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5 Key Differences Between Change Management and Project Management

written by: Nicky LaMarco • edited by: Jean Scheid • updated: 7/6/2011

While you can implement change management techniques in the midst of managing a project, there are a few key differences, technically, between these two terms. This article outlines 5 key differences between change management and project management.

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    glasses There are several differences between both change management and also project management but what are the five key differences that occur between these two areas? This has become a common question lately with the amount of changes going on throughout the online world of websites.

    Change Management happens to be a more structured approach to the management of change within individuals, organizations, teams and societies. It enables transition from one stage to another.

    Project Management happens to be the organization and management of resources designed to meet and complete projects by the defined time line, budget, quality standards and scope. In all it’s the way projects get done; with a little guidance along the way.

    When you are running a project you’ll quickly learn that these two always run side-by-side even if you don’t want them to. Your change management is the vision while the project management is the process to get that vision to reality. There is no possible way you can avoid having just one as you need to have both to have a final project.

    The various key differences between change management and project management is as follows.

    With change management you are developing the ideas behind the changes that you’d like to implement but with project management you are implementing these ideas to be realistic things.

    During the project management, you have a timeline that you must stick to but during change management you are just developing the ideas; meaning you don’t need a timeline as the ideas are still being put together for one big idea.

    Change management requires a lot of structure before you can place it into the project management stage. Without starting with a good structure of ideas there is no way the idea will reach the project management stage. Project management already has the ideas implemented and the exact timeline and budget of things. There isn’t much thought of where you are going within this stage as there is already a timeline and milestones developed, leaving no space to adjust the structure of the project in its entirety.

    Five Key Differences between Change and Project Management

    1. Change management is only an idea, unlike project management which is the development of the idea.
    2. Project management has a timeline while change management does not.
    3. Change management needs many ideas to make one vision while project management just needs one vision to develop from.
    4. Change management is the structuring of the vision while project management is the stage where things are put into milestones for final reality.
    5. Project management already has a defined goal while change management can be adjusted at any second.

    There is much difference to both change management and project management yet these two are still very similar. Don’t attempt to make a vision a reality without having the proper methods of change management and project management as you will not get very far in the process.

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