APU Business Original

Project Management and Using SCREEN to Implement Changes

In project management, a project manager’s ability to overcome others’ resistance to change is essential to managing a successful project. There are many ways that people can resist change, and it might be necessary for a project manager to challenge the people who oppose changes in how a business is run, especially if they are rapid changes.

In addition, quickly addressing the concerns of fellow employees and supervisors is essential to overcoming resistance. It’s also important to use diplomacy and prevent the people resisting the change to band together. 

Related link: 3 Major Ways to Manage a Culture Change in Your Organization

Using SCREEN to Overcome Resistance to Change in Project Management

Project managers who desire to implement necessary changes in their organizations should remember the acronym “SCREEN.” This acronym stands for:

  • Support
  • Communication
  • Recognition and rewards
  • Education
  • Empathy
  • Needs


Project managers should provide support to team members as they go through the change process. This support includes coaching, mentoring and counseling.

Ideally, this support should also be connected to rewards and recognition. Ensuring that the people who are implementing changes have the organization’s support goes a long way in getting people to accept a transition.


Effective communication is one of the most important ways to overcome resistance to change. A project manager should communicate with stakeholders and team members about the reasons behind a business change.

Calendars and Gantt charts are often used in project management to help communicate project information.

In addition, the benefits of that change and the impacts of it on individuals and the organization must be clearly explained. Offering a clear and logical reason for the change will garner more support from other employees and supervisors.

Never expect people to accept a change simply because it has been mandated. A mandate will get some people on board, but convincing people of the benefits will allow a change to be more long-lasting.

Rewards and Recognition

It’s essential to provide rewards and recognition to team members who support the change. Creating clear rewards and recognizing key contributors will help build employee motivation and their commitment to change.

People who are rewarded will likely continue their behavior, and others who have not been rewarded will alter their behavior to earn a reward. A project manager needs to seek out people to recognize and ensure that everyone who participates in a business change will be appropriately rewarded. For instance, offering gift cards to team members supporting the change is a fast and easy way to reward individuals who are helping to make a difference.


In addition to offering support and providing rewards and recognition, project managers must provide education and training to team members. This strategy will help them develop the skills and knowledge required to support a business change.

This training and education will help others to understand the change and its benefits for the organization. Project managers should ensure that training is available to everyone, track the performance of those who take the training and follow up with anyone avoiding the training. Education must be fully inclusive of all of the parties involved in it.


Empathy is important in understanding the concerns and fears of stakeholders and team members. Project managers must acknowledge and address others’ concerns through open and honest communication. People will be reluctant to change, but with proper training, individuals can be convinced to implement change.


To involve stakeholders and team members in the change process, it is useful to understand their needs. Stakeholders need to be treated as individuals, and a project manager should solicit their input, ideas, and feedback.

Addressing the specific needs of shareholders will build ownership, increase commitment to change and reduce resistance. A project manager must make sure that everyone’s different concerns are addressed.

Even if those needs seem superficial, a project manager must ensure that all stakeholder concerns are covered. Leaving problems open and unsolved will allow people to resist the change.

Using SCREEN in Project Management Can Create a More Positive Work Environment

Utilizing SCREEN in project management can be beneficial to both team morale and productivity. By using SCREEN, project managers can create a more positive work environment and help team members to feel valued and more motivated to implement changes.

Dr. Robert Gordon, CPC, is a faculty member of the reverse logistics management and government contracting and acquisition programs at the University. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of California, Los Angeles; a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Phoenix; and a doctoral degree in management from the University of Phoenix. Dr. Gordon also holds graduate certificates in information technology project management, information technology security and logistics management from American Public University.

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