Friday, July 27, 2012

Central vs decentralized change management

When I talk to project managers about protocols for change management, they all gravitate to central management. The reasoning is consistent: they see a need for a holistic systems consideration of any project change. Who can blame them for that?

And, when I talk to team leaders, they tell me the workflow through central management is too slow, the experts are not "up there", and we (team leaders) have to explain it all to 'them' anyway. They make the same decision we would, so where's the value add?

And, of course, as in all things like this, the answer is: YES.

It's all a matter of judgment about impact. Of course there's a place for the systems view, and of course the team is very capable of trapping many small changes before they clog the workflow to the high command.

But I'm really surprised at the few PMs or team leaders who see it this way. It seems all or nothing in their mind. I wonder what's in the water there're drinking. To me, it's all about reasoned delegation--do only what only you can do.