Biggest is Not Always Best in Change Management Programmes (Part 1)

Posted by Emilija

There’s a school of thought among veterans of difficult change management projects that technology holds the key to success. The bigger the programme, the bigger the project management system you need, some would say.

Change Management But there are a number of reasons why these complex and costly  systems can actually increase the risk of delay and budget over-runs, or in worst case, result in failure of an entire delivery.

First, some of the major project management systems are massively over-engineered. They include layers upon layers of esoteric functionality that is hardly ever used. If the system it too complex, there is a very real danger that they will end up serving as little more than glorified time recording systems, something that could be knocked-up in Excel in a few days.

Second, these big systems are old. They address change management and project management as if little or nothing had changed over the last 15 years. So many lessons have been learned and new techniques developed in recent times, but very little of this knowledge or new practice is evident in these dinosaur systems.

Third, big technology demands big resources. Complex systems require IT specialists – sometimes lots of them – to run and manage them. Not only does this create additional cost, it also creates an intellectual closed shop within a crucial component of the project management infrastructure. Given that openness, accuracy of data and transparency are the new watchwords of successful project management, this IT gatekeeper situation is completely counter-culture. Rather than managing risk, big systems create additional risk.

Fourth, big systems always end up costing far more than the vendors claim at the outset (which is a lot in the first place). Just ask anyone who has bought one!

Lastly, the complex technology employed by big systems gives a false comfort blanket to the sponsor and project team. Their sense of control and belief that the programme is on track exists only because the big complex project management system tells them so.

About Bestoutcome

Bestoutcome specialises in complex change management for large organisations operating in sectors such as retail, finance, manufacturing and the public sector. Its approach is based on delivering specific business outcomes within a uniquely transparent, risk managed and open framework. This is achieved by using highly experienced consultants combined with PM3 – an elegant, flexible, toolset – and ODPM, an outcome-driven methodology. Bestoutcome’s starting point is always the same: the client’s ultimate business goal.  And it never loses sight of this.

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