Reviewing Managing Change Step by Step

One can argue that all projects are about change, even though the degree of change varies a lot between projects. Personally I consider project managers to also be change managers, and knowing different tools and frameworks for managing change critical to any successful project manager. As the title says, “Managing Change Step by Step” is a book about how to successfully approach change projects, especially those that bring more meaningful change to your organisation. In this review i will try to evaluate if this book is useful to have in a project manager’s library of good management books or not. Read on to find out.

Structure, Structure, Structure

One of the things you immediately notice about the book is its clear structure: the book presents a very general framework for approaching the management of change projects, which is easy to understand and apply to most projects. This is “ironic”, if you think about the fact that, many change projects in today’s organizations lack a comprehensible structure, and feel like chaotic ad-hoc efforts instead of carefully planned projects.

The framework is split into nine steps, each getting its own independent chapter:

  • Step 1: Learn the basics
  • Step 2: Understand your objective
  • Step 3: Build the change team
  • Step 4: Plan how to achieve change
  • Step 5: Assess willingness and capability to change
  • Step 6: Implement change
  • Step 7: Consolidate change
  • Step 8: Manage communications
  • Step 9: Prepare for future change

Each of these chapters has a very well defined structure: they start with the list of sub-steps needed for completion and a summary of the main ideas/take-aways. Richard Netwon then shares examples of projects gone wrong due to the fact that they did not really manage & execute the step covered in the chapter as well as they should. What I found amusing was the fact that many of these examples sounded familiar: either I experienced such projects, I have heard stories from friends and colleagues being involved in projects with similar failures or read about them in case studies or press articles. All his examples definitely have real-world inspiration.
In each chapter, Richard shares his recommended approach and, to help the reader, also shares a few examples on how to approach things from different domains (e.g. legal changes, financial changes, office space changes, IT changes, etc.). The examples are relatively general and easy to understand, even if you don’t have relevant experience in each domain.
Each chapter ends with recommendations for next steps and what you must take away and apply to your projects.

Managing Change Step by Step

This Book’s Keyword - Accessible

If I am to characterize this book in one word, it is the word “accessible”. The structure helps in splitting change projects into concrete steps, the summaries and examples help you understand and remember the key principles, the language used is very familiar and not as dry & theoretical as other similar books. This is great, especially for project managers who are just starting their career in managing change projects.

Verdict - Buy for Beginners

If you are a beginner in managing change projects, this books is a great way to get familiar with the mindset and approach you should go for. However, if you are more experienced, this book doesn't offer much in terms of new models and information. By now you should know and apply the recommendations Richard Newton offers in this book.

Purchasing Options

If you want to purchase Managing Change Step by Step, you can find it on Amazon US (for North American readers) or Amazon UK (for European readers). If you purchase it using these links, we will also receive a small commission from your purchase. Thanks a lot for making any purchase using these links.

Related content:

The Project Manager - Mastering the Art of Delivery
Book Review - The Project Management Book, by Richard Newton

Comments

Is the content of this book same with managing change guide?

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This book is called "Managing Change Step by Step". Not sure to which other book you are referring to. Can you give more details please?

I viewed this book in amazon, but it appears no one give the comments on it. - symptoms of bowel cancer

I'm seeking books that help to improve time management skill and planing skill. I've seen many of them. I have to say, none of them really helped me....It's just like I'm hungry but all foods I can reach can not met my appetite.

I have to face many tasks and always have to handle changes. Will this book fulfill my needs?

About time management - you are looking for something to improve your personal time management skills? Be more organized and more efficient during your work day?
Regarding planning - anything in particular you are looking to learn about it?