Change Management #5 – Projects: Three tips to avoid creating Frankenstein

by Gary Monti on February 23, 2010

Is your change leadership transforming your company into a front-runner in your market niche or turning it into aversion of Dr. Frankenstein’s monster? How do you even go about answering this question? What’s your reference point? Is it reliable?

Mary Shelley’s protagonist, Victor Frankenstein, combined with three project management principles, scope management, quality management and risk management, can help answer these questions and keep you and your organization on the right track. By following these principles your organization’s performance will have two important characteristics – Sustainability and Stability.

Frankenstein

Victor Frankenstein suffered from an extreme case of hubris. He was caught up in appearances. He wanted all the glory. He pulled pieces and parts together to create something that breathed and moved and ended up being a demented testament to his limited genius. The monster lacked human spirit. In the end, his creation was the source of his downfall.

Scope Management

The human spirit that was missing in the monster stands out clearly when examined in terms of leadership (see the Leadership post, the first in this series.)

From that blog you may recall the magnetic north for the executive compass comprises the leader’s beliefs and values. For Dr. Frankenstein they were ego, pride, and vainglory. The team (society) was shut out. His only worry was about what he would get from the situation. With that attitude no matter how hard he worked failure was certain.

To be successful the needs of all relevant stakeholders must be included when creating a scope of work that is going to transform your company. This includes competitors as well as clients. Knowing the competition is just as important as knowing your customers.  Success also includes your needs being met as part of the outflow of providing opportunity for others.

Quality Management

So how do you know if changes are moving in the right direction? The answer is simple. Your work must be sustainable. A synonym for “sustainable” is “quality management.” With quality management deliverables are defined in measurable terms consistent with the scope of work. This is the same scope of work that includes all stakeholders.

Going back to the Leadership post, the plan is the arrow on the executive compass that points the way. Quality underpins the plans credibility. It is incorporated into the overall change strategy as well as day-to-day management.

Dr. Frankenstein’s compass was useless. It was unable to provide meaningful direction. His plan was unsustainable.

Risk Management

The final component needed is stability. A synonym for stability is “risk management.”

Dr. Frankenstein’s work lacked stability. He worked in isolation. He lost his connection with society. All his work was self-referencing.

Why is this so important? Recall the dancing terrain from the Leadership post. Complex situations have a terrain that is constantly shape-shifting. There is too much for one person to map reliably and keep current.

Success requires everyone in the organization to be eyes and ears for new, changing information that can keep the map current.

With an accurate map the organization, under your leadership, can plan how best to deal with threats and opportunities present. This is risk management. Executing the risk management plans provides stability.

In the next blog we will look at process management’s place in change management. If this blog has been beneficial and you would like more information or care to comment send me an e-mail at gwmonti@mac.com or visit www.ctrchg.com.

Gary Monti PMI presentation croppedThrough his firm, Center for Managing Change, Gary Monti has over 30 years experience providing change- and project management services internationally. He works at the nexus between strategy, business case, project-, process-, and people management. Service modalities include consulting, teaching, mentoring, and speaking. Credentials include PMP number 14 (Project Management Institute®), Myers-Briggs Type Indicator certification, and accreditation in the Cynefin methodology. Gary can be reached at gwmonti@mac.com or through Twitter at @garymonti
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