Change management structures needs to take into consideration project goals, barriers, the solutions to be solved, and stakeholder concerns and interests. The ease in which change is introduced will depend on the project team’s ability to engage stakeholders early and often throughout the project life-cycle.

The project management methodology (PMBOK, 2013) offers quite a few tools that can be utilized for most change management processes. The following project map for introducing corporate change is based on the five project management process groups:

  • Initiation
  • Planning
  • Execution
  • Monitoring & Control
  • and Closeout (and sustainability)

The process begins with understanding what it takes to make the project successful during the project planning and implementation stages. It ends with confirming that the project owners (and stakeholders) are satisfied with the project’s deliverables, and that these match the requirements established during the initiation and planning stages.

Project managers will often come on board to take on responsibilities during an already active project. Change management project managers, for instance, are often brought on board for their expertise during the latter part of the project life-cycle. Scoping out the work ahead of them, and engaging the stakeholders and environment in a readiness assessment, becomes crucial to insuring the desired change is viable and the solution(s) already developed are ready for implementation.

Similar stakeholder methods, tools, and processes used earlier in the project can also be used to build momentum for the final change management phase. This includes surveys, focus groups, stakeholder engagement initiatives, company-wide events, and team meetings. If the project has so far been successful the project manager may experience some resistance to reintroducing these processes as they could be perceived as redundant, at best, or counter-productive at worst. But with most projects this phase of exploration and stakeholder engagement will be welcomed as new ideas are solicited, concerns are addressed, and the next wave of development is championed.

Read more: The Irony of Change