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20 Mar

Project Management is changing

Quick summary of a speech I am giving at Project Challenge on Wednesday about the future of project management. Do you agree with my points? I would love your feedback. 1. Democratization Greater democratization of the role of Project Manager, so no need for professional Project Managers, it is a role for everyone. This is […]

06 Mar

Normalising the pace of change

Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel summarised the fast development of computing power in 1965 by stating that it was doubling every year. This statement is commonly known as Moore’s law and set the pace for the digital revolution. It has made me wonder what the equivalent is for process development. All organisations are implementing changes […]

26 Feb

Making collaborative working work

Collaborative working is the new phrase for what we used to call team working! We collaborate i.e. work together to find the best answers by applying our different talents and sharing our different perspectives. This sounds lovely but in practice it means learning to accept that others work differently, and not letting this get to […]

20 Feb

How to make role change work

This blog describes an important lesson I have learnt the hard way. As part of any transformation, roles need to change to reflect new ways of working. This is often accompanied by a restructuring of the relationships in teams or departments. Whilst the roles get redesigned, and people are moved into these new roles, too […]

11 Feb

Change is not a method it is a capability

Introduction I am often asked to create the framework or method for managing change by organisations who already have a project management approach and want to include all of the ‘softer’ activities that they associate with implementing the change and creating new ways of working. Old approach When change management was becoming a recognised management […]

05 Feb

Make change easy to cope with

Overwhelmed I am currently experiencing a lot of change at the moment, and I am finding it overwhelming. There are so many new ways of working, new relationships to assimilate, new roles to follow and new skills to learn that I feel incompetent. Coping There is so little of my work that is the same […]

30 Jan

Communicating Change

I am currently leading a global change programme which means I have a lot of stakeholders in different time zones to communicate with. Change is not a sequential process, some aspects of new ways of working are adopted quickly, others take longer to understand and be accepted and my communications must engage my stakeholders at […]

15 Jan

What is Agile

I did wonder what the big issue of the start of the year would be, when people come back after the holidays and re-engage in all of the projects they have to manage and the objectives they have to meet. If the conversations I have had across a range of industries this week are anything […]

22 Dec

Top Ranked Change articles

What a great Christmas present – thank you everyone for participating. I just received this message where I published 4 out of the top 20 articles in 2016 for the APM (Association for Project Management). If you did not catch them then please do follow the links… “From over 1000 articles published in 2016, […]

05 Dec

Change is Relentless

As we wind down to the end of the year, new projects and programmes for 2017 are being defined. I have been involved in so much change this year but it is not all neatly finishing in time for new initiatives to begin. Clearing the decks This relentless cycle of change is best addressed by […]

20 Nov

Agile is in everything

Strange experience for me this week, as I have really struggled to pull together a high profile presentation to explain Agile. I am a regular public speaker so designing presentations is usually very easy. My big realisation is that it’s difficult because it’s being managed in a waterfall way. Those who have asked me to […]

07 Nov

Top 3 issues in Agile transformations

It is my job is to design and implement Agile transformations for my customers. This transformation consists of lots of different flavours of Agile, mixed up in a hybrid model: Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe); AgilePM; Scrum. In each transformation, I come across the same issues, and I thought it would be useful to share these […]

30 Oct

Effective Change needs friends

Every change manager knows that people affected by change need support. This support needs to come in a range of different formats so that everyone gets what they need. Change doesn’t happen if we leave people behind, unsupported because the support on offers doesn’t work for them. Extroverts! As an extrovert I know how important […]

03 Oct

Change is exhausting

I am part of a large-scale transformation and even I have woken up this morning dreading more change. It’s Monday morning so we have yet another new system going live and we are applying our newly designed processes. Catching up from last week The problem is there were changes to documents last week and a […]

04 Sep

Agile needs ‘BusOps’ and DevOps

OK, BusOps is not really a function (yet) but neither was DevOps only a couple of years ago. I use the term because I want us to give lots more attention to the integration of project deliverables into ‘business as usual’. I work with a lot of organisations who are becoming more Agile, often starting […]

