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What is Change Management?
Change management is a system for planning and implementing transitions in an organization for success—this can be changes in processes, structures, and strategies that affect various stakeholders in different ways. Similar to project management, a change management effort would require defining clear necessities and objectives for change, communication, support, and resource planning, as well as resource allocations aimed at completing the various phases of a change management project.
The goal of change management is to minimize friction or resistance when implementing a transition, mitigating risks and reinforcing desired behavior while keeping teams engaged and productive throughout, which is why organizations, especially those with larger systems in place, invest in dedicated change management professionals to facilitate these projects.
Why is Effective Change Management Important?
The benefits of effective change management practices in an organization get exponentially better as they age and scale, as they would need to manage more resources through a transition the larger the company becomes. It increases the chances of implementing successful, meaningful change by creating a clear plan from beginning to end, including ways in which the team would adapt to emerging changes as the transition happens. It also provides organizations with an opportunity to anticipate risks, which helps to mitigate them or prevent them entirely. This is especially important for keeping up with the market and the industry, reinforcing the need for dedicated professionals to help make this happen for you.
One key advantage you can secure for your change management resources is investing in their certification, so they can adopt proven and tested strategies for implementing successful projects in your organization. Below, we outline some of the best change management certification programs available today.
5 Change Management Certifications Worth Your Time
For starters, it’s important to choose a certification based on your current experience as well as your learning pace and preferences. While there are many certifications you can find online, here are some of the best options covering a wide range of skill levels, costs, and learning options. You should also note that as a best practice, it is best to continue to apply learnings from these certification programs in real-world scenarios—some certifications also require you to continuously acquire training or experiences to maintain them.
1. Prosci Change Management Certification Program
Prosci offers one of the most widely attended change management certification programs in the world—in this, they take you through a three-day workshop to learn how to apply Prosci’s methodology and the ADKAR model in your change management projects. The program offers both in-person and virtual options—in-person classes include breakfast and lunch in the total price. Graduates earn the Prosci Certified Change Practitioner distinction.
Currently, in-person training is available for $4,850 while the virtual-instructor-led workshops cost $4,500, with classes happening either between Tuesday to Thursday or Friday to Sunday. With a lifetime validity, this is ideal for beginner as well as specialist change management practitioners.
2. Certified Change Management Professional (CCMP)
The Association of Change Management Professionals (ACMP) offers this globally-recognized certification for qualified individuals—eligibility requires having a 4-year degree (or international equivalent) and 3 years (4,200 hours) of change management experience or completion of secondary education (high school or international equivalent) and 5 years (7,000 hours) of change management experience, as well as completing at least 21 hours of change management training in the last 7 years, that aligns with the Standard for Change Management.
Acquiring the certification requires participants to pay, register for and pass the exam, which can be attempted two additional times within a one-year window, for a few additional fees. Exams cost $595 for members and $745 for non-members. This is ideal for experienced change management professionals, who must then maintain the certification every three years by completing 60 Professional Development Units (PDUs) and recording them in the online ACMP system.
3. Change Management Specialist (CMS)
The Change Management Specialist certification was designed exclusively for the Management and Strategy Institute and is similarly exclusively obtainable through them. The accompanying program covers all the basic principles of change management and is aimed at teaching participants the key competencies expected of effective change managers. This is another great option for beginner change management resources as there are no prerequisites to join the program, and learning is self-paced up to one year from the date of purchase, so individuals have plenty of time to prepare and ensure they’re confident to take the exam. Registration for the exam costs $299.95.
4. Cornell University Change Management Certification
The Change Management Certification program designed by the faculty of Cornell University is a series of online courses aimed at helping participants establish their place in an organization and how this shapes their responsibilities for implementing successful change management projects and decision-making efforts. It’s important to note that one need not be enrolled at the university to take this certification, which makes it a great option for senior leaders as well as mid-to upper-level management to get certified.
The program is spread out over three months and, while costly at $3,900, is valid for life. Participation in the program also gives a year of free access to Symposium—virtual sessions with Cornell faculty and experts tackling a wide range of leadership topics. Joining the events is not a requirement to acquire certification, and there are no limits to how many sessions one can join. This certification is valid for life.
5. Certified Problem and Change Manager (CPCM)
This certification, designed and offered by the Global Association for Quality Management, is another great option for beginner or aspiring change managers to learn about concepts essential to problem and change management. The course provides modules on both as well as best practices related to change management and culminates in a closed-book exam to successfully qualify.
The whole package is available for $213, which includes the e-course as well as an access voucher to the exam. An option to purchase the course and the exam separately, for $75 and $128 respectively, is also available with slight differences in the availability period for each compared to the package.
Build and Manage Your Change Management Projects with Workamajig
Effective change management ensures that any transition in an organization is based on a clear demand and thorough planning, and as organizations scale, investing in dedicated, qualified resources responsible for change in the company becomes all the more important. Change management certification programs then act as a tool to properly equip organizations with key concepts, principles, and strategies that they can use to effect meaningful change, which then translates into a more agile and competitive organization.
With Workamajig, the premier marketing management software, you have an all-in-one solution for planning, organizing, and delegating change management efforts and easily transitioning between the phases of your project. Easily adjust your schedule or modify task requirements and assignees to ensure efficiency, and use native reporting tools to measure your progress, as well as identify and address roadblocks along the way.