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Comparing organizational change management and project management

Comparing organizational change management and project management

For many organizations, changes come in the form of new projects, and therefore drawing a clear line between organizational change management and project management may be a challenge. Both disciplines present some alteration of structure to achieve business transformation. They are also similar since they both present a value proposition and involve some form of transition. Here, let’s look at the similarities and differences between organizational change management and project management.

Comparing organizational change management and project management

They are complementary disciplines focusing on processes and tools that help organizations transition to certain futures. Still, they have some major differences.

Similarities between organizational change management and project management

Project management and organizational change management are both disciplines and activities intended to provide a well-structured, intentional approach to the technical and human side of initiatives. They are both intended to improve an organizational situation as they both involve transitioning from a current situation to a future desired situation. They are complementary disciplines focusing on processes and tools that help organizations transition to certain futures.

Project management

Project management involves the application of knowledge and skills, tools and techniques to help meet a project’s requirements. In the management of a project, there are some major stages involved. These are; initiating, planning executing, monitoring and closing. This shows that project management has a beginning and an end, elements not present in change management. Changes which take place in project management are commonly within the limits of a specified goal, within a specified timeline, measured in milestones, has a limited scope and has a completion point. Through managing a combination of projects, an organization achieves the desired organizational change. This is because the overall change process is as a result of a combination of projects all intended to take the organization towards its goal.

Organizational change management

Organizational change management, on the other hand, is an idea or a combination of ideas which can help the organization transition from its current position to the desired point, otherwise known as the vision. It therefore, involves structuring the vision and the mobilization of resources to get to the vision. Unlike project management, organizational change happens over a long period and often doesn’t come to an end but involves building changes on top of other changes in order to institutionalize new behaviors. The ideas in organizational change management are less tangible and thus more focus is needed to measure the change.

The responsibilities of a change manager range from developing and communicating the vision, to assisting the organization’s resources, especially the human resources to successfully maneuver the transition period. The manager helps in removing obstacles on the way and offering support to achieve the desired position. The goal of a change process can be adjusted at any time, while that of project management is usually defined to a certain specified time.

Conclusion

Conclusively, while the two disciplines differ, the managers in the two disciplines should be encouraged to work together. A collaboration of the two brings a holistic approach of moving the organization from one position to another. Project management will focus on achieving specific objectives while change management will focus on continually mobilizing the resources and keeping their eye on the bigger picture which is the future desired state. Organizational change management also contributes to ensuring that a project successfully delivers its desired outcome.

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