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The importance of change management

By Simon Buehring on 12 Jul 2019

The importance of change management

Change management plays an increasingly important role in modern organisations. Change management focuses on the ‘people side’ of change, whereas project management focuses on delivering the ‘product side’ of things.

Project management delivers technologies and systems into organisations. Change management ensures these technologies are used by the people working within them.

Change management is becoming an increasingly important role within organisations and change management training is a popular training ground for a successful change management career.

8 reasons why change management is important

Change management is important for several reasons:

1. External factors

External factors play a big role in organisational change. Globalisation and the rapid developments in new digital solutions are forcing organisations to respond. Ignoring such external factors is likely to jeopardise your organisation’s success.

Nokia was once the biggest mobile phone company in the world, but it almost went out of business. That’s because it didn’t keep up with changes in mobile technologies. As a result, Nokia’s products didn’t appeal to consumers and its market share rapidly declined.

2. Making ideas succeed

Many organisations use change management methodologies to enable ideas to succeed. Working alongside project managers who deliver new capabilities into an organisation, change managers and change agents help ensure staff are able to fully utilise the new capabilities.

3. Enabling cross-functional changes

Almost every functional unit within a modern organisation relies on change management to enable it to:

  • Align the change plan to the business’s overall strategy;
  • Improve internal and external services and requests;
  • Track and resolve issues.

4. Engaging people with the change process

A key part of managing change in an organisation is to engage those people affected by a change initiative. Staff will be involved in the change process eventually, therefore communicating and engaging with staff about a change plan early helps lay the groundwork for its later success.

5. Preparing for organisational transition

Change managers are often appointed to make organisational change go smoothly. They use change management models to make changes such as:

  • Restructuring job roles;
  • Restructuring business processes;
  • Implementing new technologies.

6. Decreasing resistance to a change initiative

Resistance is inevitable in any change initiative because people often find it unsettling being asked to work in new and different ways. So, change managers can often expect a denial reaction from staff.

It takes time to overcome those reactions. When change managers are transparent from day one, the less resistance they are likely to face.

7. Improving performance and productivity

When an organisation adapts improved ways of working, it tends to increase productivity. At the same time, it encourages innovation.

As a result, it guarantees improved performance and places an organisation in a healthier environment better able to succeed.

8. Reducing costs

When positive change is applied correctly, it helps to reduce waste and therefore reduce costs. Effective change management helps an organisation make smart choices. It increases productivity, decreases risks, and helps to improve the profitability of an organisation.

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