What is the difference between change management and change control?
A not so unusual question asked during many of our project and programme management training courses. There may be a body somewhere who has definitively reached a consensus on the differences, though in case there is no general consensus in this article we will provide a quick explanation to reduce some of the confusion that may already exist for those embarking on a role as a change, project or programme manager. Our trainers have used the following explanation for many years and our audiences seem to be pretty satisfied so perhaps we have a consensus by default.
Change management is a broad topic covering change at the individual, team, and organization levels. Change management is focused on changing behaviours and practices from ‘old ways of working to new ways of working’. This could be changing the way people work but also processes and technology to achieve a desired result. In fact the Wiki description for change management is: ‘an approach shifting/transitioning individuals, teams and organizations from a current state to a desired future state’. This definition is similar in context to definitions that tend to appear in many broad based change management text. It is also on which our accredited APMG change management training and certification is based on.