In the last blog, we explored the idea of change within projects and discussed the importance of embracing change as an inevitable part of how work happens today. However, simply changing a project’s deliverables in response to evolving operating environments and shifting organizational priorities isn’t enough. For those solutions to actually achieve the required business outcomes, there must be acceptance of the solution. This requires an organizational change management adoption plan.


Delivery is Irrelevant, Acceptance is Everything

The difference between delivery and acceptance lies in the realm of organizational change management (OCM). OCM aims to ensure a smooth transition from project to operations. Oh, and it’s critical. Forbes reports that 31% of CEOs are fired because of poor change management. Leaders tend to consider OCM when there are large-scale internal changes—for example, new systems and processes for a department supporting production processes. It is an essential part of that, but it also needs consideration with the delivery of any solution. 


The Need for Organizational Change Management (OCM)

Let’s take our new product example from the last blog post, linked above. Most people understand that launching a new product requires raising awareness among potential buyers—marketing and similar activities. That’s a form of organizational change, but a new product also requires organizational change within other areas of a business. Without effective OCM: 

  • Customer support won’t have the knowledge and understanding to assist customers. 
  • Sales won’t have the tools to help those customers understand why they need the solution, or how it is better than alternatives. 
  • Finance won’t have the tools in place to track sales, revenue, profitability and related metrics at the product level. 

And that’s just the obvious ones. Depending on the product there may also be impacts on professional services for implementation, on IT for access permissions and licensing, and so on. Miss any one of these areas and the people involved won’t be able to provide optimal support to the new product. As a result, this impacts product perception ultimately restricting their ability to achieve expected business outcomes. 


Effective Organizational Change Management (OCM)

To be effective, organizational change has to be more than simple one-way communication. Providing an announcement, feature sheet, or training manual about an upcoming change isn’t going to drive employee buy-in and acceptance. Change must happen with people, not to people.

Effective change management adoption means engaging teams early, collaborating with them to ensure understanding, listening to concerns or reservations and so on. It also means ensuring that changes have a chance of acceptance, and for new ways of working to stabilize before introducing further changes. 

That’s where an effective project portfolio management (PPM) system like Sciforma’s comes in. By managing the entire strategic portfolio within one tool, with complete visibility into all work underway, organizations can:

  • distribute change across the enterprise
  • eliminate “hot spots”
  • ensure ample time for acceptance of previous changes before implementing additional adjustments

This becomes increasingly important given the amount of project level change that is occurring, as we considered in the last post. With so many moving parts, it is essential to ensure that every function and every department is being managed through all organizational changes. If your system can’t do that, explore our functionalities and take a product tour to learn how we can help. 


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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.