Change management is a systematic approach to dealing with the transition or transformation of an organization’s goals, processes or technologies. The purpose of change management is to implement strategies for effecting change, controlling change and helping people to adapt to change.
To be effective, the change management strategy must take into consideration how an adjustment or replacement will impact processes, systems and employees within the organization. There must be a process for planning and testing change, communicating change, scheduling and implementing change, documenting change and evaluating its effects. Documentation is a critical component of change management not only to maintain an audit trail should a rollback become necessary, but also to ensure compliance with internal and external controls, including regulatory compliance.
Types of organizational change
Change management can be used to manage many types of organizational change. The three most common types are the following:
- Developmental change. Any organizational change that improves on previously established processes and procedures.
- Transitional change. Change that moves an organization away from its current state to a new state to solve a problem, such as implementing a merger and acquisition or automating a task or process.
- Transformational change. Change that radically and fundamentally alters the culture and operation of an organization. In transformational change, the end result might not be known. For example, a company may pursue entirely different products or markets.