Change management approaches

As I mentioned over the last few weeks I have been through some training in PRINCE2 project management and change management, provided by a local vendor Project Laneways (a bit of plug they are highly recommended and say I sent you), the end result I am a PRINCE2 Practitioner and certified in the Principles of Change Management through the APMG.

As part of the change management course we covered several different approaches to managing change, predominantly based around the book Making Sense of Change Management. The approaches ranged from general ideas, to more detailed frameworks but none really provided a full change management methodology. Which is both good and bad. Good as it allows students to pick and choose the best method of managing change, but bad as there is no detailed process for managing change as with PRINCE2.

Some of the approaches we covered were:

  • Lewin; Three step model
  • Bullock and Batten; Planned change
  • Kotter; Eight steps
  • Cameron and Green; based on Kotter
  • Beckhard and Harris; Change formula
  • McKinsey; Seven S model
  • William Bridges; Managing the transition
  • Senge; Systemic model
  • Stacey and Shaw; Complex responsive processes

The best in my mind are really a combination of Lewin, Bridges, Kotter and McKinsey.

Change management and technology implementation

For many years I have felt that change management has been one of the most underrated and overlooked component during technology implementation. (For the IT folks out there I am NOT talking about change control I am taking about the people and organisation aspects.) I have been involved in change management from several perspectives and as part of my consulting now offer services are change management. Given this I felt I should probably get some formal training, over the last few days I have been completing the APMG’s course in Change Management.

As a bit of background there is significant research out there to back up the position that if you don’t have change management your technology project will more than likely fail. Some of the more recent studies are:

  • A 2002 McKinsey study found that ROI of projects was 143% when change management was used and only 35% when it was not.
  • “Projects with excellent change management programs met or exceeded objectives 88% of the time, while projects with poor change management met or exceeded objectives only 17% of the time,” stated Tim Creasey, Prosci’s Director of Research and Development and co-editor of the 2007 report “Best Practices in Change Management”
  • Kotter found that only 15% of organisations making transformation succeed.

Watch for more posts in the coming weeks on change management.