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Change Management Models: A Comparative Analysis and Concerns

Change Management Models: A Comparative Analysis and Concerns

CHANGE is inevitable, whether it is personal or professional. Also, change is necessary in order to grow, especially in your professional career. Maintaining the same position ten to fifteen years later usuallymeans that change has been limited. However, we as individuals and organizations are creatures of habit, so change is not always easy. Professional changes are even trickier to deal with as a project manager or organization leader. In these positions, you are responsible for helping your team members and employees to reach their full potential and to produce great work. This goal is tricky because of the multiple personalities involved, but changemanagement may be a useful mechanism in this circumstance.

A proactive organization and project management team customarily has a preset change management plan for project or organization structure, business systems/processes, or employee role change requirements. Change management consists of three layers: organizations, people, and projects. To fully understand the various change models, we must first understand why they are needed and what change management means at its core.

Change management is “the application of a structured process

and set of tools for leading the people side of change to achieve a desired business outcome; it is both a process and a competency” (Creasy, 2018). This situation requires an organization, project team, or individual to notice a need for change. Furthermore, it seeks to evolve from their current state to implement change/s to reach a desired state. Calling it a process means that once it is implemented, it can be used repeatedly, but calling it a competency means that it should generate an effective outcome for the majority of the time.

Before a project team or organization can construct a viable change management plan, they should understand the available change models to find which is most effective for their project or organization. There are many recognized models available; in this article, we will focus on some of the more popular and theoretically sound models.


As mentioned earlier, change management (CM) is evolving from a current state to a desired state. Before executing change, a series of phases need consideration. Figure 1 shows a general change management process from a project management perspective. In the project planning cycle, the project manager has a process and change management model in place that is specific to their management style.

The first phase involves identifying the need for a change. This means that either something has come up in the project that the team or manager would like to change or a different outcome arises than previously discussed. When this situation happens, the activities that take place are deciding the current, the future, and the transition state. A basic question is how it will affect the scope of the project and if the scope needs to be altered.

In the second phase, the team or manager determines the change details. It is a process in the sense of how the team conducts certain tasks and activities will be changed. A question arises on whether there is a role change where a team member(s) will take on a new role or responsibility. On the other hand, is it an overall change to be based on client needs? Cost and risk analyses are performed in this phase to consider the feasibility of change based on time and financial resources.

The next phase is when CM models roles begin. This plays a large role in how the change will be implemented. Stakeholders’ needs and interests

require assessment, with commensurate communication to them, for effective change to progress. Whether the change is minor or major, the project manager will experience some resistance to the proposed changes from both team members and stakeholders. This is why the selected change management model is such a crucial part of the CM process; each model has methods in place to help curb resistance. This is also where the action, communication, and resistance plan for the CM process need to be created and tailored to the different stakeholder groups.

Fourthly, there is the implementation stage. The transition state occurs and the plans are now put into motion, while a CM process has actually been formed. Lastly, the monitoring phase controls the changes and ensures that they are on track to get to the desired state. Any errors are caught and lessons are learned for future references to update the CM process, which helps to ensure success future CM process use.

Now that we understand some of the generic CM process stages in a project environment, we will discuss in detail some of the models that are most commonly used. This comparative discussion includes their differences and similarities. Then, a recommendation that is based on

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