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Do all projects implement changes?

Answers on this issue may diverge. According to PMBOK, project is a method that creates a unique product, service or result, which has a clear beginning and end. But do we always initiate create a change via project? And is change management the same as project management?

change management

Do every project creates a change?

The answers to the question posed can be varied. It all depends on how you look at it. If we talk about how a project is defined and we pay attention to the fact that each project is an event that creates unique content, in which case it could mean that each project implements a change because it introduces something new.

However, if the project is related to the modernization of processes and their atomization? Can this be considered as a change? Yes and no. If we talk from groups of people who will be affected by the result of the project, for them it will be a change, because the implemented results, for them, can change the routine of how they worked and have to work now after the automation of the process. But if we look from the side of the result of the project: the process remained the same, just some of the steps were digitalized, but whether this can be considered as a very unique change is probably not very much, unless changes in the process fundamentally change the principles of work and established rules.

Exactly the same situation would be if we were talking about upgrading IT system. The main elements of the system do not change, but with updates, the interface of the system often changes, some buttons appear or disappear, data upload channels, etc. All this, for people who have to work with this IT system, can be, in a sense, a change that requires people to be prepared, trained.

So, whether the project is equal to a change - that it all depends on how we look: in many cases, for people who will have to work with the product, service or new result introduced by the project, it will be a change, to which people will have to adapt and learn how to work. When comparing from how the product itself or the services for which the project is initiated change, not always the result of the project will be like a change, since it may simply be the management of certain technical depts., but the system or product itself does not fundamentally change.

Is change management the same as project management?

I think project management and change management is not the same thing. Project management is just a way to implement new solutions or improvements to existing solutions. Meanwhile, change management (not IT change management, i.e. not according to ITIL) is about how people accept the new result of the project and what actions to take so that people would have a necessary buy - in.

In short, project management and change management are interlinked, but not the same. Poor management of change can lead to the fact that the result of the project will not be so positively received by the people who have to work with it. However, this will not necessarily affect the outcome of the project itself, but can harm the way in which the project is viewed in the eyes of stakeholders.


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