Change management tools offer structure for the often chaotic process of change in our teams, businesses, and organizations. But change is steeped in ambiguity—how do you know what tools you even need?
This review will help you evaluate the best change control software for managing organizational change, as well as ITIL change management software (helps align IT’s needs through major organizational transitions).
Organizational change management can be tricky. After all, there’s no single suite of tools to navigate every type of company change. That makes change management software reviews challenging, as you often cannot compare them across the board. Different types of change management tools need to be addressed differently.
As a technical project manager, you may be charged with aspects of software change management as your organization adopts new technology or builds solutions for clients who are transitioning to new systems.
As well, for non-technical project managers, you may effectuate change by introducing a new tool or process to your team’s workflow or updating your company’s standards for customer development. Change is a huge part of your daily work, and you’ll work best when you can quickly organize and maintain your process.
In this post, I’ll go over the change management tools that best support each need, as well as explain what change management process flow is and how IT change management software can help you navigate the change process.
I also answer some FAQs about change tracking software below, which includes a brief breakdown of software change management for different types of projects (employee onboarding versus new software introduction, etc.).
Change Management Tools Comparison Criteria
What do I look for when I select the best change management software? Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria:
- User Interface (UI): Is it clean and attractive?
- Usability: Is it easy to learn and master? Does the company offer good tech support, user support, tutorials, and training?
- Key Features: Here are some of the key features I look for in change management tools:
- Flowcharts & Process Maps: Some way to visualize what the change process and roadmap will look like and flag key milestones.
- ADKAR Analysis: Some way to communicate awareness, desire, knowledge, ability, and reinforcement of the change process.
- Reinforcement of Behavior: Some way to encourage and monitor team behaviors associated with solidifying the oncoming elements of the change.
- Elevation of Change Cheerleaders: Some way to make the voices heard of those advocating and role modeling the change expectations.
- Learning Management & Skill Building: Some way to develop necessary new skills to accommodate changing workflows or environments.
- Integrations: Is it easy to connect with other tools? Any pre-built integrations?
- Value for $: How appropriate is the price for the features, capabilities, and use case? Is pricing clear, transparent and flexible?
The 10 Best Change Management Tools Overviews
Adopting new software? New business model? New training program? Change can be daunting, but you don’t have to attack it unprepared. Onboarding, customer success, employee engagement—these are just a few of the areas of change I’ve isolated for coverage here. Here are my top change management tool suggestions to get your change management journey jumpstarted.
ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus - Best for visualizing change management with the visual workflow builder
ServiceDesk Plus is a complete IT Service Management (ITSM) suite with built-in IT Asset Management (ITAM) and Configuration Management Database (CMDB) capabilities to help assess risks and plan change implementation. The tool’s PinkVerify-certified IT change management module allows IT teams to implement changes with minimal risk by designing change processes on a visual workflow designer.
With custom change roles, types, statuses, and templates, as well as the ability to designate a Change Advisory Board (CAB), IT teams can design change implementation processes that cater to their business needs. Other key features include the ability to log and track changes resulting from incidents and problems and to get input and approvals on change plans from CAB members.
Users can also configure automated workflows and notifications to improve visibility and communication for IT and business stakeholders using the visual workflow builder, as well as publish announcements about changes to communicate any planned downtime to end-users.
Pricing for ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus starts at $12/per user/month for the standard plan. See further pricing plans on their pricing page.
The app provides priority action plans based on survey data so that you know what business areas are in need of support, be it cross-functional collaboration, learning, and development, IT management, or something else. Assess leadership profiles, validate employee strengths and weaknesses and more with customizable surveys and reports.
Because this software is evaluation-focused, it is well-suited to companies who are about to embark on a big change strategy or who have just recently implemented one. This is because the software’s biggest strength is soliciting detailed feedback.
The survey questions are geared towards larger, for-profit corporations and so smaller businesses or nonprofits would be advised to look elsewhere for employee engagement software.
Engage Your Team starts at $35/user/month for under 200 users and has a free demo.
ESM has three elements to its software offerings: Balanced Scorecard Software (for top-down strategy), Employee Review Software and Strategy Consulting Services. ESM takes a big picture approach to navigate change by breaking information down into goals, interconnections, initiatives, KPIs and more.
