Change Management and the PMO

Has your organisation got a CMO (Change Management Office)? No? I am not surprised if you said “No”, but if you said “Yes” good for you and I would love to hear how well it works and what your experiences are, I have seen a few companies do this very well and others… not so.

For those that do not have a CMO, who is responsible for Organisation Change Management and do you have Change Mangers in your organisation, is so where do they report?

I would like to talk about bringing Change Management into the PMO Tool Bag as it is a much under-utilised and recognised skill. Lot of companies seem to have change managers, but very few in my experience have set ups CMO or allocated change management into the PMO officially and look at change in an enterprise fashion, rather it falls to the PMO to look after change, as it affects every one of their projects and programmes.

I have come across various Change management frameworks, guidelines and tools and I would like to talk about PROSCI and ADKAR and how these can help you manage your change from start to finish, so to speak.

PROSCI define change as “Change management is the application of a structured process and set of tools for leading the people side of change to achieve a desired outcome.” 

Some Potential issues you face if Organisational Change is not managed well or at all:

  • Productivity declines in the project space as well as the BAU side of the business
  • In creased passive resistance
  • Active resistance emerges and you can experience “Change Sabotage”
  • You can experience higher staff turnover rates
  • Employees experience “Change Fatigue” which affect all other projects you are running too
  • Morale declines in the workplace
  • Projects can go over budget and past their deadline
  • Employees find workarounds to avoid the new way of doing things or revert to the old way
  • Divides are created in the organisation between ‘us’ and ‘them’
  • Project Failure due to poor embedding and low uptake
  • The organisation builds a history of failed and painful changes and this can make it very difficult to get people on board for future projects, successful or not.

So now to the positive stuff, How can we maximise our change of project success, retain employees, avoid Change Fatigue and get a high absorption rate for the changes we put out there?

Well, in addition to all the good stuff you do in your PMO for Projects and Programmes, look at Change Management as a work stream of its own and start to build capability and lessons to improve Change Management in your PMO/Organisation.

The PROSCI 3-Phase Process:

  • Preparing for Change
  • Manage Change
  • Reinforcing Change

The ADKAR model stands for:

  • Awareness of the need for change
  • Desire to participate and support the change
  • Knowledge on how to change
  • Ability to implement required skills and behaviours
  • Reinforcement to sustain the change

If we keep these things in mind, it will enable us to understand all perspectives of any change we are implementing.

For more information on this and to learn how to implement this in your organisation go to

If you have a COE (Centre of Excellence) in your PMO where you store all your methods, tools, guides and practices you follow and apply. The think about adding Change Management into these as a specific framework and tie it in with your Project Management Framework/Process.  Looking at change in an enterprise manner will allow the best results, like anything, if it is done in isolation to everything else it is likely to fail.