Integrating Project & Change Management: Survey

Both project management and organisational change management are well established disciplines, with distinct bodies of knowledge and approaches. Historically practitioners of each discipline had limited experience in the other. But increasingly it’s recognised that if business change is to succeed, and deliver value, both change and project management are required.

This survey asked project and change management practitioners about their experience when integrating change management and project management. Responses were received from executives, change managers, programme and project managers. Respondents used a variety of approaches, with Prince2 being slightly more common than PMBok based methods. Both Kotter and Prosci were used for change management. A significant number of respondents used a proprietary method.

Change and project management are both important

When asked how important project and change management are to success almost all respondents rated both as either critical or necessary. However change management was rated as more critical. Change and project practitioners differed in their responses to these two questions.

Integration does happen

When asked how well project and change management were integrated by their most recent business change initiative respondents reported at least some integration.
Integration of Project and Change Plans was rated as Seamless or Well by 54% of respondents, however, 13% reported Minimal or No integration. Integration of Project and Change Roles / Teams was rated Seamless or Well by 44% of respondents and 23% reported Minimal or No integration.

What obstacles are preventing integration? 

A Lack of Change Management Knowledge (62%) and Role Confusion (58%) were the most frequently reported issues hindering integration. There were significant differences between Project and Change practitioners, with PMs reporting incompatible approaches and CMs reporting project managers not seeing the importance of change management, as significant issues.

Improving Integration

Respondents rated Clarifying Roles and Responsibilities as the most important way of improving integration, closely followed by Developing a Single Integrated Plan. Once again there were significant differences between Project and Change practitioners. PMs rated Developing Integrated Plans as the most important improvement. CMs rated Clarifying Roles and Responsibilities and Working as a Single Integrated Team equally important.

In Summary

Recognition of the importance of both Project Management and Change Management is high, despite some project managers failing to see the importance of change management and some change managers believing business change can succeed without project management. However, when it comes to integrating project and change management there is still work to be done to ensure seamless integration of these disciplines.

The complete survey results are available for download here.