Toggle Menu

Insights / Agile Transformation / Change Management vs. Communications: What’s The Difference?

February 19, 2013

Change Management vs. Communications: What’s The Difference?

2 mins read

I have heard clients and colleagues ask for a “communications or a change management person” during discussions for rolling out a new program or technology. It seems to be common that change management is confused with or mislabeled as communications. The needs differ because the disciplines differ.

Let’s take a closer look…

Purpose of Communications vs. Change Management

Communications within an organization are designed to inform and create awareness around a particular topic. These communications could be in the form of a brochure, social media, or mass emails. The target for communications is ongoing information to create an informed audience.

Change management is used to deploy or execute change throughout an organization. It consists of multiple components all engineered to move your project from concept to acceptance, such as training, feedback, resistance mechanisms, project management, leadership sponsors, and communications.

So, communications is part of the change management approach but it’s not one-in-the-same. The end goal is to create a ready and able audience who will actively sustain the change.

An Example

Let’s say you are rolling out a new scheduling tool to your organization. If we were to confuse both in this situation and focus only on communication, then the end result would likely be informing your audience and NOT encouraging them to embrace change.

With a communications-only approach, your customers would know what the tool is and what the tool does, and maybe when it’s coming. But, you would probably have a lot more unanswered questions, most importantly…how do you use it? And what does it mean to me, the user, and the organization as a whole? Your customers could be left feeling like it’s “just another new system” rather than a mission-critical component of their jobs they should accept, explore, and respond to.

In Summary

Change management is designed to take a 360-degree view around deploying a change. Communications is a critical component for creating an audience that is informed and aware, but one without the other won’t necessarily help your audience embrace, accept, and continue to use a new tool.

How would you differentiate change management and communications? Share your thoughts here!

You Might Also Like

Resources

Responsible AI for Federal Programs

Excella AI Engineer, Melisa Bardhi, join host John Gilroy of Federal Tech Podcast to examine how artificial intelligence...

Resources

Simplifying Tech Complexities and Cultivating Tech Talent with Dustin Gaspard

Technical Program Manager, Dustin Gaspard, join host Javier Guerra, of The TechHuman Experience to discuss the transformative...

Resources

How Federal Agencies Can Deliver Better Digital Experiences Using UX and Human-Centered Design

Excella UX/UI Xpert, Thelma Van, join host John Gilroy of Federal Tech Podcast to discuss...