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10 Best Change Management Tools & Software 2020

 

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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.).

The Best Change Management Software List

Here’s a list of change management tools designed to support technological, systemic, or personnel change:

Jump to Change Management Software reviews

Change Management Application FAQ

What are the types of change management?

Types of change management include:

  • idea management
  • onboarding new staff or partners
  • customer success navigation
  • transformational or transitional change (acquisitions, mergers, re-brands)
  • developmental changes (employee engagement initiatives, procedural changes)
  • IT implementation management

What are the steps in change management?

This varies from group to group, but common steps in change management include:

  1. Finding an area that needs improvement;
  2. Developing a plan for improvement;
  3. Researching the proper tools for change development;
  4. Identifying who will be affected;
  5. Implementing training processes;
  6. Trying a beta or soft-launch;
  7. Collecting feedback;
  8. Initiating a hard launch.

What is a change management plan?

A change management plan is a step-by-step breakdown of how you intend to alleviate the strains of introducing change into the workplace. It involves anticipating pressure points and strategizing how to navigate them before they become a problem. Change management plans often need robust communication systems, training programs and some sort of success/failure feedback loop.

What are change management tools?

Change management tools are anything that can be used to alleviate tensions that arise during a shift in process, staff or software. Change management tools might be needed for collecting feedback, implementing plans, structuring training programs and more.

What are the types of change management software?

Change management comes in many shapes and sizes, depending on what’s changing. There is change management software for:

  • Software (SW change management), IT roll-outs and upgrades
  • Training and onboarding
  • Feedback, polling and analysis of new tools and processes
  • Change planning and running what-if scenarios to calculate impacts

What is the difference between change management and change control?

Change management often refers to how change affects the people within an organization and may highlight communication, training and feedback in order to lessen disruption to service and ROI. Change control is a more technical element, whereby the services being changed are documented, planned, launched, and assessed (usually handled by IT).

Change Management Tools Logo Soup

 

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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 logo - 10 Best Change Management Tools & Software 2020
  • freemium version
  • From $12/per user/month

1. ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus – Best for visualizing change management with the visual workflow builder

ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus screenshot - 10 Best Change Management Tools & Software 2020

The ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus dashboard offers change management data and analytics for better decision-making.

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 Change Shop logo - 10 Best Change Management Tools & Software 2020
  • Free demo
  • From $29/month

2. The Change Shop – Best change management toolkit for survey-based insights

The Change Shop screenshot - 10 Best Change Management Tools & Software 2020

The Change Shop leverages real-time feedback to provide information vital to change navigation.

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.

Engage Your Team logo - 10 Best Change Management Tools & Software 2020
  • Free demo
  • From $35/user/month

3. Engage Your Team – Best change management tool for HR management

Engage Your Team screenshot - 10 Best Change Management Tools & Software 2020

Engage Your Team gives an easy-to-read breakdown of change-oriented survey responses that come directly from your team.

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 Software logo - 10 Best Change Management Tools & Software 2020
  • freemium version
  • From $800/month

4. ESM Software – Best change management software for nonprofits (special pricing)

ESM Software screenshot - 10 Best Change Management Tools & Software 2020

ESM provides an easy way to format strategies and objectives necessary for change management.

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.

The Change Compass logo - 10 Best Change Management Tools & Software 2020
  • freemium version
  • 14 days free trial
  • From $40/user/month

5. The Change Compass – Best change management tool for consultants

The Change Compass screenshot - 10 Best Change Management Tools & Software 2020

Define initiatives and track financial benefits, hours required, forecasted impact levels, and more.

Launched in 2015, The Change Compass helps companies manage customer experience, plan for customer impacts, establish strategy roadmap execution, measure the pace of change and delivery risk, and understand employee capacity during change in order to maintain acceptable levels of operation.

With a specialty in what they call “data-led change”, this service works best for heavily engaged management teams who want to understand the WHYs and HOWs along the way, rather than just see the end results. If that’s not something your change initiative requires, another software might be more apt for your needs.

The reporting could use better context queues or legend help, as “high volumes” of change appear in heat-map red, which may be read as negative even if the change volume is a net positive across the company. The filtering systems could be better optimized for checking multiple elements of a project, like grouping several impacts and several projects within one program level.

Overall this is a great change management tool for consultants, as they offer a plan specifically tailored to consultants who are helping organizations manage change.

The Change Compass starts at $40/user/month and has a free 14-day trial as well as a free version of the software.

