Change Management Techniques for Portfolio Management

Instructor: Elizabeth Wamicha

Elizabeth teaches undergraduate courses in Business and Information Technology for the last 7 years. She is currently on course to completing a Doctorate in Information Systems

In this lesson, you will learn about the core change management techniques that businesses use to manage and communicate portfolio changes suggested by top managers or end users.

What is Portfolio Management?

In project management, portfolio management is the process by which organizations select the most appropriate projects to undertake. This selection process is very rigorous and includes aligning the selected projects with the overall strategy of the organization. Within the context of portfolio management, after the projects are selected, the project life cycle processes are then managed centrally. Many organizations hire portfolio management teams and managers. These groups manage project progress and will often communicate project implementation impact areas to the rest of the organization. The portfolio management team is also tasked with the job of overseeing project execution and implementation processes. They are also key to managing change in the organization that will often come with implemented projects. This lesson further discusses the change management techniques that are used by organizations in portfolio management.

What is Change Management?

On a regular basis, organizations undertake projects that will help in improving the performance of its operations, helping it meet its industry obligations or address key performance issues. Once these portfolios of projects are fully implemented and in use, it is the people working in the organization who need to learn to adjust to the new requirements of their job and possibly even change the way they do things. Organizations can use change management, which aims to prepare, support and guide individuals who are working in and with the organization to successfully adopt the change that comes with the implementation of projects.

For example, let's look at David. Six months ago, David, the portfolio manager at a tech company completed implementation of a portfolio of different projects that were aimed at improving the efficiency and productivity of the tech company. For the last six months, David has been hard at work getting the employees to adjust to the changes brought on by the implemented projects. He has since realized that some change management is required.

Why is Change Management Important?

Over the years, organizations have come to realize that change management is a critical part of the management of project implementations and in this regard even in the management of project portfolios. If change is not managed well, it is likely to lead to significant failure of a project, or group of projects. Therefore, change management aims to drive success in the organization. In relation to this, research has also shown that regardless of the uniqueness of an organization or project implementation process, one thing will usually hold true, certain actions that an organization takes can help individuals with the transition process after or in the course of implementing projects.

Change Management Tools and Techniques

Change management techniques are based on change methods that have been used by organizations to manage transitions caused by project implementations. In this section we examine two key change management methods that David can use to help the organization transition effectively:

John Kotter's 8 step process

John Kotter's 8 step process is a change management method that describes eight distinct processes that organizations can use to transition smoothly from one state to the next. These steps include:

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