Effective Change Project Management

April 27, 2013

There are thousands of great books and blogs on project management and the technical attributes of planning, charting, and executing. Find them; read them; use them. My take focuses more on the art of leading a project team that is intended to result in change – usually to a process or a visual output, like a brand, packaging or identity. As with most of Barnyard Management philosophy, the following seven steps are basic, but often skipped, and very important for a newbie or less experienced manager.

7 Steps for Success in a Change Project

1. Research and define the problem. Ensure your parameters for success are understood. Don’t just dive in.

2. Establish a clear Charter / Scope / Purpose. Write it down.

3. Get cover. Ensure executive sponsorship. This will be handy when things go sideways.

4. Bucket or segment the project into manageable bites – 2 to 3 phases, not more. Base hits count.

5. Ensure a small, energetic project team. Constantly bring them back to the purpose.

6. “Go Like Hell” before something changes too much. Implement quickly.

7. Communicate and hype (when appropriate). Hype is an art form and applied judiciously.

If you want more thoughts on the pros and cons of hype – and forms and timing – please feel free to contact me for added color. A cool name or project mark can help the cause. I am happy to share successes and failures. Hype works well for change adoption as it ups expectation and team accountability, but it requires exceptional creativity and 100% guaranteed delivery.


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