21 Aug

Putting a change initiative back on course

It’s my job to fix things when they go wrong and I was recently asked to help a team working as part of a large organisational change programme. The problem was the team had missed several deadlines. When I started work with them I found that they were all working incredibly hard, so there wasn’t […]

15 Aug

SAFe 4.0 is not Change friendly

I am in a very bad mood tonight because I am studying for my SAFe 4.0 qualification, which stands for Scaled Agile Framework. It’s a useful approach to knitting together different teams who want to work in an Agile way. What has got me so angry is the lightweight way that the implementation of change […]

07 Aug

Latest Agile Resources

Lots of new surveys and opinion pieces about the growth of Agile have been released in the last couple of months so here are all of the links: Agile is the new norm – short summary of the growth of Agile and some of the reasons for this growth – The state of Agile […]

03 Aug

Plan your personal development

I know it’s the holiday season, but this is a good time to think about what you want to achieve in the coming months, and what you need to learn to help you get there. Lots of events to help you develop your skills: Change Management Practitioner Course – London, 22-26 August – 20% discount […]

24 Jul

How do I announce change?

I am part of a team announcing significant organisational team to employees who have been taken by surprise. The change has not been driven by a shift in strategic objectives, which would have led to an awareness that change was on the horizon. Instead this change has been driven by a high number of issues, […]

11 Jul

What does a PMO need to know about Agile?

  There are several significant differences between waterfall and agile projects, which impact the elements of the project that the PMO should track to get the best possible picture of what is actually happening.   Difference 1: Criteria driven not requirements driven development In waterfall projects, users and stakeholders are consulted for their wants and […]

26 Jun

How do I manage Brexit?

The referendum result has caused shock to many who are now uncertain about their jobs or the status of pan European projects involving UK offices. As well as the shock there is too little understanding of the way forward to be able to make firm plans for next steps. So if you are a manager […]

22 Jun

How do I plan a big change initiative?

It’s not always easy to know where to start when the change is so big it impacts all parts of your organisation and has more work streams than you have fingers! I am facing this at the moment so thought you might like to see the agenda for a planning day which brings together some […]

22 Jun

How can I cope with overwhelming change at work?

I am currently overwhelmed by the amount of change I am dealing with at work and I think my experiences are so typical we can probably learn some lessons from them. A new Board of Directors have been appointed for the global organisation I am working for. They are impressively professional and want to put […]

05 Jun

What happens if someone won’t change?

Asking people to change how they work can have lots of consequences but the most difficult is the flat refusal. I had to deal with this recently. I will give you the bare details to protect those involved but I learnt things that are worth sharing. As part of the change, a swift decision had […]

23 May

How can I get a change management role?

I wanted to share discussions I have been having with recruitment firms and employers about what they look for when placing/hiring Change Managers. The full article can be found here but the main points are:  increasing trend for jobs in business transformation and change management increasing trend in people taking Change Management exams interview questions […]

15 May

How do I get people involved in my change?

Change only happens if we engage everyone impacted to work out and take on what they need to do differently. Our generational differences can give us a bias in the type of opportunities we make available to get people involved in the change. This McKinsey research gives us some great insight To fully engage ‘Millennials’ […]

02 May

Importance of engagement and participation

We know that change only happens if those affected are involved as early as possible in scoping, planning and implementing the change. As Change Practitioners we are in a constant battle for peoples time and attention because the organisational change we are responsible for is only one of the things they are responsible for. After […]

24 Apr

4 Factors needed for effective change

McKinsey wrote a recent article about the 4 factors needed for effective change: Role modelling Fostering understanding and conviction Reinforcing with formal mechanisms Developing talent and skills   What I noticed about these factors is that they can all be supported by the creation and use of a change management framework. I think a framework […]

17 Apr

Agile PMO – my experience of setting them up

Those who know me have heard me praise the Agile Project Management (AgilePM) course from DSDM before. Last week it proved its worth again as I used AgilePM as the basis for creating an Agile PMO (Project Management Office). Old PMO The essential difference between running a PMO for projects using PRINCE2(R), PMI (Project Management […]

03 Apr

I manage change so why do I need to know about Agile?

