What is Project Management and Change Management?


Project definition

Projects of all sizes have following common characteristics:

  • a specific deliverable/objective
  • a predetermined timeframe, with a clear beginning and end
  • consist of a series of interrelated activities, many of which need to be carried out in sequence
  • a fixed budget
  • involve many people, often from different functions


Project management

Project management is the application of planning, organising and resource management skills toward the completion of project goals and objectives. The challenge of project management is to achieve all of these whilst staying within the scope, time and cost constraints of a project. The optimisation of resources and time is also a crucial desirable during the development of a project.


Change management

Change management is a structured approach to transitioning individuals, teams, and even entire organisations from their current state to a desired future state. The transition might require the application of certain techniques to ensure a smooth change process.


The difference between Project and Change Management

The aim of Project Management is to organise events and time to produce some kind of deliverable, be it a product or service, at the end of the Project. Change Management, on the other hand, is about implementation and manages the people aspect of the change brought about by the project. Many project delays and failures are the result of poor change management - even when the project appears to produce the expected deliverable, it may fail to deliver the expected results.  To give a simple example, a new computer system could work smoothly and efficiently once installed - but it is useless if users refuse to use it because an organisation has not considered the way the users work and secured their participation in the project.

The people risks of a project must be given consideration, or else the risks may result in resistance, apathy and a lack of commitment to the project.  Effective change management will therefore help an organisation to actually receive the benefits it expected from the project.

The effective integration of change management and project management principles is therefore required to ensure an organisation achieves a harmonious implementation of its projects.