International Project Management Day




Change Management Planning Worksheet


Quick Summary
Screenshot Any successful project will change something, by definition. For project managers, that means that change management skills are as important as project management skills. This worksheet helps you plan a strategy for successfully managing your users through the change process.


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What this is

This checklist helps you take note of what your project is changing, and who will care, so you can plan the communication and contacts required to help people through that change.


Why it's useful

Change is a process, not an event. A successful project requires the support of your organization and its people, which means you need to be prepared to help them through the change process. You need to manage the changes as well as the project. That means multiple lines of communication -- and multiple communications with people -- all highlighting what they can expect, what is happening, and how far the organization has come once the transition is completed. This worksheet helps you plan successful change management processes for your project. Use it to think through what your project will change, who will care, and how you need to communicate with them.


How to use it

  1. Size up the change by using the first 4 questions on the worksheet to determine just how big this transition will feel. Remember, the key here is not how big it looks to you, but how big it will look to your users.
  2. Figure out who cares. Draft a list of stakeholders, and assess their levels of discomfort based on the information you capture in this table. Don't sugar coat the assessments, and try to genuinely understand how things look from their perspective, not yours.
  3. Get team input. Show your preliminary list to the team and ask for their input. Ask who else could be affected and how. Update the list as needed.
  4. Get stakeholder input. Now, reach out to your stakeholders (as appropriate) and ask for the same kind of input. As best you can, given the circumstances of your project, find out whether you've accurately captured the change from their perspective. Then ask them who else might be affected, and how. Make any necessary changes to your table.
  5. Plan your communications. Armed with this list of stakeholders and their concerns, plan your transition communication for each phase of the process. Use multiple formats and multiple messages to convey important information and to deal with emotional subject matter.
  6. Implement your plan. Note the response to your early communications, and alter your later messaging if necessary. Never assume that because you've said something once, you're done!
About the Author

Sinikka L. Waugh, PMP, is the founder and head coach of Your Clear Next Step, L.L.C. She is known for consistently helping teams find innovative ways to leverage effective project strategies across multiple disciplines and technologies. With over 10 years in various project roles, Sinikka has successfully applied project and leadership expertise to improve project performance in a wide variety of industries. Her down-to-earth, "try-this-now" approach to coaching blends with a passion for helping others improve. Her energetic and engaging style helps make both the art and science of project management accessible to those she works with. Sinikka holds a BA from Central College and an MA from the University of Iowa.


This template requires a Premium Subscription
Please log in. Don't have a log-in? Sign up now. Already a Member? Log in to upgrade immediately and get the file! A Premium subscription is only $14.95/month or $149/year and gets you over 200 templates, guidelines, and checklists.
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Special: This Premium template is free to registered Members until November 2, 2017!




Related Resources
Stakeholder Analysis Summary Table 
Some of these stakeholders may have competing goals and interests, and many may have limited resources. This stakeholder analysis can help the team schedule appropriate attention to each, and decide how best to mitigate conflicting stakeholder interests when they do happen.

User Impact Assessment (IT) 
A template for identifying and communicating how a new project will impact the daily experience of various users of a specific information technology environment.

Project Stakeholder/Influencer Assessment and Communication Plan 
Use this assessment form to identify the individuals and groups that may influence your project outcomes—stakeholders, information sources, even other PMs—assess their potential impact (for better or worse) and document your plans for how and when to communicate with them.

Webinar: Project Leadership and Change Management(1.5 PDUs, $39.95)
Planning for change and transition will take the guesswork and panic out of communications down the road. Sinikka Waugh walks you through what really counts in change management…



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