What is Change Management?

Change Management is the discipline that guides how we prepare, equip and support individuals to successfully adopt change in order to drive organizational success and outcomes.

Change Management is complementary to Project management


While all changes are unique and all individuals are unique, decades of research show there are actions we can take to influence people in their individual transitions. Change Management provides a structured approach for supporting the individuals and teams in your organization to move from their own current states to their own future desired states by minimizing the negative impacts of transition phase.

When an organization introduces a change through a project or initiative, that change needs to be effectively managed on both the technical side and the people side.

A technical side focus ensures that the change is developed, designed and delivered effectively. The discipline of project management provides the structure, processes and tools to make this happen.

A people side focus ensures that the change is embraced, adopted and utilized by the employees who have to do their jobs differently as a result of the project. The discipline of Change Management provides the structure, processes and too­­ls to make this happen.

Project management and Change Management both aim to increase the likelihood that projects or initiatives deliver the intended results and outcomes. Although each discipline can function independently, the most effective approach is to integrate Change Management and project management to create a unified approach to implement change on both fronts.


Change happens at an individual level


After years of studying how individuals experience change, Prosci developed the ADKAR® Model for individual change, which is the most relevant methodological tool available in the market to assist individuals throughout the transition process, and one of the most widely used change models in the world. The goal of the method is that people pass through every step of ADKAR® at the individual level to makes change “stick” in someone’s work. It can be sequenced into 5 parts :

Raising awareness (A) of the need to change and awakening the desire (D) of employees and managers to participate in the change – best achieved by promoting one-on-one assessments of “what’s in there” for each of them – are the first two building blocks of the transition at the individual level. They roughly correspond to the first phase of the process. Providing knowledge (K) on how to change and developing the abilities (A) of the staff to implement the change in their own eco-system of clients and collaborators ensures a smooth transition and on-time delivery (second and third stages). Exiting the formal process, reinforcement (R) activities such as personal recognition, gathering feedback and implementing corrective actions help sustain the change in the long run.

Failure to assist each person throughout his/her individual transformation means that, at the end of the journey, there will be no critical mass.


Roles in Change Management

While change happens at the individual level, it is often impossible for a project team to manage change on a person-by-person basis. This is why it is important to create an ecosystem composed of different roles / stakeholders that will allow all individuals to go through their ADKAR® .


Learn more about WHY Change Management is so important

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