Sign in

OCM, programme management and MSP White Paper

White Paper

OCM, programme management and MSP White Paper

White Paper

  • White Paper
  • Communication
  • Change management
  • Governance
  • Processes
  • Programme management
  • Stakeholder management
  • Vision
  • MSP

Author  David Hinde

David is the author of The PRINCE2 Study Guide, published by Wiley in 2011, and The Project Manager and the Pyramid, published by Orgtopia in 2017.

November 11, 2019 |

 18 min read

  • White Paper
  • Communication
  • Change management
  • Governance
  • Processes
  • Programme management
  • Stakeholder management
  • Vision
  • MSP

Programme management and change management are trying to achieve similar objectives, so the knowledge areas from one can be useful for the other. This paper draws on a range of recognized change management frameworks and knowledge areas to build up an understanding of the scope of change management. It will also use the MSP framework to describe the range of knowledge areas needed for programme management.

The analysis will show that, whilst there is considerable crossover between the two disciplines, there are also some important points of distinction. These differences mean that both programme management and change management have some blind spots. These are areas that really should be covered to increase the likelihood of success of either a programme or change initiative but are currently not covered by their respective disciplines. In short, this paper aims to help both change managers and programme managers draw from each other’s fields of expertise to create a more robust approach to their areas of management.

Overview

Over the last few years organizational change management has gained significant traction within the leadership and management community. New certifications have emerged around this field, and we have seen the creation of change manager roles and job adverts specifying the need for change management skills. But what exactly is change management and how does it differ from programme management?

Sometimes programme management is seen as a tool to deliver all or part of a major change. Occasionally, the terms change management and programme management are used interchangeably. At times, change initiatives do not mention the term programme management, but on closer inspection contain many of the elements of programme management such as plans, organizational structures and designs for the future.

Regardless of this, change management and programme management have broadly similar aims. Both are trying to deliver major change in their organizations or environments to achieve positive outcomes and benefits.

Because programme management and change management are trying to achieve similar objectives, the knowledge areas from one can be useful for the other. This paper will explore how professionals with a programme management background can draw on the knowledge of change management, increasing the likelihood of delivering a successful programme. It will also cover how change management professionals can use the ideas of programme management provided by frameworks such as Managing Successful Programmes (MSP®) to increase the likelihood of a successful change initiative.

This paper will draw on a range of recognized change management frameworks and knowledge areas to build up an understanding of the scope of change management. It will also use the MSP framework to describe the range of knowledge areas needed for programme management. The analysis will show that, whilst there is considerable cross over between the two disciplines, there are also some important points of distinction. These differences mean that both programme management and change management have some blind spots. These are areas that really should be covered to increase the likelihood of success of either a programme or change initiative but are currently not covered by their respective disciplines. In short, this paper’s intention is to help both change managers and programme managers to draw from each other’s fields of expertise to create a more robust approach to their areas of management.

Defining change management

This section describes the objectives of change management and draws on a number of recognized change management certifications to develop ten core knowledge areas of change management.

2.1 OVERVIEW OF CHANGE MANAGEMENT

Change management is a relatively new discipline. It has developed because of the increasing need to constantly adapt organizations to keep up with ever accelerating change. Change management approaches might help organizations change many aspects of their operations:

  • processes
  • Ÿ job roles
  • Ÿ organizational structures
  • Ÿ products
  • Ÿ technology
  • Ÿ culture.

One of the leading organizations in change management thinking, Prosci defines change management as, ‘the discipline that guides how we prepare, equip and support individuals to successfully adopt change in order to drive organizational success and outcomes.’ (Prosci, 2019). This definition gets to the heart of change management that people are the most important aspect of any change. Without the right approach and support, people are likely to resist change. Change management draws on disciplines such as psychology and neuroscience to help individuals’ behavioural and emotional transition to new ways of working. It describes what messages people need to hear, the best ways to teach people new skills and how to support people through the emotional aspects of change.

Organizations with a top-down leadership mentality tend to have the false belief that they can change their organization by imposing new ways of working on their staff. At best, this usually leads to staff superficially complying with the new ideas and at worst, it leads to complete rejection. Organizations with a higher level of change management maturity have come to realize that it’s not enough to roll out new ways of work- ing and expect people to instantly adapt. These organizations are starting to embed change management capability into their operations, which engage staff before, during and after a change. This costs time and money, but the benefits result in a far more adaptive, agile organization which can swiftly take on new ways of working. Rather than seeing change as something imposed upon them, staff in these organizations are more likely to see change as a positive, empowering experience and as an opportunity to develop their skills.

