Well, why not? After many years of struggling to become a recognized profession, change management is now clearly recognized and accepted as an important element of any major change initiative. We who are in this profession should be proud. So why would I raise the question of what we could call it now that IT is recognized? There are three reasons.
- Too many people still see it as that ‘soft and fluffy HR stuff’ and, though they will make a place for it on the project team, they really do not value it or do more than pay lip service to the need for it.
- For many leaders and change agents, the phrase “change management” sets their teeth on edge because of their negative past experience with its application.
- The IT people use this phrase, change management, for the process they have of tracking versions of the software…a whole different and unrelated meaning that causes confusion.
If you are running into resistance to the title, change management, for any of these reasons, do not hesitate to change what you call what we do. We don’t care what we call ‘it’ as long as ‘it’ is what we do…the application of the sound change management principles in a structured model using the appropriate tools.
What should we call it? Consider what we are really doing. We are reducing the risk that the change will not be successful:; increasing the probability that the project will achieve its goals and that there will be a positive return on the investment being made in the change. In other words, change management is a form of risk mitigation. Consider calling it that.