The difference between transition management and change management

Transition management is the process of managing change in your business. It ensures that the right changes are made and that they're made well so your company can thrive.


Transition management is the process of managing change in your business. It ensures that the right changes are made and that they’re made well so your company can thrive.

The importance of transition management

Change is a constant state of being. Think back to the last time you were in a newly hired job, or moved to a newly purchased home; these are examples of transitions. Transitions are an inevitable part of life and business, but they don’t always happen on their own without external help. With the right approach, you can create and manage successful transitions with minimal stress and confusion.

Transitions occur when we need to make changes that will affect our lives or work in some way. They’re not just limited to big moments like starting a brand-new job or moving house! They can occur at any point throughout your life: when your health declines as you age; when you switch careers; even when there’s not much change taking place at all (e.g., when one year becomes another). The key thing about transitions is that they’re not predictable—they happen for many different reasons depending on where we are in our lives at any given moment; what happened before doesn’t always dictate what happens next and it becomes necessary when something changes that requires us to adapt accordingly. 

The end, the loss, and the letting go

Letting go of things is never easy, but it’s an imperative part of transition management. The neutral zone refers to the middle ground between where you are now and where you’re heading. It’s a smart idea to give yourself time for reflection before completely letting go.

Zone of neutrality

Neutral zones are times when you are neither old nor young, but somewhere in between. The neutral zone is a transition zone, and it’s also a change management tool.

In the Neutral Zone you have access to both of your existing systems and knowledge of them. However, because the upgraded system hasn’t been deployed yet, there aren’t any revised data processes or workflows that can be adopted. The term was originally coined by John Kotter in his book Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail (1996).

New beginnings.

The upcoming beginning is the end of the old and the beginning of the new. It is a time for reflection and celebration, but also one to look forward to. The transition management process helps you manage this period, from pre-launch through execution and beyond.

The key question to ask yourself is: How can we best support all stakeholders during this change?

Barriers to change and types of change

While change management is used to describe the process of introducing change to an organization, it can be applied to a wide range of changes. In fact, there are many different types of change, ranging from organizational restructuring to changes in strategy and leadership.

One way to classify types of change is by looking at what kind of barriers exist for them. In its simplest form, change management involves overcoming four main types of barriers:

  • Cultural: This type refers primarily to how people respond when novel ideas or processes are introduced into an organization or team.
  • Political: This barrier refers both to how individuals react when something changes comes along and also to how groups within the organization react (for example, managers versus employees).
  • Structural: The term structural refers here specifically to organizational structures (e.g., hierarchy) and processes (e.g., meeting attendance).
  • Psychological: The psychological aspect includes all aspects related to individual motivation such as interests and hopes/fears related to making changes.

Achieving Change Through Overcoming Barriers

To overcome barriers to change, you’ll need to use an approach that both plans for and monitors the process. A good change management plan will address these key components using a change management approach. Change management involves taking an active approach to managing the way people respond to changes in their environment. Rather than placing the onus on leaders or managers to manage individual emotions and behaviour, it’s imperative that they understand how changes can affect different people differently based on their personal experiences—and take steps toward mitigating those effects through training programs or communication tools.

Manage the change process. It’s crucial that a clear path be outlined for how new processes should be implemented at each step along the way (including identifying potential issues) so that everyone involved knows where they stand in relation to one another as well as any other stakeholders associated with implementing them successfully–such as partners within your organization who might not agree with your overall strategy but still have some stake in its success since it affects them too). This means having clear lines of communication between all parties involved in order for them all to “speak” the same language when discussing things like timelines or goals.”

Managing transitions is key to your business’ success

In simple terms, transition management is about helping people move from one state to another. It’s about managing a changing environment. It’s about helping people manage the transition from one state to another. When we talk about “change”, it can be anything from moving people through a sales process or training them on the latest technology, processes and behaviours; all the way up to changing an entire business strategy or direction of travel for an organisation.

It’s imperative for managers to understand that when we talk about transitioning our businesses and organisations away from old ways of working toward more modern ones, there are many different types of transitions that may be required:


As we’ve seen, changes would be challenging. Fortunately, it’s also a necessary part of a business’ life cycle. But if you care about your company and want to make sure it thrives in the long term, then you need to be prepared for change. This means learning how to manage transitions effectively.


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