Agile is becoming the norm for project management but it’s not just a project methodology. It’s an approach applicable to any initiative where we need regular user feedback because what we are doing is uncertain and new. Uncertainty and newness of course describe any change initiative. So an agile approach is relevant for change management […]

20 Mar

Benefits of demonstrations for Agile projects

Show and tell or demonstrations are an essential element of agile projects. In order to continue with the project we need feedback on what works and what else is needed. So far so normal….but I think there is an even more important reason for creating in-depth, experiential demonstrations. We need the ‘business’ i.e. that collective […]

13 Mar

3 priorities from executives about change

While I facilitated a senior leaders event last week it struck me how often they raised the same 3 issues: How do we prioritise the change whilst maintaining business as usual? How do we know what the total impact of change will be – unintended and intended consequences? What can we do to make sure […]

07 Mar

Choosing the right Change

I have been doing a lot of work recently on how to move a need for change from a general understanding that ‘we cannot continue as we are’ to a detailed solution that has wide support and whose scope is clearly understood. The most effective ways to move the change through this lifecycle is ‘the […]

28 Feb

Change management gains awareness and respect

What a difference a year makes! I have been a regular visitor to Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) in Riyadh over the last year, taking responsibility for designing and delivering a range of training courses to build skills and awareness of how to manage large change initiatives. SEC are transforming their business model and every aspect […]

02 Feb

The future of Agile…

The Agile Change BCS event last Thursday prompted so many great questions but the one that really caught my attention was where did each of the panelists think Agile will be in 10 years time? It was interesting that even though each panelist had diverse experiences of working with Agile we shared broadly the same […]

31 Jan

Change success criteria

As a panellist at a recent event I was asked to share my views on what makes successful change.  My ideas are a reflection on the questions posed by delegates on my change management courses who provide a rolling summary of the challenges and where they need most support. 1. Everyone needs to change Change […]

27 Jan

Top resources for aspiring change managers

Follow up to my webinar yesterday about the role of the change manager – please find all the useful resources I mentioned, along with the recording of the webinar for those not able to attend: Webinar recording discussing the different roles that change managers perform: Factors to increase the effectiveness of your change programme: […]

25 Jan

Top 5 activities for aspiring Change Managers

1.Get a deep understanding of what change management involves – you cannot get involved if you don’t know what is needed and what the core requirements are 2.Use your knowledge to decide where you want to direct your efforts – leading specific initiatives or leading the process of change 3.Build your portfolio of change experience […]

17 Jan

Physical space helps change

Fantastic presentation last week from Andreas Arnold, the Head of Strategic Programmes at the BBC. This was a Change Management Institute London Chapter event which debated the importance of physical space to help achieve wider organisational change. Andreas led us through the programme to co-locate two BBC offices into one, and the advantages of moving […]

10 Jan

New Agile Project Management Resources

I have selected these recent articles as they all tell a similar story about the importance of business agility as an essential part of competitive advantage. They also share my own philosophy which is that business agility is the overall goal not agile software development. So Agile methods should b vied for what they are […]

04 Jan

Essential knowledge for Change Management Professionals

In my role as Co-Chair of the Change Management Institute UK I am frequently asked what change management means. Unfortunately, it’s such a broad subject that it can mean many different things to different people: For those coming from an HR or Organisational Design background, the emphasis is on creating the structure and the roles […]

03 Jan

Key Change Management trends for 2016

Everything I have read over the past few weeks about the importance of innovation, agility and adapting to change (thanks to McKinsey, Accenture, Harvard Business Review, Economist Intelligence Unit etc) makes me realise that successful firms are good at social awareness. This is the ability to comprehensively assess what is happening in the world and […]

31 Dec

Top 3 change management themes from 2015

Coming to the end of the year I though I would summarise the most common questions I get asked about change: 1. Roles We continue to have lots of confusion about what the different job titles mean. A Change Manager in one organisation might be a junior position, carried out by someone we would previously […]

06 Dec

Top 3 tips for working with freelancers

Reading the special section on the future of work in the Sunday Times today, I was struck by the number of articles highlighting freelancing. I am so used to working with freelancers over the last 20 years in project management that it’s not something I have to adjust to. For other line managers who are […]

30 Nov

Build your own Agile project teams

“How can I build Agile project teams in my department?” is a question I get asked by professional project managers on webinars and conferences that I speak at. As a large part of my time is training and coaching people I thought it would be helpful to provide an outline for a workshop I ran […]

22 Nov

3 steps to getting to the end of the year!

