The value of integrating Change Management and Project Management “Achieving the desired outcomes of Saudi Vision 2030 projects and initiatives in light of current COVID-19"​

2021 . 02 . 03
We cannot deny that many project managers are still unfamiliar with what Change Management (CM) actually is, and they are still confused between the two concepts of Change and Change Management! So before we argue why CM should be integrated with your Project Management, let us go over the significant and important difference between Change and Change Management.
As per PROSCI Change is about moving to a future state while Change Management is about supporting individual employees impacted by the change during their transitions from their current state to their future state.
It is also worth understanding and distinguishing the roles of both the Project Manager and the Change Manager (CM) where their roads converge and at times, collide.
  •   According to the Project Management Institute (PMI), a Project Manager is accountable for the success or failure of a project. They are responsible for the planning, execution and closing of the project. Further, the Project Manager is also responsible for managing teams, ensuring progress and motivating project team members. They are also responsible for ensuring that project goals are in alignment with key stakeholder’s requirements/expectations.
  •  According to PROSCI, a Change Manager will play a key role in ensuring projects (change initiatives) meet objectives on time and on budget by increasing employee adoption and usage. This person will focus on the people side of change, including changes to business processes, systems and technology, job roles and organization structures.
While the integration of project and change management disciplines are imperative for project success, they are often viewed as separate and unequal components of a successful business initiative. The problem is that Project Management often gets the lion share of stakeholder attention while Change Management is often neglected and ignored. As noted above, this can cause problems because Change Management is the 80% that contributes the most to an initiative’s success.
During my work experience in Transformation tracking in Saudi Arabia as a Lead Consultant at Devoteam, creating and implementing CM strategies and plans for the strategic initiatives of the "KSA #2030_Vision" Programs, I’ve recognized that the primary sponsors in most Vision realization Offices (VROs) are placing too much focus on Project Management while neglecting Change Management, and overall the highest-quality historical transformation which comes among the Vision 2030 may be affected if not fully embraced and adopted by the people at the end.
“Project management ensures the project is designed, developed and delivered successfully. Change management ensures that the project is embraced, adopted and used by the targets or recipients of the change.”
That’s explaining why PM certifying agencies like PMI are strongly encouraged to include education on Organizational Change Management (OCM) into the certification process for new PMs requiring them to be conversant in OCM.
Simply stated, integrating Change Management (CM) and Project Management (PM) is all about bridging the gap between installment and proficient, broad-based usage. PROSCI calls this combined effort to achieve sustainable change and improve the overall performance of the organization a unified value proposition.
The global COVID-19 pandemic has challenged entities to manage their enterprises in newfound ways. In the short term, they’re facing enormous scope changes to their business plans; in the long term, they must adapt and continue to make progress on their original goals.
Essentially, when a change is needed, the organization selects and implements appropriate instruments to manage the change processes. During #2030_vision ministries accomplished changes by specifically targeted initiatives to realize effective results and organizational advance, making a typical modern practice to execute an organizational change as a continuous process framed in the project life cycle context. Therefore, CM in each single initiative must start before the project start in the period of project initiation and continue after project closure. CM reinforcement and measurement will take place in the application phase.
A key issue in modern Project Management is the realization of effective Organizational Change Management through execution of targeted projects, this is especially valid for the Vision_2030 project and initiatives which actually incorporates Change Management into Project Management in an integrated system.
The following statistics show the impact of placing too much focus on Project Management while neglecting Change Management.
#1 reason why projects fail is a result of poor sponsorship.
70% of change efforts fail due to over-emphasis on project process rather than the people
58% of the participants who integrated change management and project management in their
project met or exceeded their project objectives.
#2 reason why project initiatives fail is due to no change management methodology existing
within a project.


Dr.Salman Al Marzouki
lead consultant
Devoteam Middle East