The Integration of Change and Project Management is a Must!


Do You Want Your Project to Succeed?

If I had to choose just one thing that would give a project its greatest overall chance of success, it would be outstanding change management. We all know that a project has to be in scope, on time and in budget, but what about its true success rate? What about after delivery? Was it adopted? Is it being utilized? Did the sponsor experience the benefit they had hoped for?

It may come as a shock to some that change is not traditionally addressed in project management. The Project Management Institute (PMI) sees change management as an entirely separate field from project management. While experts recommend that the two should be integrated, change is not a knowledge area for project management study.

It’s not enough to simply hand something off that could be great, it’s our responsibility as project managers to do everything in our power to ensure it reaches its full potential. By implementing a structured change management plan with emphasis on a reinforcement program, you have given your project a much greater chance of achieving its maximum benefit. Prosci benchmarking research shows that 47% of participants who integrated project management and change management reported meeting or exceeding project objectives, which was 17% greater than those who did not integrate.

As a PM, I don’t want to simply deliver projects – I want to deliver projects that are huge wins! Projects where a 30% higher than anticipated ROI occurs, or where five years later the organization still feels that the project ranks in the top 5% of the most beneficial things they have done. In my experience, these types of project successes always have something in common – structured change management was integrated from day one.

When you begin to ponder your next project, give some serious thought to bringing in a change specialist to work in tandem with your PMs, or hire a PM that has experience and successes with the integration of change and project management. If you employ your PMs, consider providing change training so they learn change methodology and how to seamlessly integrate change with project management. I assure you, the ROI will be outstanding!

Danielle VanZorn, PMP, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

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