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To fully realize the benefit of a project, often business systems need to change to implement the project results. This transition can be a challenging aspect of the project.
Transition to Business
To fully realize the benefit of a project, often business systems and processes need to change to implement the project results. This transition can be a challenging aspect of the project.
When to use
Whenever the project result will disrupt or change established patterns of behavior – even if no one like the established patterns – expect a resistance to the change. A transition process is needed to remove the old way of doing business and incorporate the project results.
There are several approaches that can be used to transition the result of the project into the normal operations of the organization.
Transition the project team
This approach is often used for a totally new capability or business process. The transition process is to transfer the project team (or at least a portion of it) to the operational component of the organization. The project team member transition out of a project mode and into an operational mode. They are essentially handing off the project results to themselves. The biggest challenge in this type of transition is to establish the new operation with operation controls. The danger is that the team will continue to innovate and a stable process is never established.
Transition the project results
This approach is commonly used for product development, process improvement, and facilities projects. The results of the project are incorporated into the normal business operations and managed by the current business operations management team. This approach often requires an entire phase of a project to train the users in the operational management of the project results, fully test/demonstrate the results of the project in the operational environment, and overcome any resistance to change. In many cases, the emotional aspect of change is more difficult to overcome than the technical aspect of the change.
Change can either be implemented all at once – known as the “big bang” approach; or in small increments - known as the phase-in approach. A big bang requires careful coordination to ensure all aspects of the change go live simultaneously. This approach can lead to rejection of the entire project result if any aspect does not work well. The other approach is to “phase it in.” This will incrementally introduce aspects of the project result. It takes much longer, but usually gets better buy-in because you are able to build momentum and confine issue resolution to only a few minor points. However, this can be a very difficult transition since it is likely you will be operating with part of the old process and part of the new process simultaneously. With either approach it is wise to conduct a pilot run or beta test of the project results before committing the business to the new approach.
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