Yep, the F word. It happens to all of us at one time or another (though you may not admit it!) and it can be a bitter pill to swallow.
Maybe you even saw it looming on the horizon but were unable to veer out of its way. Sometimes the answer lies not in how well the project was managed, but in how well the change was managed. While project management is critical to successful outcomes, it is not the only piece that should be considered. Projects often bring significant changes to an organization – a new system that needs to be used, a new process that needs to be followed, new responsibilities. The change can feel uncomfortable and there can be great resistance. And if the change does not stick (i.e. the system is not used, processes are not followed), ultimately the project will fail.
Before embarking on a new project, ask yourself a few questions:
- Is there a clear vision from leadership?
- Are the right people involved?
- Is there a change management and communication plan in place?
- Who is acting as the change manager?
- What check ins are in place after the project is complete to ensure goals are being met and there is no backsliding?
Ultimately, a project’s success lies with addressing the people impacted by the change. Addressing this need at initiation and throughout the project can help minimize disruptions and create sustainable change after the project’s completion.