10 Steps to Change Management

February 18, 2013

woman with a plan
–Adapted from AMA Business Boot Camp–a compendium of some of the American Management Association's best advice.

Change management is a crucial skill for managers. Team members are often the source of spontaneous and unapproved change. Maybe they have an idea for increased functionality of a product, or a cheaper and faster way of getting something done. Even with the best intentions, individuals and your team as a group might initiate change that has the potential to get very messy. Be prepared to manage change in any undertaking with your team. The project management concept of “change control” encompasses the basics.
In change control you:

  • Identify the change
  • Document the change
  • Approve or reject the change
  • Control changes to the plan

A formalized process—necessary for any project and useful for any significant activities—ensures you have documentation on all recommendations for change as well as decisions to change or stay the course.
A simple change control process may include the following steps:

  1. Determine the current version of the plan.
  2. Review the change request.
  3. Determine whether or not to process the request.
  4. Assess the impact of the proposed change on your current plan. Ask yourself how it affects schedules, costs, resources, risk, other work you and your team are doing?
  5. Prepare a recommendation.
  6. Submit recommendations for review and approval, if necessary.
  7. Get required approvals.
  8. Update plans.
  9.  Distribute updated plans (i.e., communicate the change).
  10. Monitor and track the impact.

Change in any aspect of your work environment can upset people. (See “Communicating change: Make it sound good.”) At the same time, you want to encourage new ideas and innovations in action, so just get clear with your team about the process for putting a change in play.
Don’t get too formal, though. Changing brands of coffee shouldn’t require the same paperwork as changing someone’s job description!

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About The Author

Edward T. Reilly is President and CEO of the American Management Association (AMA). AMA is the world’s leading not-for-profit, membership-based management development, research and publishing organization. Each year, AMA directly interacts with over 100,000 managers and executives in the United States and around the world, through its renowned management education seminar programs and conferences. It publishes many newsletters, research papers and a quarterly management journal. Through its publishing arm, AMACOM, it publishes over 80 books per year.


  1. avatar

    […] Learning about change management from business may help schools. Check out what AMA shared. […]

  2. avatar

    This article demystifies change management. It offers 10 simple steps to manage change in your team including documentation, planning and review.

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