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Project Management Methodology

In the same way that a trained and experienced project manager is essential for the successful implementation of a large project, it is also essential that a formal project management methodology is used. There are many such methodologies but the one used here is the UK Government's Prince2 .

Prince was first developed by what is now the Office of Government Commerce (OGC), in 1989, as a UK Government standard for IT project management. The website at http://www.ogc.gov.uk/prince/index.htm gives a good general overview of project management methodology that fits well with the change management components in this document. The key parts of a project management methodology are:

  • project definition - as in the Business Case
  • action plans - who does what and when
  • results plans - what results (and "deliverables") are produced by which actions and when
  • definitions of roles - who is responsible for what

Formal project management is the mechanism that the change project rests upon. The difference between change management and project management is that change management also includes some components that are more people focused, communications orientated, psychological and motivational. Project management is a subset of change management but generic, and not inherently focused on behavioural, process or cultural change - i.e. people change. Change management is fundamentally concerned with execution and focuses upon people issues i.e. getting people to make the changes or, at least, not be a barrier to change.

The likely consequences of not using a formal project management methodology will be:

  • actions are not planned so part of the implementation ends up waiting around for another part
  • the amount of resource needed is miscalculated - and this includes incorrect estimates for change management itself
  • staff are not sure what they should do and when (including the project manager)
  • actions do not get carried out on time or even at all
  • the project becomes late, or stops; time and money is wasted; and citizen service levels suffer

results do not happen or do not get recorded

  • project successes are not broadcast
  • change happens more slowly, on a lesser scale, at more cost or not at all


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