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Project Manager : Project Manager Aug Sep 2011
20 Project Manager • COVER STORY In 2009 CMI surveyed 843 interim managers and some senior executives throughout Australia. The report found that only 11 per cent of respondents believed that change was managed either ‘quite well’ or ‘ very well’. There was also a ver y limited consensus of what change management actually was, with 87 per cent of respondents disagreeing that ‘when someone uses the phrase change ma nagement, others will instantly understand what he or she means’. “But things are moving in the right direction,” she added. “Over the past 10 years the arguments have moved from ‘should we do it?’ to ‘how can we make sure we do it more effectively?’.” And with the development of global standards and professional accreditation, Perkins believes change management is gaining credibility and recognition as an essential business process. Shift in business values We’ve co me a long way, Moon reiterated. When she started in management consulting 25 years ago, traditional values of control, consistency and predictability dictated decision making at the top. And if a CEO wanted something changed, they were typically not questioned and employees understood what was expected of them. Fast forward a quarter of a century and business improvement initiatives – including Six Sigma , Total Quality Management (TQM) and Business Process Re-engineering (BPR) – came to the fore. Values shifted from control, consistency and predictability to accountability, ownership and empowerment. This has made the implementation of change more difficult, wrote Peter Block in his book Stewardship. “The new values of business today require a different approach to the way businesses change. The response of the employee has shifted from ‘ yes, sir ’ to ‘why are we doing that’ – a nd the change leader must adapt.” Effective change agents So who is best equipped to be a ‘change leader’? While Moon believes it is possible for project managers to be effective change ma nagers, they may not possess all the skills necessary for the two to be interchangeable. “I have managed very large organisational change projects and have always used a change ma nagement expert to provide invaluable knowledge – the psychology and human resou rces understanding – to take the people through the process. “Project managers understand how to put the processes together, how to develop the plan; but they don’t always understand ( AIPM CEO Sheryle Moon has made the call to change managers when she held senior HR roles and oversaw organisational change projects
June July 2011
Project Manager Oct Nov 2011