What's Change Management

What's Change Management

What's Change Management: Definition of Change Management

Change occurs at all levels and in all organizations, whether planned or unforeseen. Change is unavoidable; hence many organizations are preparing for it now. Proactive organizations, on the other hand, know and understand that change is unavoidable and necessary to thrive and stay ahead of the competition. As a result, such organizations plan and carry out transformation. Change management involves planning, implementing, and controlling changes to an organization's processes, technology, or structure. Effective change management can help organizations adapt to changes in the market, customer needs, and technology while minimizing disruption and resistance.

Prosci's model of individual change answers the question of what's change management by defining change management as the application of a structured process and set of tools for leading the people side of change to achieve a desired outcome. Change management is a methodical tactic of smoothening the transition or transformation of an organization: strategic aims, processes, and possibly technological advancements. It involves identifying, planning, and implementing necessary changes to reach organizational goals.

John Kotter addresses the question of what's change management by referring to change management as a set of basic tools or structures intended to keep any change effort under control. He adds that the main goal is often to minimize the distractions and impacts of the change itself. Change management includes assessing the impact of changes on employees and stakeholders, developing strategies to manage resistance to change, and ensuring that the organization is prepared for the successful implementation of the new processes or systems. In 1996, a change management research survey undertaken by John Kotter revealed that only 30 % of change programs could succeed.

This article shall unveil the important need to know about change management, detailed current trends to which the change management approach is taking, obstacles, and solutions around the success of change management.

What's Change Management: Change management statistics


Research done by the Standish Group assists in tackling the question of what's change management, as it highlights that only 29% of organizational change initiatives are successful. Additionally, only 30% of organizations have a formal change management process, and only 10% have an effective change management process. These statistics highlight the importance of a straightforward and effective change management process to ensure that change initiatives are successful.

Additionally, a survey conducted by McKinsey & Company found that only one in five change management initiatives are successful, which draws light to the speculation around the question of what's change management. This statistic highlights the importance of a comprehensive and effective change management plan. It also shows that having a clear and consistent approach to managing change is essential for successful change initiatives.

A study undertaken by Gartner in 2020 states that nearly half of all change initiatives fail, and only 34% are successful. Additionally, 81% of projects with effective change management come in on or under budget, compared to only 60% of projects without effective change management. This indicates that quality change management techniques improve outcomes and help projects stay on schedule and below budget. Engaging employees and providing executive sponsorship are essential components of successful change management, as these can help increase employee engagement, productivity, and discretionary effort.

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What's Change Management: The need for Change Management

In today's ever-changing business environment, it is important to be able to adapt and respond quickly to changes to remain competitive and respond to evolving customer needs, market conditions, and technological advancements. Failure to do so can lead to a loss of market share, reduced profitability, and ultimately, business failure. Shedding some light on the need for change management helps untangle the question of what change management is.

Change management provides a structured approach for organizations to manage change effectively. It involves understanding the organization's current state, identifying areas for improvement, developing a change plan, and implementing that plan while minimizing disruption and resistance.

What's Change Management: The benefits of Change Management

Change management is an essential part of any organization's success. Therefore proving how beneficial change management is, aids in responding to the question of what's change management. When done right, change management can bring many benefits to an organization, including increased productivity, improved customer satisfaction, cost savings, and better employee engagement. It also helps them identify potential risks and opportunities that can help them achieve their goals. By understanding the need for change management, organizations can ensure that they are always prepared for whatever challenges they may face in the future. This section will explore the benefits of change management in more detail and discuss how it can help organizations achieve their goals. Effective change management can provide a range of benefits to an organization, including:

Increased efficiency:

  • Change management helps organizations identify improvement areas and implement changes that can increase efficiency and reduce waste.

Improved competitiveness:

  • Change management allows organizations to respond quickly to changes in the market, customer needs, and technology, helping them to stay competitive.

Better customer service:

  • Changes to processes, technology, and structure can improve customer service, leading to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Enhanced employee engagement:

  • Involving employees in the change management process can increase their engagement and motivation, leading to improved performance and productivity.

Reduced risk:

Effective change management can help to identify and mitigate risks associated with change, reducing the likelihood of negative impacts on the organization.

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What's Change Management: The Process of Change Management

To answer the question of what's change management correctly, one has to know the change management process itself. Change management is managing the transition from one state to another to achieve desired results. It involves planning, implementing, and monitoring changes to ensure the desired outcomes are achieved. The change management process involves identifying the need for change, assessing the current situation, developing a plan for change, implementing the plan, and evaluating progress. Organizations can successfully manage changes and achieve their desired goals by understanding and following this process. Here are some of the best practices that can be used to ensure the successful implementation of change initiatives:

Assessing the need for change: The first step is understanding the organization's current state and identifying improvement areas.

Developing a change plan: Once the need for change has been established, a plan should be developed that outlines the objectives, scope, and timeline of the change.

Communicating the change to stakeholders: Effective communication is crucial to ensure stakeholders know the change and its impact on the organization.

