Managing Project

Managing Project

Prepare an 8 – 10-page Research paper on one of the following topics:

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  • Changing Organizational Priorities that change the scope of projects
  • Change Management impact on Projects and/or Change management impact on operations management
  • Lack of accountability on project requirements
  • Unrealistic deadlines for project completion
  • Relationship of project to strategy of the business


  • Relate your paper to a specific project or initiative (this can be a past or future project at your organization, a past project from another company or a future project you wish to undertake). In review of all of the aspects of Project Management what one area do you believe will be your biggest challenge? Explain for the project chosen, explain, analyze, synthesize, and summarize the impact that the application of operations management will have. Provide examples of specific projects or operations failures for the chosen company, and relate how this conforms or deviates from effective project management standards/theory.
  • Research Paper will be in APA format
Running head: Week 7 – Project and Operations Management 1


Week 7 – Project and Operations Management 4
















To preserve their position in the market and continue growing, companies must adapt to a changing environment (Biedenbacha & Soumlderholma, 2008). The technology development growth augments the competition between firms and predicts a perspective of a constant need for change (Armenakis & Harris, 2009). Organizations are including a learning culture, and management of change to adapt to the environment. It is crucial for companies to manage change successfully. Projects, by their nature, provide changes (Parker et al., 2013). Some experts argue that changes are perpetual in projects (Stare, 2010). Project management is utilized to draw organizational changes. It refers to a temporary enterprise to accomplish itemized outcomes and demands a variety of skills and resources. Young (2000) asserts that the excellence of the project plan does not preclude from surprises. Changes appear as the project progresses. According to Stare (2010), “the later we decide to change (or discover a hidden change), the larger the impact that change will have on the success of the project. As “a project without changes” doesn’t exist, we must find a way to limit the negative impact of changes or even to take advantage of them.”. Change management is defined by Parker et al. (2013) as the design of the transitioning process that drives one state to another via a suite of steps emphasizing the acceptance and commitment of people enduring the change. Despite its tremendous importance, researchers claim that change management in projects is poorly documented by the literature (Stare (2010; Griffith-Cooper & King, 2007).

The paper addresses the change management impact on projects management. The first section describes changes in projects, types, levels, and process. The Second section presents the factors of change management and their impact on projects. Finally, the last section examines change management correlated to project management.


Types of Change

A theorical study conducted by Stare et al. (2010) identified the types of change that can impact projects. They categorize change according to some of its inner characteristics which are presented as direct vs indirect, scope vs organizational changes, permanent vs temporary, formal vs hidden, requested vs necessary, funded vs unfunded.

Direct / Indirect

Changes can be direct and indirect. Direct changes arise from the scope of the project. Projects involve approved changes that are designed by a contract and specification (Lock, 2003). According to Stare (2010), direct changes can also come from indirect changes such as changes in the market, competition, or new technology. Bonham (2005) affirms that changes can also result from stakeholders’ decision whether to change project scope and plan or not.

Scope / Organizational changes

Project products such as project requirements and technical solutions are related to scope changes. Organizational changes concern projects execution such as costs, schedule, and tasks. According to Stare (2010), scope changes are the origin of organizational changes. While scope changes are permanent and reside in the specifications of the project, organizational changes are temporary and remain in the prerogative of the project team (Lock, 2003).

Formal / Hidden

Projects documentation includes formal changes such as agreed procedures. Hidden changes arise from different elements. For instance, stakeholders, project members or customers might influence and bring changes to the project by changing objectives or integrating the project in different manners than decided (Heldman, 2005). Hidden changes impact on project can have enormous consequences on projects such as increasing costs, causing delays, affecting the relationship between the participants in the project.

Requested / Necessary

Requested changes are formal and subject to approval or rejection. Necessary changes must be considered by the project team to attain the project objectives. The goal of the project team is to implement changes successful rather than deciding which change should be emphasized (Stare, 2010). Researchers assert that necessary changes are mostly organizational changes that can impact, for example, changes in schedule. Problems and errors often cause necessary changes.

