It may sound like a question for a beauty pageant contestant, but it’s an important one for anyone with information governance aspirations:

What does Change Management mean to you?

Ask an IT director or a project manager or a technologist, and they’ll probably say something like “it’s how we control the requesting, approval, and implementation of system modifications.”

Ask a businessperson or an HR director or a behaviorist (or me!), and you’ll likely hear something to the effect of “it’s the people side of organizational operations.”

Different responses, yet both are correct, each in its own context.

To be sure, both groups are talking about altering the state of something (a solution stack and a mindset, respectively). But the parties of the first part are referring to technology, while the parties of the second part are speaking of psychology.

And therein lies the rub.

Process regimentation can be a comfort to people who live and die by mandates and metrics the way your techies do. However, people used to doing more of their own thing will resent – or, worse, undermine – a newly-imposed procedure they don’t understand or agree with.

So while both groups embrace the notion of “change management,” they don’t use it to describe the same thing. Your job is to pay heed to who uses it in which way, and define your programs accordingly.

About the author: Steve Weissman

Steve Weissman helps you do information right by bringing order and discipline to your governance and process practices. Principal Consultant at Holly Group and Co-Founder of the Information Coalition (now merged with ARMA International), he leverages a proven proprietary methodology to optimize everything from strategic planning and needs assessment to vendor selection and user adoption. He is, in short, The Info Gov Guy™, furthering best-practices for finding, leveraging, and protecting your business-critical information. A member of the AIIM Company of Fellows and holder of numerous industry designations, he can be reached at or 617-383-4655.

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