I was inspired to write this blog because with only 4 working weeks to Christmas it’s time to strip away unnecessary work and focus on the priorities. Step 1 – be creative I know this is advice about getting things done but the first step is to always ensure that you are doing the right […]

15 Nov

How PMOs can use Agile

The concept of IT project management is being challenged by agile development methods. I know I have written about this before but a meeting with another PMO this week highlighted the issue. PM is dead – long live the PM I believe the fundamental problem is that scrum (an agile approach to developing new products […]

08 Nov

Change Managers must partner with HR

I am currently working with two organisations, both of whom wish to build an internal capability for change. They have undertaken some training courses and workshops to build a knowledge base. They are developing their own change management frameworks: one incorporating project management; one aligned to but in parallel with their project management function. So far […]

02 Nov

Change management: core role for PMOs

As part of my review into the role of PMOs to guide/manage the changes brought about by projects I reviewed current available roles for PMO managers to see what organisations want from them in terms of change management: Portfolio Management Office, Capita: Ensure that all change is fit for purpose and transitioned safely to production […]

01 Nov

3 new tasks for PMOs

Project management is changing I was lucky enough to be the trainer on two fantastic courses in October, for the Change Management Practitioner qualification and the Agile Project Management exams. Both groups were highly experienced project and programme managers who recognise that project management is changing. The popularity of agile approaches means that unlike traditional […]

25 Oct

Cyber security is a business transformation

Media coverage of the Talk Talk cyber security breach has not been flattering. The world is organised into two groups: 1. those organisations that see security as something forced upon them, something they have to comply and a distraction to their day to day business; 2. those organisations that have made the security of data […]

06 Sep

5 reasons why Project Managers should know about Change Management

I often find myself addressing groups of either Change Managers or Project Managers and am often struck by the lack of understanding that each group has about what the other brings to the party. Organisational change cannot happen without an effective partnership between creation of new ways of working (projects) and their transition to become […]

31 Aug

5 reasons why Project Managers should be Agile

5 reasons why all PMs should have agile qualifications on their CV Tipping point:Even those organisations who haven’t formally adopted agile project management are using the terminology. Recent research indicates that about a quarter of companies in the UK are applying or trialling an agile approach so we are moving towards the tipping point when […]

05 Aug

Bringing Change to Life – a real example

Building a new Change Framework Just starting to create the change management framework for an organisation that wants to formalise its approach to change management. The organisation has had some successful change initiatives over the last couple of years as well as a couple of high profile failures. It wants to codify its approach to […]

29 Jul

Bad news – adapting to change takes time

“I sold my car!” A real life story Launching new ways of working is hard. All of the design, pilots, additional requirements and finally the go-live date is exhausting. Next comes the encouragement, reassurance and quick thinking to make adjustments that keep up the momentum? When the changes have been in place for weeks (or […]

20 Jul

Top 4 differences: PRINCE2 vs Agile

Agile is different Running an AgilePM course this week, my delegates and I have had a chance to share our experiences of working within an agile environment. 4 key differences We identified 4 core changes between PRINCE2® and AgilePM™ Users/customers not getting everything they ask for Welcoming feedback and change Getting used to rolling-out things […]

13 Jul

Change comes to UK charities

Change comes to UK charities through public pressure In the last couple of months high profile UK charities have been accused of using high pressure sales techniques to raise funds. All charities are likely to be affected as the government considers banning these techniques. From a change management perspective there are two interesting points about […]

