Originally published on February 15, 2017

22nd in a series of 50 Knowledge Management Components (Slide 30 in KM 102)

Management of change: developing a planned approach to change in an organization to address anticipated obstacles and to ensure successful adoption

There are varying schools of thought about the value of change management. Some believe that it is an essential part of any KM initiative. Others dismiss it as an obsolete concept. Most KM initiatives will involve significant changes to the existing behaviors, processes, and systems, so it is useful to create a change management plan.

The value of change management is that it forces you to consciously deal with the changes that will be required to enable knowledge management to succeed. If you fail to do so, and proceed to implement new people, process, and technology components with inadequate preparation, conditioning of the organization, and communication, then the new components may not be adopted as expected.

Changing existing processes and tools, and introducing new ones, are the key change elements to plan for. Analyze the potential impact of these changes, and plan to explain to the users how they will benefit, what their roles will be in implementing the changes, and how you will help them through the changes.

Steps to Follow

  1. Develop a KM Management of Change plan and help implement it. It should be part of the KM Implementation Plan and the overall plan of record.
  • Why should we implement a KM program? Articulate your vision.


Although there are many specialized change management methods and techniques, multiple components and approaches should be used in the management of change.

People Components

Most of the people components can be applied to the management of change. Instilling a knowledge-sharing culture with positive values is enabled through the work of knowledge managers, employee surveys, social networks, communities, training, documentation, communications, user assistance, goals, and rewards.

Process Components

Several of the process components are also useful, including methodologies, social network analysis, appreciative inquiry, and storytelling.

  1. Most Significant Change is the collection of significant change stories emanating from the field level, and the systematic selection of the most significant of these stories by panels of designated stakeholders or staff. Once changes have been captured, various people sit down together, read the stories aloud and have regular and often in-depth discussions about the value of these reported changes.


1. Prosci

Change management is the discipline that guides how we prepare, equip and support individuals to successfully adopt change in order to drive organizational success and outcomes. While all changes are unique and all individuals are unique, decades of research shows there are actions we can take to influence people in their individual transitions. Change management provides a structured approach for supporting the individuals in your organization to move from their own current states to their own future states.

2. Mind Tools

Change management is a structured approach for ensuring that changes are thoroughly and smoothly implemented, and that the lasting benefits of change are achieved. The focus is on the wider impacts of change, particularly on people and how they, as individuals and teams, move from the current situation to the new one. The change in question could range from a simple process change, to major changes in policy or strategy needed if the organization is to achieve its potential.

3. 10 Principles of Change Management by John Jones, DeAnne Aguirre, and Matthew Calderone

  1. Address the human side systematically.

4. The Hard Side of Change Management by Harold Sirkin, Perry Keenan, and Alan Jackson

Our study revealed a consistent correlation between the outcomes (success or failure) of change programs and four hard factors: project duration, particularly the time between project reviews; performance integrity, or the capabilities of project teams; the commitment of both senior executives and the staff whom the change will affect the most; and the additional effort that employees must make to cope with the change. We called these variables the DICE factors because we could load them in favor of projects’ success.

5. 7 Lessons for Getting Change Right by Seth Kahan

  1. Communicate so people get it and spread it.

6. Learning from The Best: Change Management by Yasmin Parsloe

  1. Phase 1: Preparing for the change.

Knowledge Nuggets from my book Proven Practices for Promoting a Knowledge Management Program

  1. Dean Testa of Goodyear states that KM itself is a change initiative, so don’t be afraid to change your KM program.


1. HP

2. Deloitte


  1. European Guide to good Practice in Knowledge Management — Part 1: Knowledge Management Framework — KM implementation and Change Management framework


  1. LinkedIn Change Management Forum


  1. Google


  1. APMG International

Consulting Service Providers

  1. Accenture



Knowledge Management Author and Speaker, Founder of SIKM Leaders Community, Community Evangelist, Knowledge Manager https://sites.google.com/site/stangarfield/

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Stan Garfield

Knowledge Management Author and Speaker, Founder of SIKM Leaders Community, Community Evangelist, Knowledge Manager https://sites.google.com/site/stangarfield/