Prosci’s 2011 Best Practices in Change Management benchmarking study has reinforced the value of effective change management.

For the seventh consecutive study, active and visible executive sponsorship was identified as the greatest contributor to success. The second through fifth contributors to success paralleled the findings from the 2009 benchmarking study:

1. Active and visible executive sponsorship
2. Frequent and open communication about the change
3. Structured change management approach
4. Dedicated change management resources and funding
5. Employee engagement and participation
6. Engagement with and support from middle management

It was found that projects with effective change management programs were more likely to meet objectives, stay on schedule and stay on budget than those without effective change management. Projects with excellent change management programs were nearly six times more likely to meet or exceed their objectives than those with poor change management programs.

As in previous studies, an employee’ s supervisor was seen as the preferred sender of personal messages while senior leaders were identified as the preferred senders of business-level or organisational-level messages about why the change was needed. A principle that has been constantly repeated in every study since my university days!