who are ready to use a new software and a system full of performance-crippling glitches; nor will a smooth-running system work, if the users have no idea how to use the system and how it will improve their daily work.
So how do you keep project management and change management in sync? There are three key practices:
- #1 Get Change on the Project Roadmap: The change management efforts to drive user adoption must clearly be connected to the overall project plan. In addition, the change efforts must be present throughout the entire project lifecycle, not simply crammed at the end as illustrated in this slide from PROSCI’s Advanced Applications of ADKAR.
Source: Advanced Applications of ADKAR
- #2 Clear Change Deliverables: Make life easier for everyone on your project by clearly outlining change management deliverables and how they will help people adopt the change. It’s not enough to have change management vaguely mapped to the project plan, there must be an articulate narrative of how those specific activities will help people use the new process or tool.
- #3 Help the Project Manager: Those working on the people side of change, should always be looking for ways to help the technical efforts, even if these activities aren’t strictly change related. For example, collecting stakeholder input on technical details are not directly related to user adoption, but they do provide an excellent opportunity to build rapport with the people impacted by the change.
These are a few simple steps to keep change management connected to project management. I’d welcome you to deepen your understanding of these topic in three ways:
- Comment on This Post: What has helped you keep the people and technical sides of change connected? Post your comments below and I’ll be glad to provide additional insights in the discussion.
- Download Free Proven Change Leadership Tips: Sign up here to receive proven tips on how you can develop change leadership skills.
- Schedule a Free Consultation: If you or your organization are undergoing any sort of change, I would be glad to brainstorm on how to apply a structured approach in your business.