08 Jul

The “What” and “Why” of Change Management

As a line manager you already have a full time job leading your team, ensuring they meet their key performance indicators, ensuring your internal and external customers are happy with the service they receive. So when you are given the additional responsibility of leading a change initiative, it is important to understand what you need […]

01 Jun

Business Analysts going Agile

As part of my continual professional development I attended the Train the Trainer day for the new qualification AgileBA (Agile Business Analyst).  You can read the full blog here . While originally doubting my sanity in attending the day’s training and Foundation exam after travelling back that morning from a week in Saudi Arabia on a […]

29 May

Change Planning – mind map

Having delivered the new Change Management Practitioner qualification to a group of international delegates, it became apparent that there is vastly more practical advice offered through the syllabus. Having said that, a number of delegates seeking to start a new change initiative on return to work still wanted a simple mind map to help them […]

25 May

One-stop shop for Change Management resources

There is a growing volume of resources available when researching Change Management. While preparing for client assignments, webinars and keynote speeches I make a note of the most useful of these resources and therefore want to share with you what I consider to be most relevant. Depending on your learning preference you will find something […]

12 May

Melanie’s profile update – iterative development

Effective Change is helped by communicating messages in a wide variety of mediums. I regularly use videos, white papers, blogs and webinars to promote the development of agile and change skills but realised I had not developed an Infographic yet. My Infographic Through my own research I concluded that less is more when it comes […]

20 Apr

Change Management Chief Examiner – review

I attended a great event held by APMG International to launch the latest version of the Change Management Practitioner Course.  Chief Examiner review Richard Smith, Chief Examiner gave a fantastic keynote and this is what I learnt: Organisations are changing There is recognition that strategy doesn’t just appear. Change at it’s best is part of […]

14 Apr

Change is Changing – new course explained

Having been closely involved in reviewing the new course manual “The Effective Change Manager’s Handbook” as well as assuring the new examination questions, I wanted to outline the main changes as I see them between the original course that dated from 2008 to the new launch in May 2015. The full download can be found […]

08 Apr

Agile survey – results

VersionOne just released their latest annual survey of the state of Agile. They have an extensive platform of clients and so the survey carried a lot of credibility and is worth putting in your calendar for next year. Last year I did a video review but this year and in the spirit of Agile I […]

27 Mar

Project Managers are great Change Managers too

I just came back from Birmingham where I was running the Change Management Institute stand at Project Challenge Spring 2015. We had lots of interest from Project Managers who wanted to join the Change Management professional community and so my speech on this subject was very well attended. I reproduced the speech in a easy […]

10 Mar

How many projects can you manage?

Helping Project Managers adapt to agile ways of working means that Project Sponsors need to be aware of the potential disruption they can cause. My blog describes the problem but also explains some simple techniques to address it. Next steps Many people on my courses are experiencing this overload on project demands from different teams […]

03 Mar

Watch and Learn

Learning from others is a vital part of being a change manager and this recent story highlights how fast changes can occur in seemingly stable environments. You can download the full blog here but a snap-shot can be found below. Challenge the norms The next time you visit Selfridges and possibly other department stores you […]

24 Feb

Naming your Change right!

Setting the right direction for your change programme often starts with getting the Programme name right. Balancing energy and trust against comfort and certainty is a delicate balance but one successful Change Practitioners care about. My blog talks about a real-life example of when it goes wrong and some tips on how to get it […]

19 Feb

Agile Adoption – lessons learned

I just completed a workshop where my client that had a well established waterfall/PRINCE2® project methodology but was losing touch with its project delivery cycle. Adoption of Scrum by the IT team meant that Project teams were being left behind, a situation that if allowed to continue would result in escalating issues for staff and […]

08 Feb

Transformation jobs are everywhere

My latest blog is for those seeking jobs in change and transformation management. Scanning through a few job-sites and Linked In I quickly became aware of common features. My blog highlights the three things that I felt were important for those preparing for their next interview so do take a look and even email me […]

