Often people get confused between project management and change management. They both have a significant role in meeting organizational goals but they are entirely different disciplines. Understanding the differences between project and change management and how they work in harmony to manage projects is crucial to the success of any organization.
What is Project Management?
Project management is the application of skills, knowledge, techniques and tools to fulfill a project’s requirements. In simple words, project management is a process essential to bring a team or organization from Point A to Point B.
To conduct project management, project managers and their teams work in five main project stages:
The stage by stage distribution of a project helps the managers organize the haphazard tasks into a sequence to strategically drive the project forward.
What is Change Management?
While project management implies controlling the processes and activities required for the completion of a project, change management relates to the people or human resources involved in that project.
Successful completion of projects is crucial to the development of any organization and its stakeholders. Therefore project and change management work together to ensure a project’s long-term success.
Difference between Change Management and Project Management in Tabular form
Though change and project management are inseparable, we have tried to enlist a few specific differences among both of these disciplines.
|Differences||Change Management||Project Management|
|Guidelines||No standard guidelines||Well documented guidelines|
|Formal Processes||Less formal processes||More formal process|
|Timelines||No concrete timeline||A specific timeline|
|Focus||Focus on people||Focus on systems and technical processes|
|Controls:||It controls the impact of change occurring as a result of organizational and project development.||It controls the activities of a project that are essential to meet the specific goals and objectives.|
Change management works alongside project management as it supports the human side of the process.
Change management signifies adoption. It revolves around the people aspects of the change with the goal of having a significant number of people who are committed to the change involved. It includes learning new behaviors and implementing them willingly.
Project management signifies installation. It revolves around plans and timelines which aims at moving from a current state to a future state.
Change Managers VS. Project Managers
Change managers play their role in preparing people for accepting change. They focus on understanding the changes that organization undergoes and then play their role in developing awareness and desire for these changes in the people.
Project managers are required to manage the budget, time, quality and scope. Good project managers are expected to make a forward momentum towards achieving the goals. They have to develop mitigation and contingency plans.
Change management is directed towards assuring that the employees in the organization accept, adopt and utilize the prospects of change.
Project Management is directed towards assuring that the method of implementation is designed, developed and executed in an effective way to achieve organization’s goals.
How Success is Analyzed
In change management success is analyzed by measuring the behavior of people in response to the change elements including:
- Speed of adoption by the intended employees
- The utilization of change by the intended employees
- Proficiency of the intended employees
- The measurement of results and outcomes in relation with individuals
In Project Management success is measured by judging the technical or physical side of change in response to the elements including:
- Timely completion
- Completion within budget
- Meets the criteria for all technical requirements
- The results and outcomes are nearly what was expected
Both change management and project management contribute to a successful change in an organization. Though they are different in terms of focus and approach, they both are crucial for moving people and projects from one transition state to the other future state. Thus they both are an indispensable part of an organization’s growth and development.