1.5 What is Change Management?

Change management is the process, techniques and tools to support organisations, leadership teams and employees going through a change transition from the current ‘a’ state to the improved future ‘B’ state. 

Organisational change management has evolved over the last few decades. Change management used to be about communications and training delivered just before a new change was implemented. The soft and fluffy people thingamajig. The project manager perceived change management as a tick box exercise on the project plan, an optional extra and a fragmented activity not directly related to project success or measurable results.

Today, in times of change disruption, change management is seen by leading organisations as critical strategic capability. It will enable an organisation to keep ahead of their competition or potentially even help them to survive. An organisation’s strategic portfolio sets out multiple programmes and projects that need to be implemented to meet changing customer requirements, stay ahead of the competition, utilise new technology, etc. But in order to adapt and reap the benefits of the new technology we need our employees to change and adopt the new way of working. Change management is the enabler for this (Figure 1.5).

Figure 1.5 Change Management Definition

The objective of change management is to minimise organisation disruption (any impact on day-to-day operations and growing change resistance) and maximise organisation benefits (employee adoption and improved operating performance). Change management specifically helps employees to become aware of the change, to understand the business needs, become involved, and develop the new skills and behaviours so they can adopt the new way of working. It also motivates employees to commit to sustaining the change, ensuring the organisation achieves their benefits and return on investment.

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