Change Management Types and Models

By | August 29, 2018

So what is “change management”?  My experience has been that change management means different things to different people.  Early in my career, I realized that senior management’s use of the term “change management” was different then that defined by ITIL and commonly managed by IT project managers.

Point of reference

When we are talking to someone about change, improving the process or implementing the change, we need to ensure that we are both using the point of reference.  Sometimes when we are involved in “technical (information management/technology) change management”, we forget that the more complex the change we are trying to implement the more likely it is part of some other “change management”.


Do a couple of Google searches and you will find a wide range of definitions, change types and usage of the term change management.  Some examples are:

  • Ackerman change types – developmental, transitional and transformal.
  • Episodic versus continuous change – comparison of adaptive, continuous change versus that which is infrequent and discontinuous.
  • ITIL change management -(ITIL Service Transition) The process responsible for controlling the lifecycle of all changes, enabling beneficial changes to be made with minimum disruption to IT services.
  • Management of Change (MO) –  is a best practice used to ensure that safety, health, and environmental risks and hazards are properly controlled when an organization makes changes to their facilities, operations, or personnel.
  • Organizational change – this source elaborates further on the Acherman change types, identifying 12 common types of organizational change.
  • Planned versus emergent change – this is part of an extensive article on change management.  There is a specific section that discusses deliberate versus spontaneous change.
  • Prosci definition – the process, tools and techniques to manage the people side of change to achieve a required business outcome.

I included MO to illustrate how widely diversified is the use of change management.


Several articles which explore the wide range of methodologies available for change management: