Projects—developing a new product or service, an internal systems upgrade, an improved process, and so on—are all about preparing for the future. After all, your organization approved the work in the first place to provide anticipated value to the customer or organization. But as we know, the world doesn’t stand still while you work on that project. So how, and with what tools, can project teams and leaders take a change management approach to project planning?


The Future Will Be Different Than You Think!

During the lifecycle of a project, the world continues to evolve and change, resulting in different organizational priorities, customer expectations, technological capabilities, and the rest. So, there is a very good chance that the project you approved isn’t going to deliver the best possible solution when finished. It’s much more likely to deliver the perfect product, service, process, or application for the world that used to exist. 

Harvard Business Review reports that 44% of projects fail due to a lack of alignment between business and project goals. Those projects don’t start misaligned; at least in most cases, they become misaligned as a result of a failure to adapt and adjust to changing circumstances. To prevent that from happening, organizations must not only anticipate the need for change, they must build change into their project processes. Let’s dive in.


Defining Your Change Management Approach

In order for today’s projects to anticipate change, teams must start with the fundamentals. This means they can no longer view projects as vehicles to deliver a predefined solution. Rather, they must view them as as vehicles to enable an achievable business outcome. Take a new product, for example. If we define that product in terms of features and performance there is a chance that it will not be competitive by the time it launches. But if we define it in terms of customer appeal, the market share it can obtain, the price it can command, and so on, we can better ensure success. 

The implication of this approach is that change is likely inevitable during delivery. As the market evolves, as the team learns more about what is possible, and as they receive feedback on early prototypes, a reprioritization becomes necessary for:

  • capabilities
  • performance standards
  • release dates

These and any other number of adjustments ensure that the ultimate release has the best chance of succeeding. 

Those adjustments will be determined through collaboration among team members and with stakeholders, driven by the people doing the work who are in the best position to know how to adjust the solution to deliver the required benefits. But this approach only works when there is:

  • visibility and clarity over what is happening
  • effectiveness and efficiency in making changes
  • confidence in the end decisions

That’s where the right change management tool comes in.


A Tool for Your Change Management Approach 

To ensure that the work being done remains aligned with the needs of the business, organizations need effective project portfolio management (PPM) solutions such as Sciforma’s. This provides visibility into strategic priorities, the investments (projects) executing on those priorities, and the health of those investments. 

With regular reviews and adjustments to strategic plans, and the communications of those changes, teams are able to:

  • quickly identify when changes are needed
  • collaborate on the most appropriate changes
  • implement with minimal disruption

Business leaders, too, are able to validate that those changes serve to maintain or improve alignment. And finally, stakeholders can confirm that the solution best meets customer and user needs. 

However, there is more to change management than just this, and in this blog we’ll explore those additional considerations. In the meantime, learn more about how Sciforma can help you deliver solutions that drive performance by exploring our case studies


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Andy Jordan

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras based management consulting firm with a strong emphasis on organizational transformation, portfolio management, and PMOs. Andy is an in-demand keynote speaker and author who delivers thought provoking content in an engaging and entertaining style. He is also an instructor in project management-related disciplines, including PMO and portfolio management courses on LinkedIn Learning.