The Two Types of Change Management

There are lots of articles on Change Management.  Unfortunately, there are really two different types of Change Management, and they are often confused.  Perhaps it might be easier to simply say there is Enterprise Change Management and then there is Process Change Management.

Enterprise Change Management usually takes the form of a methodology or framework that an organization can use in approaching changes.  This approach usually assumes that the organization will go through a whole series of steps or phases that will make the introduction and acceptance of change more palatable to employees.   There are a couple of popular Change Management methodologies that describe the steps in detail and provide tools that can help with each step.  BPTrends Associates builds Change Management right into it's BPM methodology.  Thus, in our first phase of an Business Process Architecture effort, we do things to explain the project and gain acceptance of the value of the project, etc.

The second type of Change Management involves structuring a given process roll-out to assure that the changes will be implemented.  One could simply regard this as a sub step of a larger Change Management effort, but in practice, its a subject that deserves attention as a step in any major process improvement effort.  In this case we are focused on structuring the environment to assure that both managers and employees engaged in rolling out and using the new process will do everything they can to make the new process a success.  This involves things like structuring consequences of managers and employees to assure that they are motivated to want the new process to succeed.  This second type of Change Management is very closely associated with human performance analysis.  If one finds, in analyzing an existing process that human performance is one of the causes of process defects, then one needs to design and implement changes in human performance that will remedy the existing situation.  Sometimes this involves changing employee behavior, with training or incentives, but just as often it involves changing supervisor behavior to assure that those responsible for the process, on a daily basis, are sensitive to the problems and intervein when appropriate to reinforce correct behavior or correct errors.

Smart companies do both.  They plan major change efforts and follow a set of steps to assure that employees understand and support the efforts.  And they structure specific process changes so that managers and employees engaged in the actual implementation of the process are engaged in making it succeed.



  1. Nice perspective Paul,

    In this article I suggested 3 types of change management based on the area we are working on–Part-1.aspx

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