Book Image

Practical Change Management for IT Projects

By : Emily Carr
Book Image

Practical Change Management for IT Projects

By: Emily Carr

Overview of this book

Table of Contents (12 chapters)
Practical Change Management for IT Projects
About the Author
About the Reviewers

Chapter 1. What is Change Management?

By the end of this chapter, you will be able to:

  • Define Change Management

  • List the Pillars of Change

  • Explain why Change Management is important to project success

  • Describe how Change Management fits within a project team

There are as many different definitions of Change Management as there are change managers.

In his 2011 article in Forbes, Change Management vs. Change Leadership – What's the Difference?, John Kotter notes:

"Change management…refers to a set of basic tools or structures intended to keep any change effort under control. The goal is often to minimize the distractions and impacts of the change."

Prosci, an organization that focuses on Change Management research, defines Change Management (at as:

"The application of a structured process and tools to enable individuals or groups to transition from a current state to a future state, such that a desired outcome is achieved."

The Change Management Institute, an organization that promotes and develops the practice of Change Management, notes in Organisational Change Management Maturity (February 2012) that Change Management is:

"…more than just 'the people side of projects.' It should be viewed as the approach the whole organization uses to manage change well."

The list goes on. Notice that all of the preceding definitions focus on Change Management as the management of organizational change. This book will help you drive change throughout your company. It is not designed to help you determine which changes should be made to a computer system, such as you would find in ITIL Change Management.

To ensure that we're all working with the same definition, for the purposes of this book, Change Management will be defined as:

"A set of activities, processes, and tools designed to help people successfully adopt change."

You'll notice that in this definition, I don't list every activity and tool. This is because, depending on your project, the set of activities and tools you use may change. I also don't define the type of change. As noted in the Preface, although this book focuses on the implementation of an IT system, Change Management and the basic concepts and activities in this book can be applied to any kind of change your organization faces.

The last word I want to focus on in the definition is "success." For each project, you must define what success looks like in your organization. People can appear to adopt the respective change, but on closer examination, you find that the change actually failed. I've seen cases in companies where the following issues occurred:

  • The new system is implemented, but it doesn't meet business needs because the end-users were not involved in the project

  • Everyone uses the new system, but they continue to use the old system as well, effectively doubling their workload

  • Everyone uses the new system, but they find loopholes and work-arounds that cause them to break government and industry regulations

  • Everyone uses the new system at first, but days, weeks, or months later, they stop and go back to the old way of doing things

In each of these situations, although the change was superficially adopted, the overall project was a failure.