Successful Change: How to Implement Change Through People

David Miller

Published by






Reviewed by

Kawal Banga CEng MBCS CITP


10 out of 10

The introduction states that the book is ‘written for people who want to implement major change successfully’. Whilst this is true - whether these people are consultants carrying out change projects or managers executing change - the book is also very useful for anyone who is on the receiving end of change.

It would also be useful for those in academic settings who are teaching about change and those who are learning about change.  Clearly, this is highly relevant to the IT industry, as IT creates or enables change in organisations and the IT industry itself, and those who work within it are going through constant change. 

The book lists four types of change: strategic, technical, process and people. It claims that people change is the most difficult to implement, and that as the other three types of change depend upon people. The change management methodology discussed is called people-centred implementation (PCI for short). The book also emphasises that change is only successful when both people and organisations change. 

The book is written in three parts, with a total of ten easy-to-read chapters. Part one has four chapters, which look at why we need change, how people change, culture and six critical success factors (CSFs) for change. A more detailed look at the six CSFs forms parts two and three of the book, with each part covering three CSFs. The CSFs in part 2 are organisational (i.e what needs to happen at a senior executive level), and in part 3 local (i.e. what needs to happen at a local level). 

The organisational CSFs are shared change purpose, effective change leadership and powerful engagement processes. The local CSFs are committed local sponsors, strong personal connection and sustaining personal performance.

The author makes the distinction between installation and implementation. Most change is simply installed and, without follow-up activities, never gets properly implemented. To successfully implement change, you need to change people’s behaviour, and ‘getting people to change - one by one - is the only way to change organisations.  After all, every change is personal’.

Changefirst, the company founded by the author of this book, suggests on its website ( that there are ten good reasons to buy this book. Having read the book, I tend to agree. It is practical, focussed on how to be successful in change, written in plain English, shares practical change experiences, has a good balance of theory and practical examples and is focussed on people.

Change is all around us, both at work, and in our personal lives, and this is a book that everyone should have on their bookshelves.

Further information: Changefirst

January 2012