Organisational Change Management

March 4, 2012

We have just posted a new White Paper that looks at Organisational Change Management. We have focused on ‘organisational’ for two reasons:

Firstly, any significant change is a change to the organisation – projects and programs cause the change but the organisation has to adapt to the change.

Secondly, the only valid purpose for a change is to create value and the only way to generate value is through sustained improvements (changes) in the way the organisation operates.

This new White Paper, WP1078: Organisational Change Management, consolidates and augments a range of posts over the last couple of years. The full set of original blog posts can be viewed at:

Understanding Stakeholders

January 24, 2010

I published a post on the PMI Voices on Project Management blog a couple of weeks ago; Is This Your Project Stakeholder?. The post outlined a scenario and provided two options for readers to respond to.

  • Option one was to focus on stakeholders and value with an enhanced probability of technical failure (running late and being over budget)
  • Option two was to focus on the ‘iron triangle’ of time cost and scope.

A surprisingly high number of comments from people in the IT industry chose ‘option two’ – just do the job, a focus on short term technical achievement. Whereas managers with a broader perspective tended to select option one for a range of reasons.

You will have to wait a few days for my second post outlining my views on the best answer and why (I have just finished writing it and its now being edited). So check the Voices blog ‘home page’ in a few days or follow my posts.

In the interim though I have to say I was amazed at the number of IT practitioners who still seem to believe IT is somehow disconnected from the overall business of the organisation. I would suggest 99% of IT projects involve changes to business processes and will never deliver their full value if the people working in the business don’t embrace the changes.

Further, I would suggest probably greater then 50% of all IT projects are specifically instigated to support a business initiative or change. Projects in this category are integral to the value creation process – if the IT project team alienate key stakeholders the whole initiative could easily fail to deliver value to the organisation and become a waste of time, effort and money.

I discussed stakeholders and change management a couple of weeks ago (see post)  and the ‘Value Chain’ was covered last year (see post)

Based on the responses to the PMI blog, there’s still a lot of work to do to convince IT practitioners that being on time and on budget are not directly related to value. Value is created when people (ie, stakeholders) actually use the IT implementation to generate wealth.

Stakeholders and Change Management

January 10, 2010

When considering stakeholders, there are very few one-to-one relationships. Most stakeholders are, and have been, influenced by a range of relationships in and around your project, program and your organisation.

Stakeholders and Change Management

Change Management and Stakeholder Management

Stakeholder management is a key facet of organisational management where stakeholder management is often aligned with marketing, branding and corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives.

Similarly, stakeholder management central to change management and the ability to realise the benefits the change was initiated to deliver. The benefits will not be realised unless the key stakeholder communities accept and embrace the changes.

Project and program management also has a focus on effective stakeholder management. In a change initiative, the project and/or program undertakes the work to deliver the elements needed to facilitate the change but are only ever part of the journey from concept to realised value.

A typical evolution of a change initiative would flow along these lines:

  • The organisation decides on a major organisational restructure and as a consequence initiates a change management process and appointed a change manager.
  • The change manager develops the business case for the program of work and the executives responsible for the organisations portfolio management approve the business case and agree to fund and resource the program.
  • The program manager sets up the program management team, established the program management office (PgMO) and charters a series of projects to develop the various deliverables needed to implement the change.
  • The projects deliver their outputs.
  • The program integrates the outputs with the operational aspects of the organisation.
  • The organisation’s management make effective use of the new systems and processes.
  • Value is created for the organisation and its owners.

The change manager is the sponsor and primary client for the program but the people who need to be convinced of the value of changing are the operational managers and their staff. If the organisation does not accept and use the new systems and processes very little value is generated.

Within this scenario, stakeholders in the operational part of the organisation, and particularly the managers will be key stakeholders for a range of different entities:

  • They are stakeholders in the organisation itself and part of the organisational hierarchy.
  • They are stakeholders in the change process being managed by the change manager.
  • As end users of the new systems and processes they are also stakeholders of the program.
  • As subject matter experts (SMEs) they are likely to be stakeholders in at least some of the projects.

In one respect change management is stakeholder management. Therefore, in a change management initiative, stakeholder management should be an integrated process coordinated at the change manager’s level. All of the organisational elements working on the change need to coordinate their stakeholder management efforts to support the overall outcome. Confusing and mixed messages don’t help anyone.

But this is just one typical business scenario. When considering stakeholders, there are very few one-to-one relationships. Most stakeholders are, and have been, influenced by a range of relationships in and around your organisation. Consequently, focusing on a simple one-to-one view is unlikely to provide the best outcome for anyone.

Effective stakeholder management requires a mature organisational approach. One approach to developing this capability is the SRMM (Stakeholder Relationship Management Maturity) model described in my book. Stakeholder Relationship Management: A Maturity Model for Organisational Implementation. I will outline the SRMM model in a later post.