A lot of people believe that project management and change management are the same discipline; they are not. While there are some similarities between both roles, and they are two areas that should work side-by-side, there are also some distinct differences, which are important to acknowledge. With that being said, in this blog post, we are going to take a look at the differences between change management and project management training, characteristics, roles, and more.
Both roles involve the use of processes, people, tools, and methodology. In regards to project management, these are used for the planning, initiating, executing, monitoring, and closing of activities, which are design to meet project goals. Project goals should also then help to achieve the strategic objectives of a business overall. In regards to change management, tools, processes, and people are used so that changes can be managed effectively. These changes not only arise as a result of project initiatives; they can come from any factor that may affect the company in question.
So, let’s take a look at the characteristics of both roles in further detail, enabling you to see the differences between the two job titles. Mostly, project management involves implementing a service or a product. Project management training courses will focus heavily on methodology, as this is a job role that is strategy-heavy, and it is also a discipline that is well documented too. A project has a start and end date, and within this period there are milestones, tasks, and final deliverables that need to be reached. Also, requirements, goals, and formally identified processes need to be agreed to before the project commences. Change management does not have a formalised set of processes and guidelines, as is the case for project management. Although, this is an area that is becoming more documented. There are also no milestones, formal tasks, start dates, or end dates. This is because the processes can change. The only thing that is managed is the changes and the impact they will have. Strategies are involved to deal with this, whereas project managers look at strategies to ensure that the project is delivered to the desired objectives.
Change managers and project managers need to work together to ensure success. Change managers should be an integral part of a project team, and it is up to the project manager to get the most out of them. A smooth transition in regards to processes and acceptance levels can be achieved, and stress and anxiety can be minimised, when a change manager ensures that the impact of the project to those within an organisation is addressed. This is a holistic approach to strategy, and it has proven to be very effective.
All in all, hopefully, you now have a better understanding of the differences between change managers and project managers. While they have distinct roles, they also need to work together to ensure the success of a project. The project manager will focus on the overall project objectives, making certain of stakeholder value, while the change manager can ensure that the introduction of the service or product that is going to be implemented is as easy and smooth as possible.