Change Management Series

Change Management - What?

Change Management Theory

There are whole libraries dedicated to the theory of change management, or, at least, it feels that way. Broadly, the topics covered in change management theory are:-

  • Motivations and how they are affected by change.
  • Emotional reactions to change.
  • The performance impact from learning something new. The learning dip.
  • Fear of change.
  • Team dynamics and how they are affected by change.
  • The importance of leadership and good sponsorship.
  • Approaches to understanding and driving organisational change, with cultural change as an important subset. See below for a few of these.
  • Learning theory.
  • Stakeholder identification and engagement.
  • Change Impact analysis.
  • Assessing barriers to change.
  • Communications theory.
  • How to ensure that changes stay in place and people don’t lapse back to their old ways..
  • The causes of resistance and how to deal with it.
  • Measuring the effectiveness of change management.

All this and more is covered in the standard Project Laneways accredited change management foundation and practitioner courses. Some of the above are not covered in the standard exam syllabus and, so will not be covered by other companies offering the same exam.

The Rapid Agile Change Managament (RACM) approach allows all these theories too be used whenever it seems sensible. While RACM does provide tools for identifying stakeholders, impact analysis, analysing the readiness for change and measuring the effectiveness of change management, it is not an extensive survey of all of these theories.

Some Change Management Approaches

There are many change management approaches plugged all over the place. Some are more popular than others. In the author’s opinion, none are perfect, despite what the consultants will tell you. They are all weak in one area or another. A good change manager will borrow from many approaches and sprinkle with common sense and pragmatism. The RACM approach is designed to enable this.

The following list of approaches is not intended to be an exhaustive list but it does cover some of the more well known approaches.

All these approaches, and more, are covered in the standard Project Laneways accredited change management foundation and practitioner courses. Some of this goes beyond the standard syllabus offered by other companies.

  • Lewin’s  Three Step Approach
  • Kotter’s Eight Step Approach
  • The Beckhard and Harris Change Formula
  • William Bridges – Managing the Transition
  • The McKinsey 7-S Model

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