Using SSM in Project Management: Aligning Objectives and Outcomes in Organizational Change Projects

  • Lee SarnoeEmail author
  • Alberto Paucar-Caceres
  • Rosane PaganoEmail author
  • María Castellini


This paper aims to contribute to the use of Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) in project management, by exploring what happens in real-world organizational change projects when stakeholders seem to agree to a set of initial-objectives and final-outcomes of the project. SSM Analyses are then used to explore the misalignments between initial-objectives and final-outcomes along the project life cycle. Initial results suggest that SSM helps to ‘shadow’ these misalignments when structuring an unclear complex situation such as organizational change projects and that the application of SSM facilitates negotiations, generates debate, understanding, and learning. This leads to meaningful collaboration among stakeholders and enables key changes to be introduced reflecting on the potential misalignments. Results also support SSM analysis of changes in role, norms, or value adversely influencing project outcome.


Soft system methodology Stakeholder management Organizational change projects Value management Soft OR 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Manchester UniversityManchesterUK
  2. 2.Faculty of Business and LawManchester Metropolitan UniversityManchesterUK
  3. 3.Facultad de IngenieríaUniversidad de BelgranoBuenos AiresArgentina

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