Project management thought leader Moira Alexander chats exclusively with The Fast Track about issues such as the difference between Project Management and change management, the unique requirements of remote project management, and the most effective use of software tools to complete project management and non-PM related tasks.
Moira Alexander is the founder and president of Lead-Her-Ship Group, as well as a project management and IT columnist for CIO Magazine whom I’ve often admired and cited. Her book Lead or Lag: Linking Strategic Project Management & Thought Leadership was just released this month. Here, Moira sounded off on some of our burning questions related to the field of Project Management in late 2016.
What’s new and different about the field of project management this year?
Project Management (PM) is a field driven by business strategy and it’s under increasing pressure to not only execute project specific requirements, but also provide evidence it can effectively link efforts back to higher-level company-wide, and even industry based goals. This makes it necessary for project, portfolio, and program leaders to take on the role of a true partner with company leadership in this regard.
There’s also a continued trend towards a higher degree of global visibility that’s creating an environment where transparency, accountability, and social responsibility are significant factors in measuring project, portfolio, and program success.
This year and well into the future, I believe successful delivery will mean project professionals will need to sharpen their technical knowledge, adopt hybrid methodologies with increasing frequency, and greatly expand on their softer skills to influence positive results.
What are some key differences between project management and change management?
Although project management and change management share a closely linked relationship, they are completely different disciplines with distinct roles and responsibilities. You could also think of change management as a subset of Project Management.
The role of project management: Project Management involves the actions and activities required in the actual implementation of a product or service.
Project management professionals manage all project specific activities from initiation to close, and ensure stakeholder goals are successfully accomplished. They facilitate project meetings, maintain communication with all stakeholders, and ensure projects remain within scope. Project managers should work with the company leadership to ensure there’s alignment with business strategies and help to mitigate risks. Ultimately, Project Manager focus is project specific activities that enable a company’s vision.
The role of change management: Change management monitors and manages only the impact of changes that result from organizational and project management activities. It involves the implementation of strategies to deal with change (sustainability aspects).
A Change Management professional guides, communicates, documents, and implements effective strategies to manage change. They help company leadership, employees, and other stakeholders through the transition as changes occur, and improve process adoption and buy-in to reduce anxiety and resistance. The primary focus should be the impact of change on people and processes.
For the rest of Moira's interview, head over to the QuickBase Fast Track blog.