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Change management vs Project Management: Key Differences

When it comes to business processes, two types of management often confused with each other are change management and project management. The reason for this confusion is that they both involve managing processes and people, but are in fact completely different disciplines. Importantly, these two processes often work well together to support a business to achieve organisational goals. Throughout this article, we will talk through the key differences between change management and project management. Having a good understanding of the differences could be crucial in helping your business thrive. 

What is project management?

Project management often involves a team of individuals whose focus is on a particular project that needs to be completed. Each project focus within project management will often have clear objectives and will link to a business strategy or aim. The team will often need to apply specific skills, tools, knowledge, and expertise in order to meet the project requirements set. 


There are five main stages when it comes to project management. These five stages are initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and – lastly – closing. Within these five stages, there will be a number of specific tasks that link to the overall business strategy and help drive the project forward. 

Project management tends to follow a specific timeline. It manages the tasks of a project to meet specific goals, and can often include technical processes and well-documented guidance to show how to do this. 

What is change management?  

Change management can often support and complement project management. Change management focuses on a holistic view of business projects. For instance, change management looks at the lasting impact a project may have on a business and its stakeholders. It looks specifically on the outside changes and affects that can occur from a change that happens within an organisation.


You may ask why change management is important? Well, projects can often be put in place with a focus of achieving a particular strategy or objective. Project management teams are often busy working on the tasks and projects to work towards this, and may not have the time or resources to look at the impact a project may have on teams or outside stakeholders. For a project to work and be beneficial, it’s important that an organisation adopts and adapts to a new change. As many of us are aware, change can create uncertainty, and may lead to some resistance from employees. Change management is the solution to this. It works on supporting people affected by a project, and ensures the transition to a change happens as smoothly as possible. 

Change management teams will often focus on specific areas, which link to different stages of the process of change. These are planning for change, managing change, and reinforcing change.


Communication is key when it comes to change management teams. The team needs to communicate how the change may impact on different departments and roles. They importantly deliver the message of the change to both employees and stakeholders. An essential area to discuss is how to move forward with the change as efficiently and effectively as possible. 


Change management differs from project management as it doesn’t have a set timeline or set guidance, and is less focussed on formal processes. The central focus with change management is the people involved. 

The benefits of including change management

Including change management as part of the process allows better outcomes regarding the success of a major change to an organisation. When a project management and change management team work well together, they have the potential to manage change in a holistic and strategic way. Change management allows a project management team to focus their efforts on the project at hand. Their support with change can help mitigate external issues outside of the project, and help the process run as efficiently as possible. 


Change in any organisation can often be daunting, and can sometimes be challenging. With the right team and tools, change can be a huge success, and bring a massive plus to your business prospects. At Yorkshire Change , we have the ideal team, knowledge, and tools to support you with this. 

Yorkshire Change

At Yorkshire Change, our aim is to make the process of business as easy as possible for you. Whether that is buying a business or deciding you would like to sell, we are here to support you. Our team of experts and consultants are all exceptionally knowledgeable, and can support you through your own unique change process. We can assist you by helping your business with a new change, supporting you through the process to make sure it runs as smoothly as possible. 

To speak to a dedicated member of our team, please fill in the contact form on our website, or call 0333 090 8710.


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