Change Management is a key part of an organization's Project Management strategy.
Businesses in a rapid change environment develop strategic plans to create a clear business vision, to establish key organizational goals and objectives, and to develop aligned strategies and strategic guidelines. Typically, a strategic plan also identifies numerous specific change requirements for various types of projects. In order to implement an organization's strategic plan, different approaches can be used, such as total quality management, business process re-engineering, accelerated new product development, and various advanced technology solutions.
Recently, many organizations have adopted project management based approach to manage organizations (for instance, enterprise-wide project management) which provides efficient methodology to meet multiple, competing, and cross-organizational change needs. This approach consists of two major processes: Project Prioritization (organization's resource loading and leveling), and Continuous Improvement. The key part of this approach is Change Management.
In most organizations, Change Management consists of two principal areas: Change Planning and Change Execution. Change planning provides for the identification and evaluation of risks associated with the change. During this stage, the change management has to develop planning requirements in order to ensure that the change is successful. Change execution is the process that approves and monitors the change, providing the correct level of notification and minimizing the user impact.
Change Planning is crucial for determining and documenting risk levels for all potential changes. The higher the risk, the more detailed report is required. Change input requirements data include the change owner, business impact, risk level, reason for change, success factors, backout plan, and testing requirements. To carry out the necessary changes properly, it is also essential to understand the current status of the project, its critical success factors (CSFs) and all main processes. Change Planning report ensures that all necessary resources are identified and easily available, provides a clear goal of the project change, and ensures that the change conforms to all organizational standards for design, configuration, and management.
After the planning phase is completed, the desired project changes may be implemented by the management team. It is important to assign responsibilities for monitoring the project changes and arranging periodic change review meetings. Change management team approves executed project changes and verifies higher-risk changes. Besides, if some changes were unsuccessful, the change management team identifies the reasons and root causes of the change failure.
To evaluate the success of the change management process, a set of specific indicators can be used. These indicators (metrics) allow the management team to determine the change risk level, review the change goals and objectives, analyze change failures, and inspect emergency changes and undocumented changes.
In order to analyze the change management efficiency, the following metrics can be used: Number of Project Completions during a specified period; Number of Authorized Changes to Critical Success Processes (CSPs); Number of Cancellations per Project; Project Manager Turnover within a Project; Team Turnover within a Project; Number of Active Projects; Number of On-Hold Projects; Number of Bypassed Processes during a specified period; and some others.
In conclusion, the change-management approach should be fully integrated into organization's decision making, both informing and enabling strategic direction. It should be based on a realistic assessment of the organization's history, readiness, and capacity to change.
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