Training and support: Employees must be trained and supported to ensure they can adapt to the change and perform their roles effectively.

Monitoring and evaluating the change: The final step is to monitor and evaluate the change over time to ensure it has achieved its objectives and identify areas for further improvement.

The Role of Leadership: Effective change management requires strong leadership, effective communication, and a willingness to be flexible and adapt to changing circumstances. Leaders must be able to communicate the need for change and provide a clear vision of the future state of the organization. They must also be willing to listen to employee feedback and make changes to the change plan as needed.

The question of what change management is best responded to by looking into the current trends in managing change. Change management is a process that organizations undertake to manage and facilitate change within their teams, processes, and structures. There are several current trends in change management that organizations are adopting to improve their change management processes, including:

Agile Change Management: Agile methodology has gained popularity in recent years as a way to manage projects and teams. Agile change management involves a flexible and iterative approach to managing change, which allows organizations to respond quickly to changing circumstances.

Data-Driven Change Management: Data analytics and metrics are being used to measure the impact of change and make informed decisions about change management. This approach uses data to identify potential risks and opportunities and to track progress and success.

Diversity and Inclusive Change Management: Inclusive change management involves involving stakeholders from diverse backgrounds in the change process to ensure that everyone's needs are considered. This approach can lead to more successful change initiatives, fostering stakeholder collaboration and engagement.

Digital Change Management: With the increasing use of technology in the workplace, digital change management is becoming more important. This approach uses digital tools and technologies to facilitate the change process, from communication to project management.

Change Leadership: Change leadership involves developing strong leaders who can drive change initiatives and inspire others to embrace change. Change leadership is a proactive, people-centered approach to change management that views change projects as a chance for organizational development and progress rather than a one-time assignment. It necessitates being imaginative, flexible, and sensitive to changing business requirements and understanding how to overcome typical change complications. This approach focuses on building a culture that is open to change and willing to take risks.

Overall, the current trends in change management focus on creating more flexibility, collaboration, and data-driven decision-making in the change management process.


What's Change Management: Common challenges of Change Management

Most processes come with obstacles along the way. It is important to be aware of these to answer the question of what's change management. Change management is a complex process, and despite efforts to manage change effectively, the success rate is often criticized as being low. Some of the challenges around the success rate of change management include:

1. Resistance to Change

One of the main challenges of change management is resistance to change, which can come from employees, stakeholders, or the organization. This resistance can be difficult to overcome, hindering the success of change initiatives.

2. Lack of Leadership Support

Change management requires strong leadership support, but sometimes leaders may not fully understand or support the change initiative. Without strong leadership, change management efforts may not be successful.

3. Poor Communication

Effective communication is critical to the success of change management. Poor communication can lead to confusion, misinformation, and a lack of understanding of the change initiative. This can make it difficult for employees to adopt new behaviors or processes.

4. Inadequate Planning

Change management requires careful planning and execution. Inadequate planning can lead to delays, cost overruns, and a lack of alignment with the organization's goals.

5. Lack of Employee Involvement

Employee involvement is critical to the success of change management, as employees are the ones who will be directly affected by the change. Employees who are not involved in the change process may feel alienated.

The success rate of change management is often criticized due to the challenges and complexities involved in managing change effectively. To improve the success rate of change management, organizations must address these challenges and focus on developing effective change management strategies that address the needs of all stakeholders' needs. (Further reading)


Strategies to overcome change management obstacles

To ensure that the change management process is successful, it is important to have a clear strategy for overcoming potential obstacles or challenges. Some of the key strategies include:

1. Understanding the organizational culture

It is important to understand the organization's culture to ensure that all stakeholders accept and embrace the changes.


2. Engaging stakeholders

Engaging all stakeholders in the change process is essential to ensure their buy-in and commitment to the change.

3. Communicating the changes

It is essential to communicate the changes effectively to ensure everyone is aware of their role in the transition.

4. Monitoring and evaluating the changes

It is important to monitor and evaluate the changes to ensure they are implemented as planned and achieve the desired outcomes.

5. Having a contingency plan

It is important to have a contingency plan to ensure that any potential risks or challenges are addressed on time.


Change is inevitable, and it can be a daunting prospect. However, understanding the basics of change management can give you the tools to navigate it successfully. Change management is the process of managing change effectively, and it involves several strategies and tools to ensure that the transition is as smooth as possible. With the right approach, you can create a culture of change that is both effective and efficient. This guide to understanding change management has given you the basic knowledge and skills to help you make the most of your organization's changing environment. You now have the confidence to embrace change and the ability to manage it successfully.

Below is a concise video explanation of what change management is:

Tanyaradzwa Shava is a Talent Management and Acquisition Consultant at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd, a business management and human resources consulting firm.

LinkedIn: Tanyaradzwa Shava

Phone: (0242) 481946-9/481950

Mobile: (+263) 713289019

Email: tanyaradzwa@ipcconsultants.com

Main website: www.ipcconsultants.com

Tanyaradzwa Shava
This article was written by Tanyaradzwa a Consultant at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd

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