In this change management FAQ, we’ll explore top questions around change management.
For instance, we’ll explore:
- What change management is
- Why it is necessary
- Who can become a change manager … and how
- Whether change management is necessary
Let’s get started.
Change Management FAQ: Top Questions and Answers
We’ll start with the most basic question of all…
What Is Change Management?
Change management is a business discipline that manages organizational change.
Managing business change is vital, because:
- Without management, change projects are much less likely to succeed
- Management boosts project outcomes, cuts costs, and increases efficiency
- Change leadership and management create a change management strategy and provide project direction, ensuring that changes produce real returns
There are plenty of other reasons to manage organizational changes, but these are some of the top benefits.
What Are the Different Types of Organizational Change?
Different people have different models that map out the types of organizational change.
Here are a few broad categories of change:
- People – Changes that impact people can include changes to company culture, job duties, employee training programs, customer experience enhancements, and so on.
- Processes – Internal processes can also be changed, ranging from supply chain logistics to accounting processes.
- Structure – A company that makes changes to its hierarchy, management structure, and so forth, is making structural changes.
- Technology – Digital adoption, software adoption, and other technology adoption efforts must be managed.
Depending on the nature of the business change, different scales and approaches to change will be required.
What Does a Change Manager Do?
Change managers organize, strategize, monitor, and oversee a change project.
Their duties vary from company to company and can include:
- Development of communication strategies
- Assessment of risk, change readiness, digital readiness, and change impacts
- Designing and developing project roadmaps
- Managing, monitoring, and analyzing the change program
- Coordinating various teams and stakeholders
Change managers will often work with people across an organization, including business leaders, ground-level employees, customers, and everyone in between.
What Is Change Leadership?
Change managers manage change, while change leaders propel a change forward.
The leader may be a business leader or executive. Or it may be the same person as the change manager.
In any case, the change leader’s job is to:
- Embrace and embody change before anyone else
- Communicate the vision and story for change
- Interact with stakeholders and be the figurehead for a change project
The change leader, in short, is the spearhead of the movement, while the manager organizes and operates it.
What Are Change Management Frameworks?
Change models, or change management frameworks, are maps that describe organizational change.
These models describe a change project life cycle from beginning to end.
They are used by change managers to:
- Better understand group psychology and dynamics
- Map out project roadmaps, set goals, and create milestones
- Develop strategies that meet the needs of organizations and employees alike
There are different change frameworks in use today, such as the ADKAR model and John Kotter’s 8-Step Change Model.
Each model takes a slightly different approach – some are more theoretical and some are more practical – but all of them can help change managers gain insight into their change project.
How Does One Become a Change Management Professional?
Change practitioners are dedicated professionals who have experience implementing organizational change projects.
In many cases, they have educational degrees or certificates in organizational change or change management.
If someone is interested in change management, they should:
- Study change management formally, at a university or at an institution devoted to change management
- Consider obtaining certification in change management
- Get an applicable degree, such as in organizational change management, human resources, or business
- Attempt to obtain real-world experience at their current job – or find a position that could offer them that experience
Anyone interested in becoming a change manager at the enterprise level should pursue it aggressively.
The job is in-demand, highly specialized, and it requires real-life track records.
Are Change Management Certifications Worthwhile?
Many change management positions require change management certifications.
Because most of them are quite affordable, they are well worth the investment.
There are a few ways to obtain certification:
- At a university
- At a change management organization, such as Prosci
- Through associations, such as ACMP
Each change management certification emphasizes different approaches, tools, and techniques.
Before obtaining a certification, it is worth considering the content of the course, as well as the type of certification required by one’s company or target job.
What Is the ROI of Change Management?
The ROI of change management varies depending on many factors, such as:
- The nature of the change
- The organization itself
- The amount invested in the change project
ROI can come in many forms, such as:
- Improved business functions, processes, costs, and revenues
- Increased employee performance, engagement, output, and satisfaction
- Happier, more loyal customers
To name a few.
At the end of the day, the biggest determiner of change management ROI is sophistication.
The more sophisticated and structured a change management approach, the higher the ROI.