What is the correct name for Change Management or is there one? Do we need one? Over many years I have heard many variations – business change, organisational change or business transformation amongst others.
Coupled with these terms are often preconceived ideas. Business change is purely about how the business will need to cope with the forthcoming changes or people change which is only focused on how the people in the organisation will be impacted. Transformational change, usually within a Transformation Programme, is increasingly over used and even less well understood. Very often these transformation programmes are just big or complex programmes and while multiple systems will be integrated with a myriad of legacy and third party systems, the organisation may not necessarily transform.
Many years ago I had to explain what I meant by Change Management to a group of highly experienced technical people. They really knew their technology and how everything fitted together to deliver state of the art solutions. When it came to Change Management their first reaction was that this was about configuration changes and the management of these. they then thought it was broader and covered all aspects of scope change within a project. These bright minds soon appreciated that their revolutionary solutions could only deliver real tangible results if the users were prepared for, educated about and fully bought into what the future could look like. Not a functionality swap but a paradigm shift.
Times have changed and there is a far greater understanding of Change Management and the benefits it can bring to organisations. It is now a recognised discipline with clearly defined elements, tools and methodologies. However, there are still times when I have to re-explain and often it can be easier to but the words people or business in from of Change Management just to emphasise and differentiate what we are doing.