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  • M.Hafizoglu

The Challenge of Change for Project Managers


The change is a challenging word. We all agree on the need for change but when it comes to change we resist. J. Stewart Black and Hal B Gregersen's argument in their book" It Starts with One" clearly summarizes this challenge of change: "We are programmed not to change: we’re wired to survive, so we hang on to what has worked in the past. We hang on to successful past “mental maps” and use them to guide current and future behavior."


PMI (Project Management Institute) has been preparing to publish the 7th Edition of Project Management Body of Knowledge. Everything changes and so do the projects and the way we manage them. As project managers, we also need to change... But How?

Finding an answer to this "how" question becomes meaningless if you cannot answer the "Why" question. This is the key question to be answered to start a change.


Why do project managers need to change?


Because the projects change, the environment changes, the stakeholders change, the expectations change...

Completing the project on time, within budget and within scope is not sufficient to be a successful project manager, more is needed.

The benefit your project creates, the contribution of your project to your strategy, the expectations of the stakeholders to be satisfied, the satisfaction of your team, the ability to create a learning organization... all these come to the project managers as key issues that define success.

Look at your projects now! Which one of the above criteria is on your priority list, which one do you care? If you're only dealing with cost, time and scope, then not only you but also your organization will have a big problem.


Then How to change?


The PMI's Talent Triangle shows the way on how to change. Project Managers should improve their skills on Leadership and Business and Strategy Management. Then comes to question "How to improve those skills?" Read books on Leadership and Strategy? Have training on leadership? Get consultancy or coaching?

My answer to these types of questions is very simple: No...

This is all about you and your journey. Yes, this is a journey and it starts with gaining the awareness of the need to start your journey. Once you start your journey, then you start discovering the "How".

Let your Leadership Journey start...

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