Do you know of any projects where the deliverable were celebrated with a bang but the effect did not occur?
Then you may have underestimated the change management task in the project. The purpose of this article is to provide project managers, programmer managers, project office employees and HR employees with inspiration for how to incorporate change management in projects at an early stage and in a structured manner.So how is going to be a Project manager of the future.
Project manager now as change manager
The project manager needs both structural elements and change management elements in order to succeed with the project and realize the benefits of the project. Therefore, the most essential role of the project manager is to ensure actual effect and organizational change of the project. This may seem simple, however, it is in fact an overlooked dimension in many projects.
Traditionally, the project manager’s task is to ensure the deliverable and keep focus on the product. What is currently seen and advocated is for the project manager to keep focus on value to a higher degree and to select the project management team accordingly. Consequently, focus needs to shift from “what” the project is to deliver to “why” the project has been initiated.
The change manager is the one who conceptualizes the entire transformation and is responsible for changes in knowledge, attitude and behavior.
The role as change manager
The change manager is dedicated to making change happen in the organization. Are people doing something today which is different from yesterday? Are they talking differently about the change? In some organizations, the role as change manager is quickly reduced to “the person who is responsible for communication and education”.
The role includes these things AND much more. The change manager is the one who conceptualizes the entire transformation and is responsible for changes in knowledge, attitude and behavior. The desired effect will determine how the change manager should work. A higher degree of behavioral change means increased interaction with the organization. The change manager must design and facilitate real changes as obligatory passage points that are conducted at an early stage of the project. For example, feedback from the employees could be an obligatory passage point in a management development project.
Another passage point could be that projects must be specified in a project description in order to get budget approval. Therefore, the change manager must have an eye for the entire project process as well as the small processes, such as facilitating a one-day event in a professional manner. The change manager must maintain focus on both the business effect and the human aspect of the process. This means that the change manager should set specific effect goals for both dimensions and design processes in the project, which lead to realization of the effects. We often find that each organization has a preference for either one or the other dimension. Here, the change manager has to build a bridge between e.g. HR and the finance department.
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