Three Types of Change Management

“Change management” is a common phrase in business and consulting circles, but it sometimes creates confusion. There are multiple types of change management, and the processes and purposes are distinctly different. Here are three common types:

1. Infrastructure change management. In information technology, change management refers to the process of controlling and documenting changes made to production systems. Every change should be planned, reviewed, tested, approved, executed and validated. This is a standard practice which should be part of everyday operations.

2. Project change management. Within the context of a project (whether a technology project or not), change management refers to the controls around changes in the scope, requirements, schedule and plan of execution. A proper process to manage changes to a project can be as important as the process of managing the project itself. Every change must be thoughtfully reviewed and agreed upon, or the project is at risk of “scope creep” and budget issues.

3. Organizational change management. Possibly the most important and complex of all types, organizational change management refers to the process of guiding a group of people through a significant change in their environment — the organizational structure, the business functions, or even the mission and purpose of the organization itself. This type of change management is less process-driven and more a function of strong leadership. It also requires a flexible approach which can be tailored to the personality types of the people involved.

Originally published in the Nashville Business Journal

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