Change Management in Project Management – A Road To Nowhere?

In 1985 David Byrne, the lead singer of The Talking Heads, wrote: “Well, we know where we’re goin’, But we don’t know where we’ve been.”

“Well we know where we’re goin’
But we don’t know where we’ve been”

Does this capture where change management is? We know where we’re going and we know where we’ve been? I think so. Question is how do we get to where we want to go?

In 2013, Prosci, a world leader in benchmarking research, undertook a change management benchmarking study. They asked participants for their insights into top trends in change management for the next five years. Now two years into the timeframe, Prosci decided to revisit it and see where the participants think we will be in the next three years.

  1. Continued Maturation of Change Management as an Industry: The top trend is the maturation and definition of change management as a practice with an emphasis on measurement and metrics.
  2. Stronger Internal Change Management Capabilities: By 2018, companies will recognise change management as a key organisational differentiator and will move toward adopting a standard approach.
  3. Greater demand for and Shortage of Change Management Practitioners: As companies focus more on change management capabilities, there will be a greater demand for change management practitioners.
  4. Recognition of Change Management’s Value in Benefit Realisation: More and more organisations are taking notice of change management and its role in delivering results.
  5. Better integration with Project Management: More change management will find its way into project management. Change management will be brought into projects earlier.

OK, so Change Management as an industry will continue to mature. Great. Organisations will place greater emphasis on change management competency and focus on improving sponsorship capabilities and on increasing manager change management comprehension. Excellent. There will be a greater demand for change management practitioners. Not so great, right? It’s okay. The path to becoming a change management practitioner will also be clearer with the addition of certifications, accreditation and credentialing. Phew! A business focus on sustained change results will help keep change management in the forefront of leader’s minds. And that’s good because leaders get it, right? Change management and project management continue to integrate. That’s good too because even if leaders don’t get it, project managers do, don’t they?

ὅπερ ἔδει δεῖξαι (q.e.d.) Right?

ὅπερ ἔδει δεῖξαι (q.e.d.) Right?

Finally. Problem solved. Where do I sign? Next. Wait!  Cork the champagne a second. Why? Think about your past and present experience as you mull over this one. How many people do get it? In my experience (past and present) very few.

Returning to the Prosci survey, and what its participants are thinking about. Permit to paraphrase. Change management will become a practice. Companies want to increase internal capabilities. There will be a greater demand for change management practitioners. There will be a greater emphasis on change management to realise benefits and a greater integration with project management. Darius Johnson, in his article (Insight #58: Constantly Focused on Successful Outcomes) asked organisations to Stop the Insanity. Darius eloquently argued that showing tangible benefits from change management increases the number of projects that succeed in achieving their objectives. Darius’ view is that people-related issues are reasons for projects missing the mark.

We’re coming close to the nub of it. It reminds me of an Eric Ries’ quote (in relation to entrepreneurs not being in the business of prediction but it [the quote] is relevant here also) “you can make all the models and forecasts you want but it’s basically a waste of time”. Why? “We can’t escape the fact that change management focuses on people” Darius Johnson)

In the end, there is value in all the contributions I have referenced in this week’s blog and it is all these parts (referenced), considered as a whole, will solve this Rubik’s cube: People, Process, Product and emPowerment but people a commanding and perpetual first.

See you next week! If you have liked what you have read please like and remember to share.

P.S. Keep reading.


For more information on the movement, go to:

For more information on Talking Heads and a link to the video for their song Road To Nowhere go to:


David Byrne and Talking Heads may have been on a road to nowhere but it doesn’t mean you have to be. Find out more about our TPF 4Ps Model (People, Process, Product, EmPowerment) at and also to find out about the stuff that matters!

Rebooting one cube at a time!

But if I were you… I’d check out Talking Heads first!