ESM’s “big picture” mind mapping of company change and strategy seems a perfect fit for large scale corporations who don’t have many reliable touchpoints with staff across departments. However, in today’s digital age, ESM’s interconnectivity emphasis would also work well for smaller teams who work online or remotely, where a unified vision will ensure that even a separated team is advancing on the same goals.
More financial planning options, like profit and loss statements, would be hugely beneficial to their “big picture” approach to strategy. Furthermore, the ability to view multiple strategy maps, rather than switching between them in a drop-down menu, would be a time saver. Their paid plan is also quite pricey compared to other options available.
ESM starts at $800/month for unlimited users but has a free version of the software as well.
Launched in 2015, The Change Compass helps companies experiencing significant change manage that change across their whole portfolio and visualize change impacts on employees, customers, and partners.
The tool allows users to plan for changes by visualizing the nature and volume of upcoming change impacts, and includes prioritization features to assist the user in decision-making on change roll out and sequencing. It also helps to generate change volume scenarios to aid planning and risk mitigation.
The Change Compass offers a range of different types of data visualization reports to meet different stakeholder needs. For example, there is an Executive Summary and bubble chart for senior managers, a total impact chart to monitor the change saturation line for planners, and an employee heatmap to get a high level overview of change volumes.
The Change Compass does not list any third-party integrations on their website.
The Change Compass starts at $70/user/month and has a free 14-day free trial.
This collaboration-first change management platform lets you gather ideas from your employees, customers, and other stakeholders; refine and develop ideas together with your team; analyze your innovation process to find and eliminate bottlenecks; and more.
Viima is great for small businesses due to the low point of cost and minimal barriers to entry. They provide many services for free for a limited number of users and also have Apple and Android apps to help scattered teams stay connected.
Reporting visualization and exportation of data could be improved to be more functional, dynamic and flexible. Because the software is light on features, adding integrations for project management tools could go a long way to making it a more well-rounded application.
Viima starts free for up to 50 users and then is $3/user/month.
The Change Shop is a mobile-friendly cloud-based application for navigating change commitment plans, resistance forecasting, and many other tools that will help your team handle a shift in process or workload. Their app focuses on collaborative feedback, surveys and data collecting, and numerous report styles to evaluate your team’s readiness and capability for change and to make suggestions accordingly.
This platform would work best for change management involving disparate teams or groups where constant collaborative feedback is a must. Their Change Simulator will be helpful to onboard anyone who may be nervous about the shift or getting hung-up on the “What-ifs”.
While The Change Shop boasts a wide variety of tools, it would benefit from supplemental systems for compliance management and training management. As a relatively new software in the change management space, having launched in 2018, there is always the possibility that more features come in future updates.
The Change Shop starts at $29/month for up to 2500 users and has a free demo.
Whatfix lets you design real-time interactive guides with zero codings required. Engage users through contextual widgets (self-help widget, tasklist widget, and smart tips static overlays), as well as guided pop-ups. Context-aware information provides users with the most useful updates immediately and provides in-app training in user preferred formats (from video to PDF and more).
Whatfix can accommodate those with disabilities by providing them with accessible technology that complies with section 508 of the U.S. Rehabilitation Act. This means they are an essential tool for accessibility-inclusive workplaces across the board.
CRM integration was a bit spotty and could use some revamping, particularly in compiling and reporting issues. The app can seem somewhat “single-minded” in how users are expected to complete a task, whereas larger web app projects might need a bit more flexibility (ie. broader branching workflow paths, et cetera).
Overall this is a really great tool if you’re onboarding your employees to a new software, although it can be adapted for other use cases as well.
Whatfix has a custom pricing model and offers a free trial.
Howspace is a change management and digital facilitation platform designed for large initiatives and powered by AI. The tool is useful for boosting engagement and collaboration in asynchronous, virtual, and live settings.
Howspace includes features for involving team members and other stakeholders and delivering a stronger impact through active dialogue before, during, and after sessions. Team members can create shared workspaces and use the drag and drop editor to build out the workspace with chats, polls, surveys, and videos among other features. Users can also edit the layout of the workspace, manage participants’ access levels, move content around, and add new pages as needed.
