May 25, 2017

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Project management advice, tips, tools and recommended resources for existing and aspiring project managers.

Change Management Process – Benefits and Project Impact

Benefits of change managementMany people believe that an effective Change Management process, has become essential in delivering successful projects and getting a return on investment.

In answer to the question if there is a Return on Investment for Change Management, we can turn to a Report that was published by Afro Ant in April 2014. This report was the output of an Ant Conversation, hosted by Afro Ant (and co-sponsored by Old Mutual) which was attended by 24 professionals who work in the field of Change Management or work closely with Change Managers. This conversation, centered around ROI, encouraged the sharing of insights, opinions, and lessons learned from working in the field of Change Management – specifically around the benefits of implementing Change Management properly, the negative effects if this is not done, and how the ROI on Change Management can be measured.

This is the first of a series of 3 articles about the Change Management process. It will cover the benefits of change management, ideas for how to measure return on investment (ROI) and negative effects of insufficient change management.

What is Change Management

Change management can be defined as a framework for managing the effect of new business processes, systems and structures or culture changes to achieve a required business outcome.

Directed change can be defined as the change in business and operational practices that is required to ensure the sustained realisation of business outcomes. It’s implemented within constraints.

It’s important to understand the objectives and scope of the change and what the expected benefits of the implementation are in order to determine if you’re doing the right things and doing them well. A measurement for the effectiveness is also needed.

Benefits of Change Management

When we talk about Change Management and its benefits, there is a distinct link back to how Change Management is managed. Some of the benefits of Change Managements are easily recognised, but there are other benefits that are not as overt, but would have a bigger impact on your project. When you implement change management you can expect some of, although not limited to, the following benefits:

#1 It will give you a structured approach to change

In addition change management will assist in managing the transition.

#2 Benefit realisation

If a change (to adopt a new way of working) is not managed properly, many of the benefits may not be realised.

#3 Change management will provide effective communication.

That means the ability to provide clear and consistent communication so that individuals involved in, or impacted by the change, know what they need to know, when they need to know and are able to work towards adopting the change.

#4 Role Clarity

Change managers work with the project and leadership team to confirm roles and responsibilities, and guidelines so that stakeholders understand what is expected of them and when.

#5 Making change sustainable

Structured management of change support working with stakeholders to make sure that the change is sustainable and that it lasts. A key element of this is to transfer knowledge from the project to the stakeholders, equipping them with the skills they may need to maintain the change.

#6 Stakeholder involvement

Change should be done with people. It gives people being impacted a voice and makes them part of the change initiative. Stakeholder buy-in and leadership engagement in driving the change has been identified as a driver for success.

#7 Leadership involvement

Change management focuses on ensuring that change leaders are enabled and empowered to lead.

#8 Faster adoption

Managing the change brings faster more visible adoption of the new way of working and user proficiency.

#9 Impact on Productivity

Change management aims to minimise the impact on stakeholders and the disruption to daily operations.

Any project manager who has ever worked on projects that required change interventions, can attest to the value of change management and the positive impact that effective change management had on successful project delivery.

Please subscribe to Virtual Project Consulting (top right) not to miss the next article in the Change Management series.

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