A while back I posted a poll to gauge how effectively change management was being used to deliver IT projects. The results of that poll, while not surprising to me, point to a concern that should be addressed. You can see from the image to the left that change management isn’t a focus of many projects and that those projects end in failure. Of the over 7000 respondents, 40% didn’t have any element of change management and the projects were deemed a failure.
I have often spoken, written and practice that for IT projects to be a success, they need to be rooted in strategy. That being said, it’s imperative that change management is a part of that strategy. Be sure to include a discussion on change management at the onset of your strategic planning exercise and ensure that it is embedded a process throughout implementation.
People often think that change management is something to be done at the end of a project, if it’s done at all. This approach of tacking change management on at the end of an initiative is sure to cause bumps in your project deployment. The technology is often the easy part of any implementation, with the people part and gaining acceptance being much more challenging. While this is true, we often see the exact opposite in technology projects, where most of the attention is given to the technology, and the end-users are a secondary thought. On your next IT project, work to bring more balance to that effort and ensure that adequate attention and planning are given to managing the change that is being introduced to your organization. After the initiative has been completed, be sure to go back and measure how well you did not only in the technical aspects of the project, but also in the areas of change. If you do this, you will see the successes of your IT projects increase and that will make everyone in your organization happy.