Team leaders and project managers can facilitate discussions and dialogue and set up automated participation reminders. The continuous feedback loop created by the discussion features and increased social collaboration ensures teams are inspired, motivated, involved, and continuously engaged.
The AI capabilities are a standout feature of Howspace, and these include the ability to summarize insights from extensive discussions in real-time with theme clustering, word clouds, and sentiment analysis.
Howspace does not list any third-party integrations on their website.
Pricing starts at $280 CAD per month for 20 users.
WalkMe’s guidance tools help to prevent errors, encourage desired behaviors and foster goal completion through custom desktop notifications, easy Help Desk access, visibility and insights into digital behavior, a self-paced onboarding list, and more. By simplifying back-office functions, WalkMe aids enterprise resource planning during any software onboarding.
Setting up walkthroughs was a bit of a time commitment, which would not have been as much of a problem if WalkMe software updates didn’t often require manually re-test said walkthrough processes post-update.
They offer guidance tools and onboarding for popular software like Salesforce, Workday, Jira, NetSuite, Talentsoft and more, so any company who already uses any of their pre-listed programs would benefit in particular from this apps offerings.
WalkMe starts at $7500/year. They also offer custom pricing within a large range based on many factors and have a free demo available.
Giva boasts intuitiveness and user-friendly UX from change planning to follow through and compliance audits post-initiative. Defined ITIL processes speed up approval times and document management, dashboards and notifications keep everyone on the same page, and detailed records of all IT changes for longterm visibility into code and configuration changes throughout the organization.
Giva is primarily for IT change control, meaning that it works best for larger scale companies looking to better track and navigate software implementation, application updates, server upgrades, system patches, and so on.
New releases come out with some frequency, around one per month, which can mean constantly adjusting to new additions or changes as you go. While they offer many customizability options, they are not as flexible as other IT-focuses software on the market like ServiceNow.
Giva starts at $29/user/month and has a free 30-day trial.
The Best Change Management Tools Summary
Make A Complete Toolkit For Managing Organizational Change
There simply is no one-size-fits-all for change control management software. That’s because change happens in different areas and under different contexts. We’ve broken out some common areas of company change and recommended change management software appropriate for each category.
ITIL Change Management Tools
These change management tools are specifically for IT service management teams. These are the tools you want if you’re looking for software engineering change management tools or solutions to manage change in DevOops or compliance-driven software processes.
- Sunview Software – best ITIL change management tool for DevOps
- BMC – best database change management software (but also has tons of features for software change management)
- Freshservice – best software change management tool for SMB
Tools For Managing Ideas
Maybe you don’t have a “single” needed change and instead, want to set your team up for constant collaborative innovation. You want to create a space where people can bounce ideas around and get real-time feedback. These tools can help you do that.
- Qmarkets – A social software solution to engage employees and encourage cross-department thinking to submit innovative ideas as a part of an organized campaign or stand-alone suggestion. Qmarkets offers quote-based pricing and a free demo.
- Ideascale – Create digital “Communities” in order to crowdsource ideas, vote on suggestions, connect similar ideas together through predictive text AI, and offer points- and badges as incentivization for participants. Ideascale starts at $4,999/year and offers a free license version.
- Brightidea – Crowdsource on a company-wide scale with idea submission pages attached to suggested tags, in order to group similar projects – then track funding and implementation within a Kanban dashboard. Brightidea offers customized quotes and has a free demo.
Bringing on new customers and/or users can be stressful and time consuming for both you and the end-user. If your webpage or app has frequent updates, complex navigation, or CTAs that require an explanation that won’t fit on a site button, onboarding tools might be able to help. Onboarding tools help alleviate the barriers to entry of jumping into new UX and can turn visitors into longtime customers by fringing the FAQ to them.
- Appcues – Announce changes and introduce users to new additions to your product with feature call-outs and point-and-click walkthroughs and then monitor the impact of your onboarding system through various available analytics. Appcues starts at $649/month for 3 users and offers a free demo.
- Enboarder – Customized welcome messages for new employees, onboarding checklists and equipment requests, star-based ratings for training services, and more. Enboarder allows you to adapt employee journeys based on data and feedback. They have custom pricing models available upon request and offer a free demo.
