Someone once told me that project change doesn’t start on week one. It starts on day one.
As a project manager you must embrace change as a daily thing: something that needs to be addressed and managed throughout the life-cycle of the project – from day one.
Project change comes at us in many different forms from areas like HR, vendor management, budget control, politics, organizational governance and more. But it always involves people and that makes change so difficult to manage.
Many project managers are taught that their job is to deliver on time, on budget and within the defined scope of the project. As I have said many times in this space and as a speaker to project management audiences, that’s old school. Today, we are asking more of our project managers.
Change management requires: calm in the heat, empathy, political awareness, consistency, fairness and maybe even likability. It requires good skills like negotiating, leadership and the ability to see the big picture. It requires a recognition that each and every person within the project’s reach comes with different personalities, varying priorities, potentially opposing agendas and yes, even personal lives that need to be accounted for.
Managing project change is all about working and managing people.
Your people are your #1 asset and your #1 priority. If you understand this, project change is a snap!