The APM PMQ and change management


Getting APM PMQ qualified via accredited project management courses is a wise investment for any project manager who is serious about their profession. Amongst other things, APM PMQ will teach you that project management is all about change management, whether you realise it or not. From the word go, every project is fraught with changes, which successful project managers will be able to take in their stride and make compensation for. The APM PMQ qualification will show you how they do this.

Being able to deal with change is all about expecting the unexpected, managing risks and planning for them as well as having the confidence and flexibility to deal with change as it happens. The APM PMQ will teach you some of the golden rules for successful change management, all of which can be applied to a variety of situations, both in and out of work.

5 Golden rules of successful change management:

  1. Start with the people: Changing anything will have to have a positive buy in from the people involved. This means you need to offer an all-inclusive package, which engages everyone from directors to janitors. The people who are most directly affected will need to buy in to your changes, otherwise they just will not stick.
  2. Focus on the positive: If you are instigating the change, there must be a good reason for doing it, but your challenge is to get that good reason across to all the people who will be affected. When someone else has made the change, such as a funder pulling part of the budget or a client changing the specifics of the brief last minute, it is up to you as a successful project manager to find the positives in the situation, and communicate them clearly to your team.
  3. Get proactive involvement from those affected: Work most closely with the people who will feel the effects of this change the most. Let them steer the process and contribute to the planning and organisation of the changes, so that they feel in control of the situation. Nobody likes feeling that things are being done to them without their consent or input, so ensure your key people are running the show.
  4. Burn the bridges: Once the transition period is over and the change has taken place, get rid of the old situation as soon as you can. If, for example, you are moving a team onto a new IT system, don’t keep the old one on their desktops ‘just in case’, as this will only encourage them to switch back to the old way of doing things as soon as they come up against their first challenge.
  5. Reward the successful change: Give credit where credit is due, and praise those people who facilitated this change. When change is well managed and the end result is successful, this process can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience for everyone, not to mention a good result for the business, so revel in the shared accomplishment and the bonds it creates between your team.


  1. A really useful checklist – nothing new and not rocket science but good to be reminded of these “golden rules”. Change management is part of project management – there is no way to avoid change on major projects so you just need to learn how to effectively manage and control the changes so the customer gets what they want without blowing the budget or missing the deadline.


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