As Project Managers know, an important part of the most projects is the concept of change management. Although there are numerous definitions and derivations of change management, two have been particularly important in my experience.
1. Organization as a whole: This relates to things such as changes in process / procedure. It also can relate to personnel if the change being brought about requires a modification, elimination or addition of human resources. Careful planning and consideration are required by the project team to ensure the correct preparation and execution of tasks that will help ensure organizational acceptance of the required changes.
2. Individual employee level: Most larger projects have on individual employees. These effects can vary. The most significant effects can include changes that are as significant as the actual displacement of an employee based on changes in process or increased efficiency. Lessor changes can include learning new programs or modifications in the existing business workflow.
In both these types of change it is critical that the project team conduct a careful analysis of the upcoming changes. There are numerous change management templates available on the web that can help guide a project team through this process. No matter which template is used, the most critical part of change management is communication early and often. This communication can be updates related to the timing of the project, training schedules for the new system or specific documentation outlining the expected changes and their impacts.
It is in the best interest of the project team to prepare this type of formal change management plan and gain executive sponsor advocacy. This plan should be updated frequently and shared often with all the appropriate stakeholders. A comprehensive change management plan is critically important the the success of most larger projects and project teams should ensure that this is a part of the project related documentation.