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Stage 2: Initiate the Project


What it is How to Templates/
How to: Develop Change Management Strategy

Recommended actions and strategies

The table below describes actions you can perform to develop a high-level change management strategy.


What to do

How to do it


Set the expectation that change will be actively managed

In early discussions about how the project will proceed, emphasize the critical role that change management plays in successful projects. Note that change management assures full stakeholder control over critical factors affecting the success of the project.

Distinguish between

  • progressive elaboration, in which the stakeholders refine their understanding of the project’s objectives during the conceptualize, initiate, and plan stages, and
  • change management, which is a formal process implemented once the project plan is set 

Warning: Don’t let the habits formed in progressive elaboration carry over into the implementation and control stage.


Identify the key factors that would likely introduce change in the project

Consider areas of volatility that will likely result in change requests.


  • User testing may uncover new requirements.
  • The technology to be used does not have an established track record.

If these factors will likely pose significant challenges in managing change during project execution and control, note them briefly in the Change Management Strategy statement.


Determine which project constraints are most critical to project success

Constraints limit options available to the project team when change occurs or is requested. Refer to the business case for the project, which provides an important context for understanding priorities and constraints. Then, survey stakeholders to determine which aspects of the project impose constraints (e.g., scope, cost, schedule, quality) and what the priorities are among them.

If a constraint is rigid (e.g., a non-negotiable deadline), note this in the Project Charter.


Assess the change culture of customer stakeholders involved in the project

Assess effectiveness of change management practices currently in use by customer stakeholders. Determine whether any existing customer change management requirements or practices should be incorporated into the project.




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Updated February 1, 2007 - v2.0