Ask 100 people to define Change Management, and you'll get 100 different definitions. At the end of the day, the definition is just semantics. What really matters is whether you can implement a Change Management program in a practical way that allows you to support your organization in successfully achieving its goals. Whether you're a Change Manager, a consultant, or the tech. guy who was told to "figure out some Change Management stuff," this blog will help address common issues and topics you're likely to run into along the way.

Monday, April 29, 2013

The Five Pillars of Change

While I thoroughly enjoyed writing the last few posts as part of the Virtual Book Club, I'm now feeling the need to get super practical.  So, my next set of posts will focus on the actual activities that make up a Change Management program.  I won't be able to include every activity (it's a very long list), but I will provide a fairly comprehensive set of check lists that will get you started in creating your Change Management plan.

I'll be breaking the check lists down based on what I call the "Pillars of Change."  They are:

  • Sponsorship (about which I have very strong feelings)
  • Stakeholder Management
  • Communication
  • Training
  • Organization Design
As far as I'm concerned, all Change Management activities fall into one of these five pillars.  When you create your plan, you pick and choose a set of activities from each pillar based on the needs of your project and organization.  You then create a timeline based on when each activity is due (based on the larger  project plan) and how long it will take to complete, and voila!  You have the beginning of a Change Management plan.

Coming up first: Sponsorship activities

Let Me Know: Do you think these five pillars cover all Change Management activities?


  1. My pleasure, Office Space. Thanks for the feedback!

  2. Generally I do not learn post on blogs, but I would like to say that this write-up very pressured me to check out and do so! Your writing style has been amazed me. Thanks, very great article.Regards,Sanya Change Management

    1. Thank you, Sanya! I'm glad you've found it helpful!

  3. Hi Emily,

    I think your pillars of change are spot on! However, what would you say are good tips for change management? I assume one would be ensuring all 5 of these pillars are considered in detail during any change management process.

    I came across this article: which i thought was one of the best i've read on change management, especially when it comes to giving PRACTICAL and ACTIONABLE advice. The article basically gives 3 main tips:

    1) clarity
    2) unity
    3) integrity

    Would you consider the above three to fit in with your pillars of change or would you question them?

    1. Hi Jane,
      Thanks for sharing that article. I think all three of those tips fit in with the 5 pillars of change. First, I would say that clarity of purpose, unity, and integrity are characteristics that all good sponsors should demonstrate. The clarity items also fit in well with communication, which is focused on ensuring that everyone has the information they need. Much of what is discussed as part of integrity integrates with the activities that are part of stakeholder management. Overall, it was a nice article - and one that I think coincides with my view of Change Management.