Making Change Work



The IBM Global Making Change Work Study examines how organizationscan manage change and identifies strategies for improvingproject outcomes. This report continues the conversation that beganin the IBM Global CEO Study 2008 regarding forward-thinking companiesthat are “Hungry for Change.” For its very survival, theEnterprise of the Future must better prepare itself as the pace, varietyand pervasiveness of change continue to increase.

Over a two-year period, the percentage of CEOs expecting substantialchange climbed from 65 percent in 2006 to 83 percent in2008 but those reporting they had successfully managed change inthe past rose just 4 percentage points, up from 57 percent in 2006to 61 percent in 2008. This disparity between expecting changeand feeling able to manage it – the “Change Gap” – nearly tripledbetween 2006 and 2008.

Our Making Change Work Study focuses on how to close the ChangeGap. Through surveys and face-to-face interviews with more than1,500 practitioners worldwide – project leaders, sponsors, projectmanagers and change managers – we gained practical knowledgeabout how to increase the likelihood of project success.

Most CEOs consider themselves and their organizations to be executingchange poorly, but some practitioners have begun to learnhow to improve their outcomes. From the practitioners themselves,

we found that, on average, 41 percent of projects were consideredsuccessful in meeting project objectives within planned time, budgetand quality constraints, compared to the remaining 59 percentof projects which missed at least one objective or failed entirely.Even though just 41 percent of projects were described as successful,those with the highest project success rate (the top 20 percentof our sample) – we call them Change Masters – reported an 80percent project success rate, nearly double that average. In sharpcontrast, the bottom 20 percent of our sample – the group wedescribe as Change Novices – reported a disappointing project successrate of 8 percent.