Monday 8 August 2022

The Difference Between Project Management and Change Management



Project management involves the use of people, processes, and methodologies to plan, initiate, execute, monitor, and terminate certain actions. All of the above is aimed at achieving the project goals formulated by the organization and its overall strategic goals.

Change management, like project management, involves people, processes, and tools to help an organization effectively manage all the changes that are taking place, whether it's the results of project initiatives or some other factor that can have an impact on the business.

Often, project management and change management go hand in hand – that's the way it should be: they have certain things in common. But at the same time, these are different disciplines. Let's look at project management on the example of software development and implementation. The project manager interacts with the project team in planning, exchanging information and performing the necessary development and implementation procedures. The change manager works with the same team to identify and effectively manage aspects related to any changes that ultimately affect stakeholders.

Project management contributes to the implementation of strategy and is a formalized and well-documented discipline that is guided by the formal body of knowledge on project management PMBoK (Project Management Body of Knowledge). For each project, start and finish dates, tasks, milestones, and deliverables are defined, as well as formally described processes and agreed requirements and goals. Project management usually involves the introduction of a product or service.

What is Change Management

Change management, which is increasingly becoming a recognized and documented discipline, lacks a formalized set of guidelines and processes like PMBoK. There are no start and end dates, formal tasks and stages. Change management processes can vary depending on the goals. Management affects only changes that affect the activities of the organization and the management of processes and increase their sustainability.

What does a project manager do?

Project management from its beginning to completion is aimed at successfully achieving the set goals and simplifying the interaction between the project team members, the company's management, stakeholders, suppliers and other parties. The project manager supports the interaction between its participants and is responsible for the implementation of the project within the specified constraints. His knowledge and experience in project management help to establish effective cooperation between sponsors, team members and other stakeholders and make informed decisions. The project manager keeps in touch with the company's management, ensuring that the project is consistent with the overall business strategy, and is responsible for minimizing risks and negative impact. Ultimately, project managers need to simplify and keep under control all project activities.

What does a change manager do?

The change manager provides leadership, networking, documenting, and implementing effective change management strategies that help the company's management, employees, and other stakeholders better implement the necessary activities during the transition period. It promotes the introduction of new business processes, reduces resistance to change and plays an important role in establishing contacts and protecting business interests. It also tracks the impact of change on people and ensures that business risks are minimized.

Why does an organization need a change manager?

Every year, a huge amount of time and resources are allocated to various projects around the world. Although projects help companies achieve strategic goals, they tend not to fully take into account the impact on people and existing processes in the organization. It is important to remember that if project team members and key stakeholders are involved in a project from start to finish, then many other people are not involved, but are influenced by the results of the project.

They may feel fear and resist the implementation of the project. A lack of incentives, combined with a lack of understanding of how the changes will affect their fate specifically, creates uncertainty about their future and raises questions about future employment in the company. Change management professionals can play a very important role in mitigating this transition, reducing pressure, and helping employees adapt to change, thereby reducing resistance. And while project managers and change managers have many overlapping functions, the tasks we've described here have nothing to do with the role of project manager.

How does a project manager and a change manager work together?

With the start of the project, employees and other stakeholders are exposed to a lot of unnecessary stress. While project managers should focus on solving common project objectives in order to bring in certain values, then change managers should be present at meetings and be an integral part of the project team. Cooperation helps to adhere to an integrated approach to the implementation of the strategy and mitigate the impact of project results on employees, saving them from unnecessary stresses and fears. Thus, the necessary conditions are created for a smooth transition, reducing the level of resistance both during the implementation of the project and for a sufficiently long time after its completion.

Organizations should maintain close interaction between project managers and change managers to ensure that project results and related changes do not adversely affect employees and ensure the required level of quality of the products and services offered.

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