Funded / Unfunded

Funded changes result from the project scope and customer demand. The initiator of the changes covers the costs of the funded changes. The outcomes of the funded changes concerns schedule, specification and changes in the contract. Unfunded changes result from problems and errors and are suggested by the project team. The company engages in the costs related to unfunded changes (Stare, 2010).

Change levels

Griffith-Cooper and King (2007) inform about three major change levels in projects and organizations: developmental, transitional and transformational levels. The developmental level or low-level change concerns improvement such as increasing skills or enhancing performance. The transitional level or moderate-level change refers to designing and implementing projects in a different way than existing. The high-level of transformational change requires a culture shift from an old state to a transformational state including significant change of behaviors, processes, and min-sets.

Change Management Process

Change management is widely considered as a part of scope control or an independent process (Newell, 2002). The literature emphasizes changes upon objectives and project implementation and addresses formal and hidden changes without the examination of broader changes (Stare, 2010). The traditional change management process covers the following four steps:

· Change requirement concerns the identification and documentation of the project proposal, a review of the scope and organizational change requirements and the identification of the areas of change.

· Change evaluation refers to the assessment of changes impacts on scope, schedule and budget and the benefits of the changes.

· Change approval: the role of the step is to decide whether the requested change is approved or rejected.

· Change realization concerns the integration of the change in the project process and informing the stakeholders about the change.

Changes in projects require to understand the different types, level, and process of change that impact project management. The next section presents the factors of change management that influence projects and their realization in organizations.


Project managers need tools and processes to manage change. When considering change management, it is crucial to include not only change control but also human aspects (Griffith-Cooper & King, 2007). Change leadership and change control are two dimensions that encompass human and no- human change perspectives and impact projects management.

Change Leadership

Change leadership is an ensemble of principles, techniques, and activities concerning human aspects of change execution. It aims to influence the acceptance of the change and diminish the resistance. Change leadership coordinates and guides individuals, emphasizing their internal motivation. Griffith-Cooper and King (2007) assert that change leadership is a cooperation between leaders/project managers and the project team members and stakeholders to reduce the negative impact of changes effectively. The communication under change leadership is essential for collaboration, and it allows the exchange of critical information between managers and staff. Change Control

The Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMI, 2004) describes change control as the effort of coordinating all areas of changes. Change control is a discipline of project integration and project scope management areas (Griffith-Cooper & King, 2007). The project manager has a role in assessing changes through all aspects of the projects. One change in a specific area might conduct to another change in another area. For instance, a change in a project budget imposes managers to re-evaluate the impact of this change on the scope of the project, resources, and schedule (Griffith-Cooper & King, 2007).

Change Leadership and Control

Change control conducts the project scope, cost, schedule, quality, risk, and procurement while change leadership ensures project success by leading individuals concerned by the project through the different stages of human reaction to change. The difference between change leadership and control resides in the activities and deliverables which differently impact a project. The impact of change leadership on projects aims to give people a vision and motivate them in order to support and adopt changes. Change control influences the resource, schedule, cost, and quality. The change control inputs and outputs can vary while the change control system stays the same (Griffith-Cooper & King, 2007). Change leadership is essential across all phases of the project. The dialogue between the project manager and key audiences is one of the elements that impact a project positively. The communication between those affected by the project must carry important and crucial exchange of information to facilitate the implementation of changes in the project. When change control involves the same system or process to manage different projects, change leadership requires anticipation and response to the multiple phases of human reaction to change. The stages of human reaction might vary in duration, order, and occurrence which depends on the situation.

