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Managing Change: Pick Something, and Do It Well

This is the first in an series of posts on Managing Change ... look for more over the course of the next few weeks ...

A common way of expressing the wholistic nature of a project is to talk about "People, Process, and Technology". I'm not sure who came up with this little gem, or in what context, but I've been hearing it a lot lately. No particular reason, I think, just that it seems to be gaining a bit of status as a second-tier buzzword or something.

I've noticed, however, that people seem very comfortable talking about People, Process, and Technology in the As-Is or To-Be states - but precious little time is spent about the difficulties in getting Change to happen in any of these areas. Project teams and project leaders need to be effective at making Change happen with People, Process, and Technology; maintaining the status quo is comfortable, and envisioning the "nirvana" Future State is easy, but the real challenge comes in making the transition from A to B.

Project teams need people that have Change skills:

WIIFM?

Looking for ways to create concrete objectives for yourself or your teams? The significant Value Add that projects and project teams bring to organizations covers all three areas - People Change, Process Change, and Technology Change. Improvement and effectiveness doesn't come from raw skills in People, Process, or Technology, but a demonstrated ability to make Change happen in any and all of these three areas.

The opportunity, of course, is to pick one or two of these areas, and build your skills in making Change happen. If you aren't good in front of a group of people, and are more comfortable working directly with the technology, work on your Change skills by understanding new developments and methods, and figuring out how to use that stuff to make projects and processes happen faster, with higher quality and more predictable outcomes. Looking for a stretch? Get into Process design and development; it's not always about the bits and bytes, but systems thinking is a big plus, and Process skills are often a great way to bridge from Technology to People skills.

Do you express your value to your team, and your value to the company, in terms of People, Process, and Technology skills? If you want to be successful in IT, work on demonstrating your value by making change happen in those areas. At the very least - be able to articulate how you have succeeded / can be effective at making Change happen.