2. Leading a Project in a Programme

If you have been put in charge of a specific project or work stream within a larger change programme there are a number of questions you should ask to ensure you understand in detail what your role will be and the wider context in which your specific project sits.

Here are the first questions I tended to ask when I was in this situation:

1. What’s my specific role and responsibilities in this project and within the wider programme?

2. Is there an induction to the role that I need to attend?

3. What training is available (face-to-face/online) to prepare me for this specific role?

4. Who can provide me with ongoing guidance and support (internal and/or external) as the project proceeds?

5. Why do we need to make this change? ie What problem(s) will it solve or what opportunities will it help us take?

6. What are we trying to achieve? End-point specification/clear deliverables?

7. What’s our company’s experience of managing change projects? (See Readiness For Change Questionnaire)

8. Who else is involved in managing the change? Eg Sponsor, Project Lead, staff from other parts of the organisation, external consultants.

9. What roles and responsibilities does each person have?

10. Will I be choosing the team members or will I be given an existing team?

11. Have the relevant Operational/Department Managers agreed to support their staff members’ participation in the Project?

12. What change management methodology are we following?

13. Who is responsible for maintaining the Risks and Issues Log and can I see the current log?

14. What is the delivery date for my project and the full programme?

15. Who is maintaining the overall plan for the full programme? Will my project plan be part of this or on a separate plan? (NB the individual project plan should contain the list of activities, deliverables, responsibilities, timescales and dependencies)

16. Who is in charge of the Communication Plan, internal and external?

17. Who is responsible for the Training Plan for those members of staff who will need more than just communication?

18. Have we identified the “influencers/Change Champions/ Change Agents through which information on the changes will be communicated to the people who will be affected by the change and the wider business?

People play a key role in the successful delivery of change in all organisations and I have included some tools that can be used to support the work of the change project team. Ideas such as “storming, forming, norming and performing”, suggested meeting agenda etc should provide you with practical help in this area.