2.2 THE TEN CORE COMPETENCIES OF CHANGE MANAGEMENT

What is the scope of change management? One way to answer this is to review the syllabuses of the two leading certification providers of change management: Prosci and the APMG. Although there are some notable differences between them, there is also considerable overlap. Combining the topics and removing duplication creates a distillation and understanding of the ten core knowledge areas of change management as it stands today. Keep in mind, however, that change management is a relatively new discipline, so these knowledge areas are likely to change and evolve in the future.

  1. Supporting individuals through change
    • This knowledge area focuses on motivating individuals to want to change and providing support through the emotional and psychological aspects of change.
  2. Understanding organizational culture
    • Culture can play a large part in either accelerating or resisting change. This knowledge area focuses on helping change managers understand their organizational culture, mitigating the cultural risks to their change initiative and understanding how to embed new cultural behaviours.
  3. Change management team
    • This knowledge area focuses on the key roles and responsibilities of change initiatives such as the sponsor, the guiding coalition, the change manager, the change agents and line management.
  4. Change management lifecycle models
    • This knowledge area describes the common lifecycle models of change, including both sequential models and models of spontaneous and unplanned emergent change.
  5. Vision
    • Ÿ Developing and communicating a vision is a key part of any change initiative. This knowledge area describes how to create an engaging vision and communicate it regularly during the change.
  6. Quantifying the impact of change
    • Ÿ This area shows how to identify all the likely impacts of change and how to track those impacts A temporary, flexible organization created to coordinate, direct and oversee the implementation of a set of related projects and activities in order to deliver outcomes and benefits related to the organization’s strategic objectives. A programme is likely to have a life that spans several years.” (AXELOS, 2011, Managing Successful Programmes, The Stationery Office) during the initiative.
  7. Resistance management
    • Ÿ Identifying likely areas of resistance to the change and addressing these concerns is the seventh knowledge area.
  8. Governance frameworks
    • Ÿ How to use management frameworks such as portfolio, programme or project management approaches to deliver change.
  9. Communication and stakeholder engagement
    • Ÿ A key aspect of any change is how to communicate and engage with stakeholders. This knowledge area looks at how to develop strong communication approaches which not only tell people about the change but get them engaged with the initiative.
  10. Training and development
    • Ÿ Any change involved people learning new skills and behaviours. This knowledge area shows the best approaches to developing new capabilities in staff affected by the change.

Defining programme management

Having established the objectives and scope of change management, we must do the same for programme management. The MSP framework is a well-recognized approach to programme management. The scopes of topics covered by MSP are a good representation of the knowledge needed for programme management.

Is MSP a framework for change management?

The last section is starting to show that there is an overlap between programme management and change management. Programme management is one of the ten core knowledge areas of change management defined earlier in this paper. Also, programme management starts to discuss a range of the other core knowledge areas for change management (such as vision development and stakeholder communication). This section will compare programme management (as defined by MSP) to change management (as defined in the earlier list of change management competencies).

Table 4.1 compares the change management knowledge areas to the programme management knowledge areas.

Change management

Programme management

Knowledge areas covered in bothKnowledge areas covered in both

Developing and communicating vision

Vision

Change management teams

Programme organization

Communication and stakeholder engagement

Leadership and stakeholder engagement

Change management lifecycle models

Transformational flow

Quantifying the impact of change

Blueprint design and delivery

Governance frameworks such as project, programme and portfolio frameworks

Knowledge areas - change management

Knowledge areas - programme management

Resistance management

Benefits management

Supporting individuals through change

Planning and control

Understanding organizational culture

Business case

Training and development

Risk and issue management

Quality and assurance management

This table helps to show the similarities and differences between change management and programme management. Although it is helpful to start to understand the differences in scope, it should also be stated that setting the two knowledge areas next to each other like this is not always an exact science. It is not always comparing like with like.

For example, the table suggests that the area covered by change management lifecycle models is broadly like the area covered by MSP’s transformational flow. However, there are many different change management lifecycles models from sequential models put forward by Kurt Lewin and John Kotter, to models of evolutionary and spontaneous change, so called emergent change, put forward by Peter Senge and John Holland. MSP’s transformational flow section only focuses on one particular sequence of events and limits itself to the lifecycle of the programme which could be shorter than the wider change initiative. However, the two knowledge areas are broadly comparable. Comparing probably the most well-known change management model; the Kotter 8-Step Process for Leading Change, to MSP’s transformational flow, shows that both focus on the importance of pulling together a team, understanding the reasons for the change, developing and communicating a vision and then delivering capability.

