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In the 2013 change management benchmarking study, we asked participants for their insights regarding the top trends in change management for the coming five years. Here are the top five predictions for 2018:

1. Continued Maturation of Change Management as an Industry

The top trend expected to take place by 2018 is a continued maturation and definition of the practice of change management. The toolset for change management will continue to evolve with an emphasis on accessibility, simplification and customized tools. We will also think carefully about measurement and metrics, moving on from where we were in 2013 to create scorecards and other benchmarking tools.

And as technology changes, so will our industry. By 2018, study participants believe that change management will incorporate online communication tools, computer-based training, and gamification of learning.

2. Stronger Internal Change Management Capabilities

By 2018, companies will recognize change management as a key organizational differentiator and will move toward adopting a standard approach. Organizations will place a greater emphasis on change resilience and change management competency, and role-based training will focus on improving sponsorship capabilities and on increasing manager change management comprehension.

3. Greater Demand for and Shortage of Change Management Practitioners

As companies focus more on change management capabilities, it follows that there will then be a greater demand for change management practitioners. As practitioner roles in organizations expand, the path to becoming a change management practitioner will also become clearer with the addition of certifications, accreditation and credentialing.

4. Recognition of Change Management’s Value in Benefit Realization

While more and more organizations are taking notice of change management and its role in delivering results, study participants predict that the industry can expect even greater recognition by 2018. A business focus on sustained change results and reinforcement will also help keep change management in the forefront of leader’s minds.

5. Further Integration with Project Management

As change management and project management continue to integrate, more change management activities and philosophies will find their way into project management. In particular, change management will be brought into projects earlier and will even play a key role in solution design. And as this integration occurs, the role and definition of change management in the context of a project team will become clearer.

What other trends do you expect to see between now and 2018? What other milestones do you think we as an industry have already reached?

Best Practices in Change Management - 2018 Edition Executive Summary

Written by
Robert Stise
Robert Stise

Robert uses his extensive educational background in social science research and writing to continually expand and deepen the body of knowledge dedicated to change management. In his role as Prosci Research Product Family Manager, Robert works to plan, run and produce meaningful advances in the field of change management.