Change Leadership Impact on success

The project life cycle, size, and complexity drive the level of change leadership activities required. During the developmental level of change, a clear and shared stated vision is essential while the transitional change level imposes a vision, explicitly defined roles, and an efficient communication plan. The transformational level of change demands al the previous ones, yet the project leader’s commitment is the most critical aspect of this level of change. Changes can be implemented successfully within the first two levels of change, but without an engagement of the project managers, transformational change level would be not successful (Griffith-Cooper & King, 2007).

Change management and change leadership both impact projects management. Change leadership commitment influence those affected by the project. When the project manager is engaged in the role of the project leader, the project has more probabilities of being successful. The next section makes a correlation between change management and overall project management.


Change Management Model of Kotter

One of the outstanding change management models is the model developed by John P. Kotter, and it was published in 1995 in the Harvard Business Review. Kotter developed a model based on his personal business and research experience (Appelbaum et al., 2012). Although the Kotter model displays a lack of bases, its success anchors it as a key reference in the domain of change management. The empirical work of Kotter is recognized and cited by scholars. However, it contains limitations that will be presented after the presentation of the model.

The Kotter model of change management presents eight steps that enable organizations to successfully implement changes in projects. Each phase impacts projects management.

Phase 1: establishing a sense of urgency

Kotter asserts that a company’s individuals and the group must commence by evaluating the “competitive situation, market position, technological trends and financial performance” of the firm (as cited in Appelbaum et al., 2012, p. 766). Actions that embody risks should be handled by excellent leadership to generate a strong sense of urgency. Moreover, Kotter affirms that project leaders must establish an effective communication plan to communicate that critical information broadly within the organization. He adds that changes require the collaboration of several individuals who must understand the need for change. Kotter suggests calling external consultants to consolidate the message of change urgency.

Phase 2: creating a guiding coalition

Kotter declares that organizations need the merge of several individuals to lead and manage the change process (Appelbaum et al., 2012). Thus, forming an effective “guiding coalition” ensures to conduct changes successfully. Kotter suggests that the coalition must be composed of the right individuals with the appropriate characteristics presented as following:

· Position power: individuals must display power, so the change progression is not hampered.

· Expertise: individuals in the coalition must cover all the relevant perspectives in order to make informed and intelligent decisions.

· Credibility: the formed coalition should be respected by the organization’s employees so that the decisions can be accepted and taken seriously.

· Leadership: the coalition group must encompass several proven leaders to conduct the change process effectively.

Phase 3: developing a vision and strategy

Kotter affirms that the fist role of the guiding coalition is to express clearly the vision for the transformation effort (Appelbaum et al., 2012). He adds that without this formulation, the organization might go in the wrong direction under a confusing list of inconsistent changes. A clear vision facilitates employees’ comprehension of the change and will be more likely to work on it.

Phase 4: communicating the change vision

Communication is essential for the company’s change process which diminishes incertitude (Bordia et al., 2004). Likewise, communication is critical for change management in projects which can affect positively or negatively the project change management. The conducted study by Nelissen and Van Selm (2008) shows that when the management communication generates satisfaction from employees then it creates a positive state of mind on organizational change and so on projects change.

Phase 5: empowering broad-based action

According to Kotter (1995), successful communication of the vision helps employees to generate new ideas and approaches. Nonetheless, empowering employees involves suppressing obstacles to the change vision. He further states that the empowerment passes by four main barriers: structures, skills, systems, and supervisors. A study conducted at 16 luxury hotels in seven European countries discloses that the supervisor attitudes, the structure, and training have an essential role in the employee empowerment (Klidas et al., 2007) which correlates the statement of Kotter.

Phase 6: generating short-term wins

Kotter view emphasizes the recognition of others’ work done in the alignment of accomplishing the set goals. Employees feel reassured about their behavior when small wins are recognized and rewarded. The gains can reflect the vision and help the guiding coalition to test the vision and operate necessary adjustments (Appelbaum et al., 2012).

Phase 7: consolidating gains and produce more change

Kotter asserts that the short term-gain must be used by managers to deal with other issues especially with structures and systems that do not align with the recent integrated changes (Appelbaum et al., 2012). The first success can be used to plan and organize future projects and change process.

