It's not difficult to see that the business landscape is changing. In this time of political and economic uncertaintly, businesses that survive are more likely to be those that adapt to change quickly, even seeing political and economic change as opportunities rather than threats. It is not unusual to see that organisations, no matter how big or small, have a common problem dealing with change. However, organisations that do not adapt and do not have the right change procedures in place are 6 times more likely to have their projects fail. What is the common denominator in our failure to make change a success? It involves that element of projects and programmes that are the most erratic, uncertain and diverse of all… people!

In this week’s blog our lead PRINCE2 trainer at SPOCE Richard Lampitt takes us through the analogy of change as pieces of the same puzzle and likewise, how the various PPM approaches all fit together to solve their part of the business puzzle. If your business was a puzzle and each piece of this puzzle was a business function, each piece would have an important part to play in the overall success of the organisation and all the pieces would need to fit and work together in harmony.

This ideal 'big picture' is an important requirement for a business to operate effectively, all separate functions working organically together in harmony. However, with constant reaction to change the pieces can get a little worn, considerably out of shape or even completely broken, meaning a piece of our ‘business puzzle’ is no longer fitting in properly and is obscuring the big picture.

So, if you can identify one or more pieces of your ‘business puzzle’ that stand out from the big picture because it either no longer fits properly, meets its original requirements or works how it should, what do you need to do to make sure that your business is still working effectively?

CHANGE your business function to make it fit-for-purpose.

Whatever your business, it is unlikely that it can either grow, or survive if it does not change. For your business to compete and prosper, ‘change’ is inevitable. And it comes in many forms: Pressures from business demands; competitor activity in the market; out of date IT systems. There are also the environmental factors such as changes in governance, regulation, legislation and the economy. Sometimes new opportunities arise which can trigger a required change within the business. If nothing is ever changed, then the pieces of the puzzle won't do what they were designed to, meaning they no longer fit and/or function properly with the rest of the puzzle.

Essentially, you need to keep each piece in just the right shape for the bigger picture to remain looking good, run smoothly without any 'disjointed' pieces and for the business to realise the ongoing benefits of doing so.

How Can Best Practice help you change as an organisation?


Perfectly designed for managing a single change (or project)

In order to meet business objectives If one piece (or business function), needs changing, then the justification comes in the form of a Business Case and project managed using a professional best management practice approach, such as PRINCE2®. PRINCE2 is the most popular method or project management in the world and when used effectively, will ensure the benefits of the change are delivered on time, to agreed cost and that all the outputs from the project are as expected by the business, making our rogue piece of the puzzle fit for purpose once again.

For managing multiple and unrelated changes

If a few pieces (or business functions), need changing but for different reasons and with different business objectives and benefits then this would be viewed as a collection of ‘unrelated projects’. Each project would require its own business case and would therefore be project managed separately using the PRINCE2 approach.

MSP® For managing a collection of related changes – a programme

If several pieces of your business puzzle need changing for the same reasons, then the approach will need to be different. Our collection of projects becomes a programme because our goals are meeting the same long -term strategic objective. Our collection of projects now ‘need’ to be delivered as a programme of strategic change and managed using MSP® (Managing Successful Programmes) method. Each project would still be individually justified with a Business Case and managed using PRINCE2. However, the collection of projects would need to be managed as a unit (a programme), using MSP, the over-arching approach which connects the series of projects together. Each project output is transitioned into the business ensuring its business outcomes and benefits are realised as part of the bigger picture.

Realising the benefits from these changes - MoP®

The business changes in their entirety, ‘all’ of the projects and programmes collectively would be identified as a portfolio. It is the role of the portfolio manager to oversee delivering multiple changes to numerous pieces of the puzzle. As MoP is about realising benefits, its aim is to ensure all change initiatives are to be properly prioritised in terms of how they will best contribute to the overall puzzle in the most effective way. Why start changing a piece of the puzzle if there's another piece which, if changed, would better benefit the bigger picture, i.e., is it best to have a side piece of the puzzle missing, or a centre piece? Managing such a portfolio of change would be handled by the MoP® (Management of Portfolios) method.

For the support structure - P30®

If you have a lot of pieces of puzzle to change over a long period of time and feel you should have a team of support staff to help enable better decision-making through the effective administration and co-ordination of the portfolio, projects and programmes being undertaken to deliver all of your business change initiatives, this would require the P30® (Portfolio, Programme and Project Offices) method.

“Don’t let the people get puzzled by the puzzle”– Change Management

Business Change Management focuses on the people involved and affected by change in your organisation. For change to be successful, the right people need to be involved in making the decisions, planning and implementing the change. Everyone affected by the change (the users) need to support it and make the decision to work in new ways. If this doesn’t happen, however well planned and managed your project is, the change will not take place and benefits will not be realised. Studies have revealed that 60% of projects without change initiatives fail.

Change Management is about finding the most effective way of taking the hearts and minds of your people along with you on your journey and what you can do to gain acceptance of the changes that are being implemented.

Richard is the lead PRINCE2 trainer at SPOCE Project Management and runs many of our classroom and virtual classroom courses. If you are interested in finding out more about any of the approaches to projects and programmes mentioned above, then why not contact us.


SPOCE Project Management Limited is a global leader in delivering best practice training for project, programme and risk management. They offer a wide range of courses which can be tailored to suit any form of training need. For example, public courses, virtual classroom, e-Learning and client workshops. SPOCE is the flagship training provider for PRINCE2 and MSP and were APMGs first ever training provider.

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* Information correct at time of broadcast.