Manage changes to projects or initiatives within an organization on both a technical and human level.
Project management is the process of supervising a project team through a series of tasks that ultimately reach completion of a defined goal with a specified target date for completion. On the other hand, change management is intended to support an organization’s adjustment to the changes due to either internal processes or external factors.
Often change management involves continuous efforts with no explicitly defined deliverables. This lack of clarity when companies are evolving to meet fluctuating market conditions and emerging technologies.
Perhaps the clearest distinction between project management and change management is the level of structure that is characteristic to each. At the enterprise level, project management involves defined phases, methodologies, and techniques.
Change management may share all those points; however, unlike project management, it is extremely unpredictable. While project managers can plan their whole project in detail before any actual work occurs, change managers must be prepared for unexpected developments and need to shift their approach and change their strategy as needed.
The integration of change management and project management creates value for a given project for many reasons:
Singular but Shared Objective
With the integration of project management and change management, efforts can be focused towards a shared objective. This leads to a significant improvement in the performance of the organization through successful implementation of a change that will deliver the desired results.
Alignment and Buy-In
Through the integration of technical and people activities, there is a higher chance of employees embracing the change, ensuring majority buy-in, and resulting in the right outcomes for the project.
Flow of Information
The smooth flow of information ensures that affected employees are receiving the relevant information. Furthermore, it helps guarantee that the project team gains valuable feedback on adoption and response to the change on the back end.
Project Management and Change Management Training
The two roles tend to demand distinguishing methods of training and different areas of expertise, given the contrast in how project managers and change managers are expected to execute their work.
Project managers typically begin their careers developing expertise in a field. With gained knowledge and experience, they eventually start leading projects. Today, more and more project managers are earning professional certifications like PMP to sharpen their skills and increase their industry value.
It is common for change management experts to come from communications or management consulting backgrounds. They have acquired knowledge on how high functioning organizations make decisions and how the change management process inevitably affects employees, customers, and vendors.
But unlike project management, there is no widely-recognized change management certification for change management experts. They can, however, establish their level of expertise by gaining PMP and other recognized project management credentials.
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