Phase 8: anchoring new approaches in the corporate culture

Kotter assures that new behavior must be rooted in the organization culture to benefit from the successful change management of the project. He further addresses two factors that are critical to the internalization of change in companies’ culture:

“(1) showing employees “how the new approaches, behaviors and attitudes have helped improve performance” (Kotter, 1996, p. 67); and

(2) ensuring that “the next generation of management personifies the new approach” (Kotter, 1996, p. 67).” (as cited in Appelbaum et al., 2012, p. 774).

Limitation of the Model

Although Kotter model help to cope with changes in organizations and the transposition of this framework on projects change management can be effective, the model might display elements that need to be adjusted regarding the project and the situation. Some of the limitations presented in the literature concern the rigid approach of the model. The model addressed by Kotter imposes to follow each step by their specific order which might appear to some extent as challenging to implement. Moreover, the elaborated steps might not be accurate for different project contexts. Appelbaum et al. (2012) argue that some steps such as step 1 and 4 might be compromised when dealing with a secrecy project. Finally, the model is not developed enough to aid in all project scenarios.

Change management and project phases

Change management impacts each phase of a project. Project management involves five major stages that structure the process. This section aims to explain the relationship between change and its impact on each step of the project management process.

Project initiation

Project initiation is a crucial step to ensure that the elements of the projects are planned and organized. The Project Management Book of Knowledge suggests involving all the stakeholders from the initiation phase to increase the acceptance and satisfaction and improve project success (PMI, 2004). Popular change management principles are correlated with creating the need for urgency (Kotter, 2007). Kotter (2007) suggests that the phase is ideal for identifying potential crises and opportunities that will create changes. Paker et al. (2013) affirm that there is a close correlation between organization strategy and projects which are linked by project-based programs. The process perspective engages change management as identifying stakeholders, the level of uncertainty and the risk at each step of the project.

Project planning

Project phase planning concerns the establishment of the project scope, define the purpose, and build the actions needed to meet project objectives. The phase includes developing the necessary activities, schedule, budget, resources, and quality. The third step of Kotter’s model might be aligned with this step (Paker et al., 2013). The change management models help to address change issues during the planning phase and reduce the negative impacts of changes.

Project Execution

This phase is critical for the success or failure of the project. Project Management Book of Knowledge describes this phase as the implementation phase. It concerns the integration of activities and measurement or progress to attain the set objectives in the planning phase. Change management literature states that this stage is crucial because in this phase stakeholders meet up with challenges and tangible changes. The strength of change management resides in the ability to identify and determine the risks involves in the project and manage them to reduce their negative impact.

Project monitoring and control

The phase of monitoring and controlling aims to track the progression of the project and performance established during the planning phase. Project managers can identify important areas that need changes. The evaluation of project progress is described in change management especially in Kotter’s model where short-term wins might be revealed which impact the motivation of all stakeholders positively.

Project closure

The key role of this phase is to ensure that all project phases are completed. The principal task of the project manager is to deploy documentation and contractual obligations. The change management issues are less recognized. According to Paker et al., (2013) the last phase of a project introduces at least one change corresponding to the context of the project.


Projects and changes are closely related. When considering changes in project management, it is essential to first understand the types, levels, and process of the change. Projects encompass several types and levels of changes that impact the overall success of a project. Essential factors of successful change management come from change control and leadership. When the project control concerns the management of the inputs and outputs of the project, the change leadership refers to the human aspect and the commitment ability of the project manager to the project to display the necessary characteristics that develop project change acceptance within stakeholders. Despite its limitations, the Kotter model of change management which consists of eight steps to ensure proper implementation of changes within organizations can be applied to project management framework. Change management affects each phase of the project management process. The negative or positive impact of change during the project phase depends highly on the project manager ability to recognize the risks and potential changes and effectively address them.


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