Development Cooperation Handbook/Designing and Executing Projects/Project Execution and Control/Manage Organizational and Behavioural Change

Outcomes and impact of a project will include behavioural and organizational changes.

The project is intended to contribute to modify an existing situation (i.e. change the factors that generated the problems) so it is expected to produce changes by better empowering the project stakeholders to be leaders of their development. So as the project delivers its outputs changes will occur, hopefully in the direction of the expected outcomes.

These changes, as all the expected project outcomes, are beyond the direct reach of the project activities performed by the project team and will be reached by the usage of project final outputs by project beneficiaries and other project stakeholders. However an important part of project implementation is managing the organizational and behavioural changes so as to facilitate beneficiaries and other stakeholders to avail of project results and be empowered for easier solution of the identified problems (thereby for achieving the project results.


In the methodology section of the Project Plan Document there can be a sub-section dealing with the management of the Organizational Change. If not it would be a good idea to agree on this procedure at a early phase of project execution. When then the issues happen there is already an establish and agreed pattern of how to cope with the issues.

During Project Execution, as the outputs are being delivered and accepted the Project Manager and representative from the beneficiaries and other stakeholders must evaluate the Organizational and Behavioural Change Management process Plan documented during Project Planning to be sure it is still current. Because more information about the specific changes to the organization in terms of people, process and culture is known, it is quite likely that the plan will need to be adjusted and more details developed. It is extremely important for the Project Manager and the Project Manager to be actively involved in the change effort, and to proactively manage communications with the social entities that represents the beneficiaries and other stakeholders whose life quality is supposed to improve as a result of the reject impact.

Managing Organizational Change will include:

  • People: the factor must be considered throughout and in conjunction with appropriate social and cultural practices. Specific changes in social patterns and any changes in the organizational structure of the organizations involved should be managed in accordance with the plan, and should include appropriate coordination and communication with union representatives and the external agencies involved.
  • Process: The redefinition of existing processes (policy, health care, learning, etc.) affected by the utilization of the project outputs must be managed in coordination with all stakeholders. The Project Manager must manage these particular aspects of the schedule with diplomacy and tact. The active involvement of the Project Manager may be required as changes are implemented.
  • Culture: Specific activities may be required to cope with the “culture shock” that the utilization of the project deliverables by the stakeholders modify established norms for performance, leadership approach, management style, use of power, approach to decision making, and other social patterns. Using the results of the assessment of the Beneficiaries communities “readiness for change,” the Project Manager can develop more specific action plans to increase the communities and their organization’s readiness and ability to adapt to the changes induced as outcomes of the project. Most likely, these will include education and training events that can be targeted to specific audiences affected by the changes. The plans should provide information about the changes well in advance of implementation, so that affected Stakeholders have ample opportunity to express their concerns. To the greatest extent possible, the Stakeholders should be given a “preview” of how the product will actually work. They should also be given adequate training on how to adjust to change, how to work in the new environment, or similar “soft skills.”



Manage Organizational Change Plan

See also


  Issue 3 ⇒ NGOs as development actors: their role, their limits; their challenges

In other sections of this handbook
  Organization Development (in Training and Knowledge Management)
  Individual Change

Ita Mehlotra - We need to change the indifference mind set