Abstract: Project Managers are very comfortable with developing sound, carefully structured projects with predefined, clear parameters. Project Managers have been trained to keep moving forward; develop and follow workplans; and ensure the end objectives are met. But what happens when things don’t go as planned? What happens when changes to the original plan are needed to try and ensure the project still meets its objectives? Learning to anticipate and appropriately manage change is a learned skill and requires serious behavior change.
Our team, the Integrated Program Management (IPM) team, has introduced an IPM framework to our agency. The IPM framework includes guidance and tools on 6 separate project management systems, including change management. The change management system introduces a framework and tool for proactively anticipating and effectively managing change within our projects. The change management framework enables project managers and project teams to manage change within their projects as they would any other important milestones, seamlessly and without too much indecision. It creates a process for proposing and submitting change requests; reviewing and approving them; and then recording the details. The change management framework also requires behavior change in our project managers. It highlights the need to anticipate and proactively plan for change; to develop mitigation strategies before the change request reaches our doorstep.
As project managers, we spend so much time planning for the best case scenario; ensuring all of our ducks are in a row; meeting our end objectives as planned. What happens the majority of the time, though, is just the opposite of this. Projects require changes in scope, budget, and technical specifications. It’s about time we learn to accept and welcome change as much as we do plans; this will make our projects smoother and us better project managers.
PMI Talent Triangle: Technical Project Management