Change management: What you need to know
Change isn’t always easy…
However, change is an extremely important part of business. Now, more than ever. Whether it’s something large scale like facilitating a merger, or a smaller scale change such as introducing a new software system – managing it effectively is the only way to ensure a smooth transition.
Here’s a quick rundown of what change management means, and how companies may use it:
What is change management?
Change management (CM) is a term used to describe the systematic approach and management of organisational change.
The change could be driven by anything from the evolution of technology and reviews of internal processes, to crisis response, mergers, and customer demand.
Whilst the overarching meaning of change management remains the same in all situations, the way the term is used may differ depending on the context it’s used in. For example:
In project management – change management usually refers to the introduction and approval of changes to the scope of a project.
In IT and infrastructure – change management usually refers to the process of testing and installing a new piece of equipment or software system.
Why is change management important?
Managing change effectively and efficiently is important for a number of reasons.
Not only does it ensure employees and employers are equipped to adopt change in their daily roles, it also minimises risk and reduces disruption – both for staff and customers.
Following change management processes is also key to keeping positive morale among employees, making sure they’re open to change, know what it involves, and are given full transparency on the situation.
Change management levels
Change management can be broken down into three key levels:
1. Individual change management
Individual change management is the first step to ensuring a positive transition. It focuses on communicating a vision that influences behaviour. Ask yourself:
What are the core messages that people want to hear? And what actionable steps can be taken to achieve the change?
2. Organisational change management
Organisational change management focuses on the implementation of steps on a project level, figuring out which groups of people will be responsible for the change, and setting clear objectives – involving staff every step of the way. Ask yourself:
What is the ultimate goal? And what kind of changes need to be made?
3. Enterprise change management
Enterprise change management is all about embedding change into your core values. Once individual and organisational change has been managed effectively, the way your business works will have drastically improved. These strategic initiatives should be reflected in your company culture and consistently applied to optimise performance – whilst responding quickly to market changes. Ask yourself:
How can the change be incorporated into your company values?
7 Rs of change management
Change and potential risks go hand-in-hand, making a thorough and effective process of managing change essential to ensuring a smooth transition.
Here are seven questions to ask before implementing change:
- Who Raised the change?
- What’s the Reason for the change?
- What Return is required from the change?
- What are the Risks involved in the change?
- What Resources are required to deliver the change?
- Who is Responsible for the ‘build, test, and implement’ portion of the change?
- What is the Relationship between this change and other changes?
Answering these questions before implementing change enables an organisation to:
- Measure risk more effectively
- Reduce disruption to their customers’ experience
- Assess and improve their change management processes
Change management certifications
There are a number of change management certifications that’ll teach you vital change management techniques – whether you’re working in project management, your role involves regularly updating software or systems, or you’re in a leadership position.
Here are a few of the different ways you can study:
Take a CPD change management course. Offered at varying levels and great for aiding your professional development, boosting your CV, and expanding your knowledge of change management.
Perfect for: People who are brand new to change management, or existing project managers/change managers who are looking to work on their CPD.
Will I get certified? No.
Take a professional Change Management® course. Offered at Foundation and Practitioner level, this professional qualification is globally recognised and awarded by APMG (The Association for Project Managers Group)
Perfect for: Anyone looking to start or develop a career in change management. You don’t need any previous qualifications or experience to start studying at foundation level.
Will I get certified? Yes.
Get PRINCE2® certified. PRINCE2® principles are a core part of project management – and they include adapting to change and managing risks within projects. This makes it a good area of study if you’re looking to put change management into practice.
Perfect for: Aspiring project managers/change managers. If starting at foundation level, there usually aren’t any prerequisites to get started.
Will I get certified? Yes.
Why study change management?
Change is crucial. No matter what industry you work in.
And with changes to business structures an extremely common occurrence this year – it’s more important than ever to be able to manage it effectively.
Getting qualified could help you:
- Gain the skills you need to succeed in roles in change management, leadership, project management, IT, and more
- Prove your change management abilities to prospective employers, and stand out from the crowd with a formal certification
- Learn how to manage change within your organisation, making you more successful at your job
- Demonstrate your adaptability when applying for new jobs with which involve the use of different processes and systems
- Progress in your career and qualify for change management specific roles
Ready to start studying? View all change management courses now.