IT Project Management vs. IT Change Management

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Project Management vs. Change Management

What are the differences, and how do they play a role in your organization’s ITSM and ITIL processes?  

Project Management (PM) and Change Management (CM) are two prevalent software solutions in most Service Desk software suits. Additionally, they can be very similar in function, so understanding the difference between the two can be challenging. Although they involve people and processes within an organization’s ITSM and ITIL processes, they have a few key differences. 


Understanding what those differences are and how PM and CM work together to manage, monitor, and optimize projects and changes is critical for an organization’s success. 


Let’s dive into each one of these individually.


What is Project Management?


For most people, the term Project Management is used often enough in business that most understand what it entails. However, there are instances when a project goes from routine and easy to overwhelming and demanding. This change often occurs when complexities arise, like sizeable multi-step tasks that need to be completed in order to move on to the next step or collaboration with other team members to complete a critical phase of the project. This causes the project to quickly become complicated to follow or manage. 


At its core, Project Management is the planning, executing, monitoring, and completing large internal jobs. These jobs or projects are driven to completion by Project Managers who successfully guide project participants to apply their skills, knowledge, tools, and experience to complete the job. Simply stated, Project Management is the process of completing a project by starting at point A and arriving at point B. 


What is Change Management?


Whereas Project Management focuses on the tasks and activities needed to complete a job, Change Management focuses on the people and how they are affected by changes made within the organization. 


These changes usually occur as projects are completed, which is why these two topics are so closely related. Project Management and Change Management processes work hand and hand to ensure that when a project is completed that everyone affected is prepared, trained, and aware of the change, thus mitigating any potential issues that might arise. These are the core Change Management principles.  


Major organizational changes typically lead to uncertainty, fear, anxiety, confusion, resistance, and rebellion. Often end-users or employees do not fully understand or appreciate the need for a change or how to adapt to new processes on their own. An effective Change Management plan is the solution to this problem. It helps organizations plan, manage, and reinforce changes to get out in front of potential issues and fix them before they arise. 


So, think of Change Management as the cheerleader for a project. When used correctly, Change Management can enable organizational change by delivering messaging around a project, helping end-users understand the need for the change, explaining how to resolve any potential issues that may arise after the change has happened, and expressing to end-users that there are people who will be there to support them if needed. This will allow changes to be rolled out in an effective and efficient manner. 


Change Management complements Project Management by supporting the human element. 


Project Management and Change Management Compared

Project Management

  • Core focus is on one large project or job. 
  • Usually, one Project Manager driving the project to completion.
  • Often requires collaboration and assistance from several team members. 
  • Well-defined processes, guidelines, and standards. 
  • Specific starting and ending date. 
  • Focus on completing tasks and subtasks, which drive the overall project to completion. 
  • Manages daily activities of team members to meet specific deadlines and requirements. 
  • Finished once all tasks and subtasks have been completed and the Project Manager confirms that the project is done.


Change Management

  • Core focus is on people affected by project completion. 
  • No standard guidelines or formal processes. 
  • No concrete deadlines or timelines. 
  • Manages the organizational impact of change from project development. 
  • Finished, once everyone in the organization has adapted to the change, and the change is reinforced within the organization.


Using SeamlessDesk to manage your Projects and Changes


SeamlessDesk allows IT and DevOps teams to manage and track change throughout a project’s lifecycle. Project Management and Change Management allow for planning and standardized strategic, tactical, or operational projects and changes within an organization. With SeamlessDesk’s Project Management and Change Management, teams can complete complex jobs, control risk, and minimize disruption to associated IT services and organizational operations. Additionally, SeamlessDesk’s Change Management will allow senior team members to assess and ultimately approve changes before they are rolled out.

As the old saying goes, “progress is impossible without change.” By using the right tools and the right strategies, your projects and changes can be successful. 


Sign up for a free SeamlessDesk trial today and see how SeamlessDesk can save you time and money by simplifying your workflows and streamlining your business processes. 

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