by Jurie Smith

​Preparing for the inevitable

Change Management

Change Management
Change Management

“The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress”, Charles Kettering (Inventor).

Change is as inevitable as sunrise and, like any business activity that requires time, money and people, it has to be managed efficiently. This involves examining the process as well as the tools and techniques in order to govern the physical and human element throughout the entire transition.

Projects drive organisations in the direction of the desired business goals but it is pertinent to ensure that the transformation is carefully contemplated and authorised as it progresses. This involves establishing, applying and managing a definitive program.

MSP® (Managing Successful Programmes) defines programme management as "the action of carrying out the coordinated organisation, direction and implementation of a dossier of projects and transformational activities to achieve outcomes and realise benefits of strategic importance to the business".

The modern business is faced with varying levels of competition, ominously vying for the same market. A company in such an environment has to do it’s best to stay ahead of the furore. One thing that is inexorable, if anything continues to grow, is change!

That being said, major transformation in a firm is extremely intricate, requiring a high level of organisation and discipline, not to mention the hazards that are interwoven into the fabric of the configuration.

A survey conducted at PM Academy has revealed that without adequate change management, programmes and projects will fail. This may be attributed to a number of factors, such as a lack of buy-in from  stakeholders, ineffectiveness of the manager and supervisors, lofty expectations beyond the capacity of the business, an imprecise picture of what is to be achieved, and deficient contribution from the team members.  

    •    For the project to be realised, the sponsor, project manager and stakeholders need to be an intrinsic factor without whom the project would be categorised as challenged or beyond that - failed.

    •    If the Project Manager and his deputies do not have much experience, understanding and knowledge under their belt to tackle the gyrations that are characteristic of a project, then it can come to an abrupt end.

    •    The vision of the project has to be in line with the capacitation of the corporation lest it may reach a point where it is no longer able to keep abreast of it.  

    •    Like any executive plan, the blueprint of the project has to be clear, precise and unambiguous, enabling the custodians to accomplish the preconceived targets.  

    •    Human beings have complicated personalities and as such must be continuously motivated and encouraged to keep pressing towards the attainment of the goal.

Furthermore, the change manager has to ensure that the right competencies are available and utilised accordingly.

In the end, knowledge and experience play a pivotal part in defusing certain ticking time-bombs of projects that are destined to detonate, leaving their shards of what was to be upon a scrap heap of other failed endeavours and as a stark reminder of how not to run a project.

Jurie Smith (MBA, PMP®, PRINCE2® Practitioner, and MSP®) is the CEO at the PM Academy. He is an experienced business executive with over 24 years’ experience in project management consulting and training. He is a Project Management Assessor registered with the Services SETA, an Executive on the Steering Committee of the Project Management Standards Generating Body and has held various executive positions at Project Management South Africa (PMSA). For further details, or visit

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Issue 29


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