Another area of difference between change management knowledge and programme management knowledge, is that approaches such as MSP provide a framework within which a range of change management techniques could be used. For example, MSP’s leadership and stakeholder engagement theme provides some broad guidance on how to approach stakeholder engagement such as using mapping techniques and different communication channels. By contrast APMG’s change management approach goes into much more detail in these areas providing an array of stakeholder mapping techniques, stakeholder persona development techniques and communication channels such as using social media and large group facilitation techniques such as world café and open space technology. However, it is relatively easy to insert these sorts of change management techniques into the MSP framework.

Conclusion

There is a lot of overlap between programme management and change management. Programme management is often seen as a tool to deliver change. This paper shows how important programme management knowledge is for change management and vice versa. Even though change management and programme management are distinct and different disciplines, they both have the same objective: bringing an organization or an environment successfully through change.

Programme management does not cover all the change management topics. For a successful programme, it is important that professionals from change management knowledge areas such as supporting individuals through the emotional aspects of change, identifying the risks to the programme of likely resistance to change and robust, rigorous approaches to training and developing people in new skills are consulted.

However, Prosci and APMG do not cover important aspects of programme management such as business case development, benefits management and risk and quality management. If change management initiatives, particularly large ones, do not have programme management capabilities within their teams, important aspects of delivering the changes may be missed.

The landscape of change management is fluid – it is a new management knowledge area. But what this paper shows is the importance of understanding more established change management areas in order to deliver successful change.

About the author

David Hinde has worked with PRINCE2 for over twenty years. He has delivered a range of large-scale projects using the method for clients such as the Department of Education, the BBC, and Islington Borough Council. He has taught leadership and management skills including PRINCE2 for over ten years, working with Learning Tree and delivering training to attendees from a range of organizations such as Deloitte and Touche and NATO. He has worked in a large range of cultural environments across many different industries, organizational types, and countries. He is the author of the PRINCE2 Study Guide published in 2011 by Wiley and the Project Manager and the Pyramid published by Orgtopia in 2017.

References

AXELOS (2011), Managing Successful Programmes. The Stationery Office.

Bridges, W. (2009). Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change. Nicholas Brealey: London. Briggs Myers, I. (1998). Introduction to Type. CPP International.

Glaser, R and Glaser, C. (1992). Team Effectiveness Profile, Organizational Design and Development. King of Prussia: PA.

Herzberg, F. (2003). One More Time: How Do you Motivate Employees?. Harvard Business Review. [online] Available at: https://hbr.org/2003/01/one-more-time-how-do-you-motivate-employees [Accessed 06 June 2019].

Hiatt J, Creasey, T. (2012). Change Management: The People Side to Change. Prosci Research: USA.

Hiatt, J. (2006). ADKAR: A model for change in business, government and our community. Prosci Learning Center Publications: USA.

Holland, JH. (2006). Studying Complex Adaptive Systems. Journal of Systems Science and Complexity. Springer Nature: London.

Honey, P and Mumford, A. (1992). The Manual of Learning Styles. Peter Honey Publications Ltd, Pearson: UK.

Kanter, R M. (2012). Ten Reasons People Resist Change. Available at: https://hbr.org/2012/09/ten- reasons-people-resist-change [Accessed 06 June 2019].

Kotter, J P. (2012). Leading Change. Harvard Business Review Press: USA. Kubler-Ross, E. (1969). On Death and Dying. Macmillan: London.

Lewin K, (1951). Field Theory in Social Science. Tavistock: London. Maslow A H, (1943). A Theory of Human Motivation. Psychological Review.

Mehay R, (2012). The Essential Handbook for GP Training and Education. CRC Press: USA. Pink, D, (2011). Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. Canongate: Edinburgh. Prosci, (2012). Best Practices in Change Management. Prosci Research: USA. Prosci. What is Change Management?. [online] Available at: https://www.prosci.com/resources/articles/what-is-change-management (Accessed September 2019)

Senge, P. (1993). The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization. Century Business: London

Smith, R. (2014). The Effective Change Manager’s Handbook. Kogan Page Publishing: London

Tuckman, B W. and Jensen, M A. (1977). Stages of Small-Group Development Revisited. Group and Organizational Studies. SAGE Publishing: London.