Viima logo - 10 Best Change Management Tools & Software 2020
  • freemium version
  • Free for up to 50 users
  • From $3/user/month

6. Viima – Best free change management tool for small companies

Viima screenshot - 10 Best Change Management Tools & Software 2020

Sort ideas, comments, likes and project status in a visually appealing dashboard with Viima.

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.

Howspace logo - 10 Best Change Management Tools & Software 2020
  • Free trial
  • From $216/ month

7. Howspace – Best simple change management tool that's easy to learn and use

Howspace screenshot - 10 Best Change Management Tools & Software 2020

Design an assignment and solicit feedback from your team to keep them engaged with Howspace.

Howspace is a socially-driven change management tool that lets team members collaborate, post their ideas, and interact with one another on a platform that borrows the most fun elements of popular social media platforms in order to encourage ongoing engagement. Create pages with widgets for imagery, graphs, and polls, videos, chat and file sharing with a simple drag-and-drop interface.

Howspace is easy to learn, visually appealing and uses familiar tropes from social media sites so that even the most tech-phobic teammate can catch on with relative ease. For any company or team that doesn’t have the most high-tech office or employees, Howspace is a perfect fit. It will ease you into digital tools without some of the higher onboarding times of other more complex software.

Howspace is a tad pricey for what they are offering, particularly compared to other apps on this list that either do much more or cost much less. The software’s strength is it’s easy-of-use, appealing aesthetic and communication-centric approach to change management but if you are looking for more robust features for finances, reporting, data tracking, and so on, you might want to consider other tools.

Howspace starts at from around $216 (€195)/ month and has a free trial.

Whatfix logo - 10 Best Change Management Tools & Software 2020
  • Free trial
  • Custom pricing

8. Whatfix – Best change management tool for adopting new software in an organization

Whatfix screenshot - 10 Best Change Management Tools & Software 2020

WhatFix's analytics dashboard provides a simple overview of your change activity.

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.

WalkMe logo - 10 Best Change Management Tools & Software 2020
  • Free demo
  • From $7500/year

9. WalkMe – Best change management platform for managing both customer and employee change

WalkMe screenshot - 10 Best Change Management Tools & Software 2020

Create a customized

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 logo - 10 Best Change Management Tools & Software 2020
  • 30 days free trial
  • From $29/user/month

10. Giva – Best IT change control software for large companies

Giva screenshot - 10 Best Change Management Tools & Software 2020

Giva dashboard gives an overview of Request for Comments, Change Requests, and other tools.

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.

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.

  1. Sunview Software – best ITIL change management tool for DevOps
  2. BMC – best database change management software (but also has tons of features for software change management)
  3. Freshservice – best software change management tool for SMBFreshservice

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.

Screenshot of Applearn organization platform

AppLearn tracks how users engage with your smart page elements and where said users come from.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Onboarding Tools

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 Theme Customize Page

Create, design, customize, target, and publish flows, tooltips, and modals with Appcues.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Sceenshot of Planhat Dashboard

Planhat brings your customer data together from different sources to display in a single dashboard.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Screenshot of Talmundo Dashboard

Talmundo offers ways to help automate HR administration and employee onboarding.

  1. Talmundo – Get new hires integrated into company workflow with custom roadmaps, mobile and PC options for engagement, and a feedback system for new recruits.
  2. KiSSFLOW – Automated workflows, case management, fluid forms, visual workflow, and reports and analytics are just some of the features you will have access to.
  3. Workday – One cloud ERP system for finance, HR, and planning with machine learning capabilities that helps identify risks.
  4. 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.

Screenshot of OfficeAccord analysis

OfficeAccord lets employees connect about day-to-day concerns while analyzing interactions.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

And for regular updates on how-to guides, podcasts, and digital project management articles, subscribe to The DPM Newsletter. See you there!

 

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Ben Aston

About Ben Aston

I’m Ben Aston, a digital project manager and founder of thedigitalprojectmanager.com. I've been in the industry for more than 15 years working in the UK at London’s top digital agencies including Dare, Wunderman, Lowe and DDB. I’ve delivered everything from film to CMS', games to advertising and eCRM to eCommerce sites. I’ve been fortunate enough to work across a wide range of great clients; automotive brands including Land Rover, Volkswagen and Honda; Utility brands including BT, British Gas and Exxon, FMCG brands such as Unilever, and consumer electronics brands including Sony.

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