Why Projects Fail – A Look At The Kotter Change Model

You read about it all the time, and articles like this   one , provide excellent perspective on many of the blind spots project leaders, managers and executives often have which generate friction and counter productive behaviour to the ultimate project goal of success.

The good news is that there are   frameworks  out there which, if you follow will increase the   success rates   of your projects – without a doubt.  I promised a series of articles building on the broader topic of  Change Management  and a framework that has worked for me called the  Kotter Change Model.

Welcome Back Kotter

Yes, another   dating myself   move from yours truly – some of you I am sure remember the show   Welcome Back Kotter ,  Those of you who do not, well we'll move on.  The real   John Kotter   of course has nothing to do with this 70's TV show, but is a distinguished proffessor at   Harvard Business School   and recognized as a leading authority on   leadership   and change.

His  8 step process  in approaching change management in organizations, and in this context, projects and project teams, is well entrenched in many  world class corporations  and I can easily see the difference it made to projects in recent years, where a lot of energy and attention was placed on applying these steps…compared to projects in the past and how they turned out, when change management was not as much of a focus area.

I'm going to take you through the 8 steps, using my experiences as a  project manager  either directly or through observations, and the types of errors I have seen related to each of the change management steps Kotter outlines.  If you have any examples, questions or comments of any kind, be sure to hit the comments area on these posts…I'll try to address any and all relevant feedback, to make this more of a dialogue and less of a broadcast.  Change is constant, and I'll leave you with the original  Shift Happens  Video  to set the stage for the week ahead.  Don't pick apart the stats, as this video is a bit dated now, but what is important is the message and tone it is setting.  The pace of change is ever increasing, and the better you are equipped to handle it, at work, rest or play, the more success you will have.
 

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-Pedro

{Note: This article was originally posted on the 2009 Blogging Idol blog in March 2009}

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