Change Management – 5 Types of People on Projects

August 20, 2019Kim Congleton

As the speed of technology continues to accelerate in the business world an important part of technology projects is how the change is managed. On any type of project there will be 5 types of people.  Depending on the book you read these buckets will be a little different, but I do like these five:

  1. Trail Blazers
  2. “Yes” People
  3. Crowd Followers
  4. Skeptics
  5. C.A.V.E People

Trail Blazers are the people who embrace change. They are the ones that get excited as soon as you start talking about the new project. They will be your advocates and your best cheerleaders. “Yes” people are the people that feel obligated to participate in a project because they are asked to. They are often reluctant to embrace the change, but they’ll go along with it. Crowd Followers tend to wait and see and when it seems like maybe it will be a good idea then they will get on board. Skeptics are exactly that - skeptics.  They trust data and logic and question everything.  If you can win the skeptics over, the other people will jump on board as well.  The fifth bucket I have called a couple of different things but C.A.V.E. kind of makes me chuckle a little.  It stands for Citizens Against Virtually Everything.  We’ve all been on projects where there is at least one person who thinks it won’t work and there is no way anyone is going to make them change.  They have been doing the same thing forever and they do not see why someone would want to do something different.  These people are usually the last to get on board if they ever do.  A successful change management must have components to address the different types of people.

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