Change Management: Objectives, Components and Models

change management

What is change management? 

Change management is a collective term used to describe the different approaches that are adopted in order to prepare, help and support individual employees, teams, departments and organizations to make an organizational change.

As far as IT is concerned, change management involves the implementation of practices that can help minimize temporary disruption of IT services when any changes are made to critical systems and services.     

What are the objectives of change management?

The major objective of change management is to reduce incidents and comply with regulatory standards. Change management practices are designed to ensure the prompt and efficient handling of any changes being made to the IT infrastructure.  

Regardless of whether you are resolving any problems in the code, managing existing services or rolling out new ones, change management helps minimize risk, avoid bottlenecks, provide context, maintain transparency and break down silos. 

Why is change management important?  

According to a Forbes article, change management is the key to guiding businesses towards the “new normal” in 2021. Change management is important for a host of reasons. It helps organizations:

  • Stay abreast of new technological advancements and market evolution 

  • Engage individual employees with the change plan, thus laying the groundwork for later success

  • Overcome resistance to radical change initiatives 

  • Improve overall performance and productivity and drive innovation 

  • Reduce waste and consequently reduce costs 

How does change management work?

Change management involves the application of a set of tools and a structured process to implement a change in order to achieve the desired outcome. A Harvard Business Review research indicates that a persistent set of small, orchestrated changes is the best approach to drive large and lasting change at an organization.

However, when it comes to change management, there is no “one size fits all.” There is no single change management model or process that one can follow in all situations. However, we will be discussing some basic types and essential principles that will apply to nearly all change management activities. 

What are the three levels of change management?

Change management occurs on three different levels, as explained below: 

1. Individual change: As the name suggests, individual change management focuses on understanding how individual employees will experience change and what they will need to successfully adapt to the change. Individual change management also involves the knowledge of how an organization can help its employees make the transition. It involves the use of disciplines like neuroscience and psychology to better understand human reactions to change. 

2. Organizational change: Organizational change management provides us with the steps and actions to take at the project or initiative level to support the hundreds or thousands of individuals who are impacted by a project. Organizational change is further segregated into three categories:

  • Developmental change: Developmental change is geared towards improving existing processes, conditions, methods, skills or performance standards. Examples include work process improvements, team development efforts, interpersonal communication training, and increasing quality or sales. 

  • Transitional change: Transitional change is usually implemented in order to replace an existing process with a new one. Some common examples of transitional change include mergers and acquisitions and corporate restructures. 
  • Transformational change: Transformational change refers to a radical change that creates a need for changes in the behaviors or adoption of new behaviors for the organizational employees. It involves major cultural or strategic changes, implementing large-scale operational changes, adoption of radically different technologies and more. 

3. Enterprise change: The final leg of change management, enterprise change is referred to as the systematic deployment of change management processes, tools and skills across the organization. Enterprise change management enables organizations to adapt quickly to market changes and continue to improve into a better version. The entire organization collectively embraces the strategic initiatives being taken to adopt new technologies and stand out from the competition. 

What are the 7 R’s of change management?

The 7 R’s framework of change management represents the seven most important points to be considered while implementing the change management process. Here are seven questions that you must ask before undertaking the change management process:

  • Raised — Who RAISED the change request? 
  • Reason — What is the REASON behind the change? 
  • Return — What RETURN is required from the change? 
  • Risks — What RISKS are involved in the change? 
  • Responsible — Who is RESPONSIBLE for creating, testing and implementing the change? 
  • Resource — What RESOURCES are required to deliver the change? 
  • Relationship — What is the RELATIONSHIP between the suggested change and other changes? 

What are the five steps of change management? 

There are five steps to the change management process, also known as the change management life cycle: 

  • Identification – Identify and be aware that a change is needed. Proceed by making a change request. 

  • Analysis – Evaluate and approve the change request. Perform risk assessment, determine technical feasibility, identify desired outcomes, and analyze benefits and associated costs. 

  • Planning – Analyze the impact of the change request, build an implementation plan for the change and design how it will work. 

  • Implementation – Put your plan into action and communicate the change. 

  • Review – Assess the implementation, report, review and so on. 

What is change management methodology?

Once you have decided to implement a change, you must determine the best steps you need to take in order to successfully execute the change. And this is where change management methodology comes into the picture. The change management methodologies offer a set of specific guidelines that organizations must follow to execute the planning and implementation of the change in the most efficient manner. 

What are the main change management models?

In this section, we’ll provide you with an understanding of what the key change management methodologies or models look like: 

Kotter’s 8-Step Change Model

Developed by Harvard professor and change management expert John Kotter, the Kotter 8-step change model focuses primarily on the people involved in large-scale organization changes and the psychological impact on them. The eight steps are: 

  • Create a sense of urgency to motivate people 

  • Build a strong coalition 

  • Define your strategic vision for what you want to accomplish 

  • Get everyone on board and make sure they know their role 

  • Identify and remove roadblocks 

  • Create short-term goals  

  • Sustain the momentum 

  • Institute the changes  

McKinsey 7S Model

Developed by Thomas J. Peters and Robert H. Waterman at the McKinsey consulting firm in the 1970s, this model focuses on evaluating how the different parts of an organization work together. This model comprises seven fundamental elements that organizations must be aware of when implementing change: 

  • Change strategy  

  • Structure of the organization  

  • Business systems and processes  

  • Shared values and culture 

  • Style or manner in which the change is implemented  

  • Staff involved 

  • Skills your employees have 


Developed by the founder of Prosci, Jeff Hiatt, the ADKAR model provides five key goals to base your change management process on. These include: 

  • Awareness – Make sure that everyone in your organization understands the need for change 

  • Desire – Make sure that everyone involved wants the change 

  • Knowledge – Provide the information on how to accomplish the change 

  • Ability – Make sure all employees have the skills and training to incorporate the change on a regular basis  

  • Reinforcement – Make sure to keep the change implemented and reinforced later as well 

Lewin’s Change Model

One of the most popular and widely accepted change management models, Lewin’s Change Management Model enables organizations to better understand structured and organizational change. Developed by Kurt Lewin in the 1950s, this model categorizes the change process into three distinct steps: 

  • Unfreeze – The preparation stage that aims to overcome employee resistance to the change 

  • Change – The stage at which the change is implemented. 

  • Refreeze – The stage at which the change has been accepted and the employees return to their routine. 

IT Infrastructure Library

The ITIL or Information Technology Infrastructure Library offers a set of best practices that organizations must follow in order to streamline the process of change management and make it easier for the IT team to prioritize and implement changes efficiently without causing any adverse impact on agreed-upon service levels. 

Change management support with Kaseya

Kaseya provides the logic and tools necessary to guide a company into ITIL – the most widely used standard for the efficient operation of an IT organization. Contact us to learn more. 

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