Question Richard Business & Management

Change Management

As the project manager, how would you manage change in a project?

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Answer Internal Staff

It can be argued that the successful management of change is crucial to any organisation in order to survive and succeed in the present highly competitive and continuously evolving business environment (Todnem 2005). Kotter’s eight-stage process of organisational transformation (1996) is one key model of emergent change a project manager could follow. The 8 steps are as follows:

  • Develop a vision and strategy
  • Establish a sense of urgency
  • Create a guiding coalition
  • Empower broad-based action
  • Communicate the change vision
  • Anchor new approaches in the culture
  • Generate short-term wins
  • Consolidate gains and produce more change.

A key assumption underlying emergent theories is that in order to respond to change, managers must have an in-depth understanding of the organisation, its structure, strategies, people and culture (Barnard and Stoll 2010). Understanding these will allow managers to choose the most appropriate approach to change and identify the factors that might act as facilitators or barriers to change (Burnes 1996). Other factors relevant to management of change are: Resistance to change, for which the work of Kubler-Ross (1973) could be applied, and Sustaining change.


Barnard, M., and Stoll, N. (2010). Organisational Change Management: A rapid literature review. National Centre for Social Research Short Policy Report No. 10/01. This is an excellent overview of the change literature, available at:

Burnes, B. (2004 Managing Change: A Strategic Approach to Organisational Dynamic, 4th edn (Harlow: Prentice Hall)

Kotter, J.P. (1996) Leading Change (Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press)

Kubler-Ross, E. (1973) On Death and Dying, Routledge

Todmen, R. (2005) Organisational Change Management: A Critical Review, Journal of Change Management, 5,4, pp.369-380