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What is Change Management?

Change management refers to a wide range of processes and professional specialities that all aim at successfully introducing change. Today’s businesses face more demanding shareholders, difficult markets and discerning customers. With an increasing global competition, businesses need to deliver higher levels of quality and service at competitive prices. To achieve these aims businesses often need to restructure by eliminating unproductive work habits, by redefining roles and by integrating new technology.

Change management involves the following tasks:

  • Restructuring and organisational development
  • Managing and measuring intellectual and human capital
  • Leadership development
  • Performance management and outsourcing

Change management is not always only about subjective outcomes, the results of the process can be measured in terms of customer satisfaction, time to market and speed of delivery. Tools that are used by change management practitioners are lean manufacturing, 360° feedback, executive coaches, CRM, just-in-time supply; manufacturing processes, such as kanban and kaizen and total quality management or enterprise applications, such as SAP. To make sure that a major programme of change is successful it needs to be carefully planned. The ramifications of change have to be considered, a development plan for re-education and information has to be set up. Finally it is important to monitor the ongoing progress. In IT, change management involves standardising methods and procedures so that any changes to the IT infrastructure are carried out promptly and efficiently, in order to minimise the number and impacts of related incidents on the service.

There are a number of online sites that advertise change management jobs, including changejobs, which advertises jobs such as business analysts, consultants, project managers and programme directors across both business change management and IT. Companies such as Ashridge offer consultation on change and cover aspects of change management as a part of their MBA course.