The key to a leader’s success (project managers included), says Bill Bates in the book “The Keys to Our Success” www.thekeystooursuccess.com , is to “exercise (your) leadership skills and abilities (to manage) the degree to which the various stakeholders accept the organizational changes caused by a project”.
“A project that delivers on time, on budget, and within scope” he goes on to say, “but which has disrupted the organization and has substantial resistance is a failure.”
Our projects typically produce change, and we need to embrace this. The greater the degree of change and disruption, the more important it is for all of us to embrace it and manage it. If we don’t know how, we need to learn. Or we should be bringing in some professional help.
Bates says “The management of stakeholder expectations and requirements is one of the most important factors in accepting the changes caused by the project”.
Change can stir strong emotions among employees and management. It can make or break careers. Largely, success or failure of the delivered change depends on the leadership provided for the project at both the project manager and project sponsor levels. Too many project managers tend to focus on project change and overlook the most important change involving projects: the change in an organization caused by the implementation of our projects.
Of importance in leading project-driven change is to remember that a major goal of the project should be that the stakeholders accept the change being brought about by the project and the change is absorbed with minimum disruption, if possible.
So, what process do you have in place to manage change?