Combining Project Management & Change Management Efforts to Boost ROI

Mar 18, 2019 | Posted by Michael Campbell

Delivering a project on time and on budget does not necessarily mean that the project's intended benefits and planned ROI are realised. Often projects are delivered and only later face the reality that there was a gap between what returns were expected and what were actually achieved. Any project not considering the integration of change management will struggle to optimise the business results it expects. 

What are the differences/similarities between Project Management and Change Management?

Project management and change management are often considered to be the same thing. Although there are some similarities, they are founded from two different disciplines. Both aspects involve the use of people, processes and tools to effectively help organisations reach their project and strategic objectives.

That said, project management is often more focused on the technical side of change - building the new capability. In a traditional approach it often has a defined start and end date and includes tasks, milestones and final deliverables as well as formally identified processes with desired requirements and goals. It often involves a well-documented and guided processes which has been established through a formal project management body of knowledge. 

With the more fashionable Agile approaches to project management in use today, while the budget and timescale are defined and constrained, the new capability is built incrementally through a series of "sprints" and often cannot be fully foreseen when launching the project. 

Change management - the people side of change - is applicable to both the traditional and Agile project management approaches. It too has a documented process for achieving individual and organisational change objectives and is focused on the delivery of ROI from the adoption of the new capability by impacted Line Managers and Front Line employees. Change management milestones can be aligned stage gates in the Project Management lifecycle, for example using the Prosci ADKAR model for individual change, to programmatically ensure adoption and ROI generation.

Consider the CMC Prosci Intersection of Agile and Change Management 1-day workshop. Click here to learn more about this workshop.

What benefits flow from integrating Project Management and Change Management?

Projects often cause stress for stakeholders and employees. Although not universal, in some organisations project managers are becoming responsible not only for delivering the new capability on time and on budget, but also for the realisation of the expected business results and ROI.

To enable this, change management professionals are increasingly being integrated into project teams and projects managers are increasingly recognising the need for their personal investment in how to do better change management.  Organisations are adopting a variety of team structures to integrate the people, processes and tools of the project and change management disciplines. This change is the ways of working helps to reduce unnecessary stress and anxiety for employees impacted by change, as techniques to ensure effective user adoption of new capabilities are designed into project./change plans right from the outset.

Overall, organisations should encourage change management professionals and project managers to work closely together to ensure project efforts deliver expected ROI, as well as finish on time and on budget, and reduce the impact of change on the productivity of employees and line managers. Prosci research has shown that projects with excellent change management are 72% more likely to be on schedule and 81% more likely to be on or under budget.

How does change management and project management impact the ROI of change projects?

ROI of change management is the portion of the ROI on a project, that is directly related to how well  employees respond to the new changes in their working process, which involves adoption and utilisation rates of the new project.  The result of applying change management is the achievement of intended results and outcomes for the project. At Prosci we call this the “people side of change” and we support impacted employees to embrace, adopt and use the new capability.

The Prosci ROI of Change Management Model depicts three factors in the people side of change that directly improve or constrain the return of investment (ROI) of a project, linking directly to the ROI of change management - speed of adoption, ultimate utilisation and proficiency.

Learn more in our ROI of Change Management eBook.

Begin combining Change Management & Project Management with the CMC Prosci Delivering Project Results workshop

CMC Prosci provides a one-day workshop which prepares project managers and project teams to effectively integrate their work with change management. It is the perfect opportunity to quickly develop the knowledge of your project managers, especially an intact project team working on a project/change that requires a high degree of user adoption for the expected ROI to be delivered. Participant will:

  • Meet the project’s intended outcome through a defined project Blueprint.
  • Build a common language and vision for change management on this project.
  • Learn to identify when their project needs change management resourcing.
  • Connect employee adoption and usage to their project's results and outcomes.
  • Understand how change management drives better adoption and usage of the new capability, technology, process, etc, their project is delivering
  • Create a common framework for engaging with change management resources and practitioners.

To learn more, download the course brochure.

Download the Brochure

Topics: Enterprise Change Management, change management, Successful Change and Transformation, project management, Project ROI, Change Project