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Defining Change Management

written by: Misty Faucheux • edited by: Michele McDonough • updated: 3/17/2009

Whenever you go to institute a change in your organization, you need to control this change. But, what exactly is change management? Learn more about the topic of change management methodology in this article.

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    Three Main Components of Change Management

    Change management does pretty much what the term implies. It systematically deals with change so that you can plan for each phase of the new strategy for your company. To be successful in the modern world, you need to learn how to successfully deal with change and help others in your organization deal with change.

    Change management can be defined by three main components: adapting to change, handling the change and effectively putting forth that change. All of these components must be dealt with before any change is instituted. If not, you will not be successful.

    To adapt to the change, you must be flexible and act quickly when you see a problem. This will in turn helps you control the change. Handling change involves planning proactively for each step. You know resistance will exist. If you can figure out when this resistance will initiate and from whom it will come, you can deal with these issues proactively.

    To effectively put forth the change, you need to create a change management plan for each section of the change: before, during and after. To be successful, you should continue with your change management strategy even after the change has been instituted.

    To learn more about how to deal with change management, click here: http://www.brighthubpm.com/change-management/16304-dealing-with-the-issues-of-change-in-project-management/.

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    Another Definition of Change Management

    An all-encompassing definition of change management should include the planning phase of the change, the initiation of the change and the realization of that change. These take place during the active phase of the change.

    Once the change has been put in place, there are two other areas to consider. After the change is instituted, you need to control what you have done so it does not get out of hand and to stop things from backsliding. Finally, you need to make sure that your environment is stable.

    A key aspect of stabilizing your change management strategy is to deal with the human-side of the new direction. Most people who go through a change view it as negative. They or their coworkers may lose their jobs or have responsibilities added to their current position. It is hard for them to accept change. This is why all affected employees must participate in the intended change.

    To learn how to effectively communicate with your employees, go to Communication in Change Management.

    An IT manager should anticipate when resistance from employees can be expected and proactively deal with this resistance. Employees will go through several emotional stages before they fully accept and embrace the plan. You should anticipate their needs during these phases. Helping employees deal with these issues is a major part of how you define change management.

    Change is an adaptive process, especially in today's environment. External issues may force change upon you, or they may be initiated internally so that your company can grow and adjust to an ever-changing industry. Effectively dealing with these issues and controlling what happens throughout the change is at the heart of change management methodology.