20 Jan

Latest Newsletter on Change Management

Diaries have yet to fill up yet so take this opportunity to put something in the calendar that is going to help your progress in 2015. It could be taking a new qualification, listening to a webinar, attending a networking event or simply half an hour scheduled to read an article or watch a video. […]

08 Jan

Change is really challenging

Learning lessons from implementing Change Just as I implement changes in operational working for my clients, I also look to implement changes to my own ways of working. My latest blog shares my goal for 2015 which is to ensure as much of my world is ‘paperless’ as possible. Using tech in meetings We are […]

30 Dec

Improve your CV

Capturing lessons learned from projects is common practice but how often is this done for your personal CV or resume? My latest blog discusses how to pump up your CV or resume to best profile your skills. Appreciative enquiry Using appreciative enquiry is a great way to add depth and value to your CV by challenging […]

27 Dec

Cheats guide to Project Management

Being handed the Project Manager for the first time can be exhilarating and frighting in equal measure. These emotions are heightened around the Christmas/New Year period when there is no support or network to bounce your ideas off. To help with this situation, my blog which you can download covers the main steps to follow […]

22 Dec

From Waterfall to Agile: what you need to know

New Webinar on Agile 11th February 2015 at 13:00 GMT Starting 2015 with a teach-in on Agile, I am running this webinar to help you understand the skills, mindset and priorities that you need as you make the transition from traditional project management (often based on PRINCE2®) to Agile Project Management™. Agile is a different […]

21 Dec

Interview Questions for Change Managers

Change Management Webinar  14th January 2015 at 13:00 GMT My first webinar of 2015 focuses on those people looking for new Change Management jobs and also those seeking to hire new members for their own Change team. In this informative webinar, I will guide interviewers and interviewees through the most effective interview questions for soliciting […]

11 Dec

10 days of Christmas

We are now in the count-down to Christmas and there are only 10 working days left until the big day. Aside from all the personal shopping and parties you want to fit in, you are also thinking how to fit work into these last few days. Using the MoSCoW techniques included in Agile Project Management […]

08 Dec

When Coaching goes well

I just posted the latest entry to my Diary of a Change Consultant in my blog and wanted to share the three positive learning points: Get a big wall Mapping roles & responsibilities with capabilities Checking the Transformation Team While a huge amount of work goes into preparing for a strategic coaching session, by using […]

24 Nov

Good manners gives you influence

Running a Change Management course this week for a passionate change team gave me time to reflect on the behavioral aspects of Change and the simple view that “Good Manners gives you Influence”. My latest blog discusses this point. WHY DO GOOD MANNERS MATTER? Aside from the benefits of a more pleasant working environment, the […]

24 Nov


Often when I ask delegates why they want a qualification they state it is to enhance their CVs and professionalise their experience. But how does this translate to writing that impressive CV that gets you on the short-list? THREE KEY POINTS TO CONSIDER My complete blog can be downloaded here but this is a summary: […]

07 May

My Agile is not Your Agile

Stuart Rimell, Head of Web and Mobile development at IG gave a very well constructed talk on the elements of an effective agile environment last week, with over 50 Agile Londoners @AgileLondon attending, despite the bad weather. My Agile is not Your Agile The subject of his talk was ‘My Agile is not the same […]

06 Mar

Agile Project Management at Gumtree

Agile London hosted an event starred Gumtree, a subsidiary of Ebay, who gave us a comprehensive picture of how and why they have implemented agile project management over the last few years.  IMPLEMENTING AGILE PROJECT MANAGEMENT Hearing these experiences is thought provoking as they offer new ideas, and reassuring when you realise other firms have taken […]

04 Dec

Agile with

Practical insight into how agile projects work I attended a fantastic event arranged by Agile London and hosted by who gave us a summary of their agile journey over the last two years. Can IT and the Business work together? As ever, I absorbed the information from my perspective, which is how to encourage […]

30 Oct

Cheats guide to Change

I wrote this blog after spending time coaching clients that faced this problem on a regular basis. How to deliver faced-paced yet well structured plans for delivering change when you don’t have all the information. Accompanying this blog is a webinar on the same subject and a great video on Leading Change. I hope you […]