Change managers help people survive project jungles

An illustration of a snake by Ad Esse Consulting

There are lots of elements to project implementation that can leave your head spinning, so let’s clarify this one – what’s the difference between project management and change management?

Keep reading for our definitions and to understand how both enable successful project delivery.

Project managers vs change managers

Fundamentally, a project manager focuses on the processes and activities needed to fulfil the objectives of a project, and a change manager focuses on the people affected by those projects. Change managers complement the project management process by supporting the (sometimes underestimated) human side of the equation, but it is less formulaic than project management. Successful project delivery involves both change management and project management. 
A project manager’s role includes:

  • Developing delivery plans
  • Making sure everyone does what is needed to deliver the project outputs
  • Managing, tracking and reporting on progress 
  • Monitoring benefits
  • Highlighting, mitigating, or resolving any risks and issues 

A change manager’s role includes:

  • Creating a plan to address the gaps from a people perspective
  • Managing stakeholders of all levels
  • Planning, crafting and issuing communications
  • Championing the solutions and generating buy-in
  • Engaging people who will be impacted by the change and helping them to understand what is needed for successful implementation
  • Supporting and enabling the adoption of solutions across your business 

Project managers prepare the solution for your organisation...

Surviving the project jungle infographic by Ad Esse Consulting

...Change managers prepare your organisation for the solution

Although a project manager could (in theory) take on the role of a change manager and vice versa, they are very different skills. Even if you have someone with both sets of skills, they very rarely have time to deliver both roles.
If capacity is the problem, we have both change managers and project managers who are ready to jump into your project and work with your team. To get started, email or use our Contact page.

Join our mailing list

Get more content like this straight to your inbox for continuous improvement.

* indicates required

Please select all the ways you would like to hear from :

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.