Project Management with Constant Change

To paraphrase a popular phrase, “Change is the only constant.” As a company, we’ve been going through a number of changes ourselves. Last week we wrapped up our Annual Users’ Conference for 2013, and I have to admit I was a little nervous about our decision to change venues and hold the event at The Fairmont Olympic Hotel in downtown Seattle. But by the end of the conference, I couldn’t have been more thrilled. So much so that I’m going to place a shameless plug in my blog—if you ever visit Seattle, consider the Fairmont as your place to stay!

Changes in Construction Software

But back to “change.” By far the biggest change I’ve dealt with over the last couple of years has been moving our construction business management software to the cloud, and in the process redesigning the user interface from the ground up. As a side note (and as regular readers of this blog know), if you move software to the cloud and don’t think to redesign your interface to make it “cloud-friendly,” then you won’t be doing your customers much of a favor.

So the past couple of years have been an exercise in change that I haven’t seen in my business since the days we moved from DOS to a Windows interface. What I learned at the conference last week was how our construction industry customers are dealing with this change to cloud computing.

This new way of delivering applications and data is effecting more than just IT departments. There is a ripple effect that moves through the organization, from the way accounts payable staff receive and process invoices to the way project management staff share documents with their teams. In short, this cloud computing is a true “sea change.” The wave affects everyone, and everyone deals with it a bit differently.

Change Management

To paraphrase another popular phrase, “Change happens.” And while everyone does have their own reaction to it, there are two fundamental ways to deal with change. You let it just happen to you, or you take advantage of it. You let the wave sweep you away, or you ride it to (a new) shore.

Looking at it this way, most folks would agree that it is better to ride the wave. Because while you may not be able to control the fact that it is coming, you can control how you are affected. Whether it’s cloud computing technology, green construction, new tax laws, or a new traffic signal on your way to work, you have to understand the change, consider how it is going to affect you, and decide what you are going to do about it. Because if you don’t, if you let change just happen to you, you relinquish the one thing you can control in business—your own path to success.

How do you manage change in your business?

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