- Intercom – Employ chatbots to funnel interested parties towards your service, targeted messages to onboard and activate customers, and provide personalized help at scale with a collaborative inbox, automation, and self-service support. Intercom starts at $87/month and offers a free 14-day trial.
- Qstream – Software for ongoing staff training with features to identify skill gaps and track engagement based on end-user interaction. Various performance and ROI analytics can help you cut things that aren’t working. Qstream starts at $50/user/month and offers a free demo.
Tools For Customer Success Management
It’s hard to excel in any business if you don’t have a solid customer service strategy that can incorporate areas of change like complaints and mediation, growing or shifting consumer base and marketing outreach projects. These tools can help you navigate many of the above concerns and more.
- Planhat – A Saas that helps manage customer service initiatives by integrating multiple platforms (like Salesforce and Zendesk) with features for customer overviews, onboarding and revenue management. Planhat starts at $500/month (plus $1/additional user/month) and offers a free demo.
- Gainsight – Capture every customer interaction in a robust database, access reporting to aid calls-to-action, and leverage both one-on-one conversations and personalized, automated emails. Gainsight starts at $500/month and offers a 14-day free trial of any subscription tier. They also offer a free version of the app, limited to one product and up to 500 emails per month.
- Natero – Compiles customer emails, chats, meetings, support tickets, billing history, and product usage, identify at-risk customers, prep for upcoming renewals, and monitor customer health scores through custom KPIs, CSM scores, support tickets, NPS, and more. Natero offers customized quotes and offers a free demo.
- CustomerSuccesBox – Monitor account health, set up customer onboarding tools, and segment accounts by type or need to better customize your CSM approach for each. Provides milestones, customizable alerts and campaign feedback. CustomerSuccessBox starts at $499/month and offers a free demo.
Employee Onboarding Software
Team growth, turnover, contractors, promotions, interns or co-op students…there are so many reasons you might need to automate parts of your training regimen to take the stress off of both management and trainees. Use these tools to integrate new hires with minimal downtime so that they can hit the ground running and immediately feel like part of the team.
- Talmundo – Get new hires integrated into company workflow with custom roadmaps, mobile and PC options for engagement, and a feedback system for new recruits.
- KiSSFLOW – Automated workflows, case management, fluid forms, visual workflow, and reports and analytics are just some of the features you will have access to.
- Workday – One cloud ERP system for finance, HR, and planning with machine learning capabilities that helps identify risks.
- Docebo – Centralize organize courses, distribute and manage online and instructor-led training, track certifications and measure results with dashboards and custom analytics.
Employee Engagement Tools
Don’t let routine and complacency define your team. Help people come together, collaborate, create, discover, bond, develop and process new ideas through tools designed to boost employee engagement.
- OfficeAccord – Automated alerts sent to targeted employee groups, community management for everything from company events to ride share opportunities, and monitor important dates like birthdays and start date anniversaries. OfficeAccord starts at $500/month for up to 500 users and offers a free demo.
- Qualtrics – XM Platforms used to collect, understand, and take action on experience data; reports and analytics suggest which products and services to build-out. Qualtrics starts at $1500/year and offers a free trial as well as a free version with limited features.
- TINYpulse – Real-time employee feedback with employee surveys, tools for onboarding and engagement, and exit interview capabilities. TINYpulse starts at $5/month/user and offers a free trial.
- Honestly – Employee pulse surveys on nine metrics of engagement, engagement reports, and real-time dashboard to highlight KPIs. Honestly starts at $4/user/month and offers a free demo and/or free trial.
- Officevibe – Employees can share anonymous feedback and managers receive visual weekly reports that identify the issues specific to your workplace. Officevibe starts at $4/user/month and offers a free version.
What’s In Your Change Management Systems?
You probably have dozens or hundreds of things to consider as you implement something new and transition away from the old. Change management tools can make change less daunting for yourself and for your team.
What software, tools or skills do you find the most handy for navigating big or small company changes? Share your ideas in the comments below.
More change management advice: check out my podcast episode where PM Alexa Alfonso talks about how to manage process change.
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